Friday, August 30, 2013

"Obese and Pregnant"

I watched this special on TLC while I was pregnant (actually, I was "obese and pregnant"...da-da-DUM!!!). Even though I was feeling particularly vulnerable and hypochondriac-y in my state, this special was RIFE with BS. I was pretty upset with it because rather than be educational and show that anyone can have a healthy pregnancy (like I did), this program seemed to be one big scare tactic.

So naturally, when I saw they were playing it again this month, I decided to watch it and give you guys a play-by-play.

Right off the bat, they take the tone that women this heavy (just slightly heavier than I was at that stage) being pregnant is nothing short of a freak show.

Melba is 362 pounds in her last trimester. She already has kids. She has diabetes and was once at 490 pounds. She gained 90 pounds throughout the pregnancy, when obese women are told to gain no more than 15.

I was told the same thing when I was pregnant. I actually gained 33, 23 of which came off the first 2 weeks after delivery. First off, gaining only 15 pounds would mean actually losing weight to make room for the 20+ pounds of baby, placenta, extra blood, etc. Secondly, Melba obviously gained WAY too much during her pregnancy, and that's dangerous no matter WHAT your starting weight was. If they had presented her weight gain in that light (read: accurately), I wouldn't take offense...but they make it seem like she's in such danger because she was already big. Not necessarily the case. A 120 pound woman who gains 90 pounds in 9 months would be in the same danger and carry the same risk.

Christie took 2 years to conceive. They want you to believe its because of her weight, as if thin women never have trouble conceiving. She has PCOS, which lots of women have, regardless of weight.

Lastly, there's Mercedes. She has 2 older kids already and is nine months pregnant with her third. She's gained 200 pounds in the 17 years she's been married. She developed gestational diabetes in her second trimester.

In the next segment, we are reminded that Melba has gained almost 100 pounds during the pregnancy, and then show her going through a McDonald's drive through. Again, we're expected to be disgusted because this fat person is so big and still eating garbage...but I wonder (and I suspect that I know) if a slim woman would be judged the same way going through a drive through. This might be the one time in her whole pregnancy that she ate Mcdonald's, we have no way of knowing. Maybe a thinner woman eats that crap everyday, and her insides are a cesspool...but she wouldn't be judged as harshly just because she's not "fat". Good job sensationalizing, TLC.

In Christie's segment, they talk about how tragic it is that people are going to judge her because she's heavier and she dared to be pregnant. Meanwhile, ironically, this program is cementing that we should judge heavy pregnant women because since they dared to be pregnant and big, they are endangering their unborn children and are monsters. Right. No irony there.

Christie has lost 20 pounds throughout the pregnancy, and the baby is gaining just fine. Good for her, but this is happening because she was eating crap before and has decided during the pregnancy to eat wholesome foods. If you've done this all along, thin or not, you can expect a thriving child. However, the show is edited to seem that the only reason her pregnancy is going well is because she's on a diet. Lovely.

Mercedes is having complications, obviously, with her gestational diabetes. Mercedes is also 38 years old, which adds to complications. They only mention her age, not the fact that such a high age for gestation could also be the cause for her complications. They just focus on her weight.

Melba is 34, was a diabetic to start with, and has hypertension. Her baby is measuring much bigger than average, and the doctor says that it's due to BOTH her diabetes and her weight. Um, I was 318 pounds when I delivered, and my thriving, perfectly healthy son weighed 6 lbs, 9 oz at almost 39 weeks gestation. I call horseshit on the doctor. Diabetes in the mother will DEFINITELY affect the baby's size, but anyone can have diabetes, regardless of their weight.

Mercedes has an ultrasound at 38 weeks, and the baby is perfectly fine regardless of her gestational diabetes.

Now they're telling Melba that she needs an amnio to make sure her unborn daughter's lungs are fine. They need to deliver her immediately because if the baby stays in her, the baby could die. Why? Because of diabetes. That's the only explanation they give Melba, and terrified at the thought of her baby in danger, she gives in. Yay, scare tactics.

Christie had to have an induction after being 8 days overdue. She was given Cervadil and Pitocin (just like I was) because she's slow to dilate. Luckily for her, unlike me, she's not having contractions because she's not actually in labor.

Melba ends up having the amnio, and Dr. Douchebag is "surprised" to find that it wasn't as difficult as he thought it would be with all her extra fat. Swell. She's taken straight into a c-section. They make it seem like operating on Melba is akin to performing surgery on a concrete wall. Poor doctors are going to have to cut through sooooo much fat and skin, the poor things! Boohoo!

Mercedes naturally went into labor and had a perfectly healthy baby without an epidural in just a few short hours. The baby's blood sugar is perfect and there are no complications. LOOKIE THERE. Also, Mercedes discovers she doesn't have continued diabetes. Good news all around.

Melba has her c-section and her daughter is just fine. She weighs 6 lbs, 4 oz. The doctors has rushed her c-section because they had decided the baby was dangerously big and couldn't stay in a day longer. Oops. Good one, Dr. Douchebag. At least they're both fine in spite of the extra interventions.

Christie, however, with her uncomplicated pregnancy, is on day 2 of her induction. She gets an internal monitor (omg, that's just what happened to me!). Unfortunately, her baby goes into distress. She's rushed to a c-section and she has a perfect son.

So in the end, everyone was fine. No one died. No one was horribly disfigured. People were fat, pregnant, and had healthy children. Nothing out of the ordinary. Just lots of scary talk for no reason. I'm not saying that they didn't have complications and struggles, but I am saying that there's no reason to think that the complications were exclusively because of their weight. Bottom line is there's no reason to think that being obese means having complications anymore than being thin will mean a non-complicated pregnancy or delivery.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Guest Post: "I'm Fat!! My Body and Vagina are not BROKEN!!!"

No really....I'm 5'4 and my weight for the past 8 years has fluctuated between 200-250 lbs. During that time and just a little before I have been pregnant 9 times.....2 very devastating very early (2-3 weeks gestation) miscarriages, 6 full term beautifully NORMAL pregnancies and I am currently 25 weeks pregnant and have no 'fat girl' pregnancy issues. All my babies were born vaginally and I have even had 2 (planning on 3) midwife attended home water births. In fact aside from what was diagnosed as pregnancy induced hypertension (blood pressures 140/95) with one pregnancy I have had NONE of the issues my "healthier" skinny friends have had!!

With that said....Why is it an automatic assumption that a bigger pregnant woman equals a plethora of problems during pregnancy, labor and delivery. WHERE IS THE MAGICAL TEXT THAT SAYS I'M BROKEN??? Anyone.....still waiting?? I didn't think so. In my opinion plus size women are at no more risk for problems than any other women. So why do we get treated differently?? Why is the OB/GYN throwing in a glucose test into my first trimester pregnancy panel blood work....Why couldn't I just have been asked if I've had glucose problems in the past?? Why am I being told not to eat McDonald's cheeseburgers because I might gain too much weight or cause baby to be HUGE when I would almost rather starve than eat that! Why am I made to feel like a liar when I say eat healthy and exercise? I do....I think because there is such a stigma around plus size women I fear complications therefore I make a conscious effort to be more active and eat much healthier.

 I'm not trying to say EVERY plus size mom will have an easy time conceiving, being pregnant, laboring and delivering.... But what I am saying is your chances are just as good as any other woman! Medical problems that seem to plague plus size women are also just as common in non plus size pregnancies! We shouldn't have to deal with the added stresses because doctors and staff don't like to deal with us. That alone can almost guarantee you a high blood pressure reading during your prenatal visit, even if you check it at home and get normal numbers.

 Some things I have realized are..have the right to change my health care provider at any time should they make me feel uncomfortable or I just don't care for their bed side manner. I also have a right to a second opinion, the right to discuss PRIVATELY with my partner our options, and the right to simply say NO. So, lets do other women like us a favor and stand up together and say I will no longer accept substandard treatment because of my weight, I will not be scared into unnecessary interventions or tests and I WILL be treated the same as all other women because I'M FAT!!!! My body and vagina are not BROKEN!!!!!    

Guest Post written by Kristina Sharrer, a doula-in-training and crunchy plus-sized mom of 6 beautiful children with another on the way! You can learn more about Kristina at her business website           

Monday, August 26, 2013

Friday, August 23, 2013

Circumcision: opinions, facts, and a rebuttal.

I just ran across this article today, and I have to say it really fired me up. Every person is entitled to their opinion and every parent of a son has a choice to make regarding their foreskin. I firmly believe that like religion and all sorts of other things, there are certain choices that should be my son's and his alone, and I would be doing him a disservice by taking such choices away from him.

That being said, I feel that because a lot of controversy swirls around circumcision, so do a lot of misconceptions. So I wanted to break down the reasoning the author uses in her article FOR circumcision, and offer some alternative views. The original authors views are in italics.

"First and foremost, we knew we wanted it done for hygiene reasons. It's so much harder to keep that area clean if the procedure isn't performed -- and we believed it would leave him more prone to infection if he was not circumcised."

"In babies, the foreskin is completely fused to the head of the penis. The infant foreskin is perfectly designed to protect the head of the penis and keep feces out.  All you have to do is wipe the outside of the penis like a finger.  It is harder to keep circumcised baby's penis clean because you have to carefully clean around the wound, make sure no feces got into the wound, and apply ointment." - Psychology Today.

The foreskin retracts on its own throughout childhood, at which point the child should be taught to pull the skin back and wash like any other part of his body with water and mild soap.

"Second, and I really don't care how stupid or cliche this sounds, we didn't want him to get teased in the high school locker room because he was the only boy who hadn't been circumcised.......And there was no way I was going to let my kid be the dude with the weird looking penis."

 I think this is the part of the article that most burned me. Firstly, you're putting your child through a potentially dangerous procedure for the sake of fitting in. Secondly, at the rate circumcision is dropping in the country, it's a possibility that a circumcised male may be in the minority by the time the authors son is in high school. Lastly, and I feel most importantly, the last sentence in the paragraph is the kind of thinking that leads to bullying. The fact that she's even throwing out there that someone may have a "weird looking penis" and that it's reason to be potentially made fun of only teaches that "we should make fun of whoever looks different to us". Not the parenting style I personally adhere to.

"Lastly, we worried about how being uncircumcised might affect his sex life down the road......I know I'd want to hop out of bed and run if I saw all that extra skin staring back at me."

Once again, she closes the paragraph with a really judgmental-based-on-looks sentiment that really irks me and only perpetuates stigmatizing intact genitalia. Also, here's something to consider about your circumcised son's future sex life: a study in Belgium found that there is less sexual satisfaction and sensation in circumcised penises (so intact men have better sex, according to the study).  Yet another study shows, quote "circumcised men have more difficulties reaching orgasm, and their female partners experience more vaginal pains and an inferior sex life".  And lastly, here's a big one: "Researchers surveyed 300 men and found that circumcised fellas had a 4.5 times greater chance of suffering from ED than noncircumcised guys." That's Erectile Dysfunction, if you weren't sure.

So, again, every parent has to make their own choice regarding the topic of circumcision, but in case any of these misconceptions were your "deal breaker", maybe it's time to do some more researching and soul searching before committing to something permanent and irreversible for your child. I can see how it may not be an easy choice and there's definitely a lot to consider. I just couldn't believe the stuff the original author was throwing out as fact, so I felt like I NEEDED to do something showing that actually, all the reasons she used to make her choice were misconceptions at best, and that if any of those three things are something that weigh on your choice, that there's actually evidence to the contrary. Some people may still choose to do it for religious purposes, or so baby looks like Daddy, etc. I say as long as you really research extensively and you can come to a decision that sits well in your heart, then you've done your best as a parent and no one can ask more of you than that.

Thoughts on why you did or didn't choose to circumcise your son(s)?

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

My Favorite Mommy/Baby Apps

I LOVE my iPhone. I was resistant to leave behind my Blackberry but since 2008, I haven't looked back! Now I don't know how I ever survived without my iPhone!

I always used my phone to take photos, blog, Facebook, etc...but now as a mom, it's as functional as it is fun! I decided to put together a list of my favorite mommy/baby apps that I use on a daily basis.

Name: iBreastfeed
Price: FREE
How I use it: This app lets you track diaper changes, breast, bottle or solid feeding, and even has a miscellaneous feature so you can track medications, etc. What I use it for is tracking how long and when Bubu sleeps. It's very helpful to check for patterns, see if there's differences in sleep when there's diet changes, etc. I use this app every single day.

Name: iBaby Feed Timer
Price: $1.99
How I use it: As the name suggests, this app is used to time breastfeeding sessions, or to input bottle feedings or pumping sessions. All of these things can be handled by the Medela app, but I prefer the interface of this app. It also includes a notes section with each bottle feeding so you can write down whether it was formula or breast milk, whether there was cereal in the bottle, etc. This is another app that I use every day, several times a day.

Name: Baby Milestones 1st Year
Price: $1.99
How I use it: I don't use this app every day, but my husband and I open it together every few weeks to see what milestones we can look forward to in the coming month, to see what Bubu is already doing, etc. It explains physical, social and cognitive development on a monthly basis for the first year of your baby's life.

Name: Instagram
Price: FREE
How I use it: Ok, so this isn't a baby app per se, but I DO use it everyday with my baby! I've been using instagram since late 2010, before anyone knew it existed (LOL) and as a consequence, I've been able to easily chronicle my pregnancy and literally every day of my baby's life with my iPhone! The best thing about that is I use services like Stickygram, Keepsy and Blurb to make magnets, albums and calendars with these photos so that I have tangible keepsakes of everyday snapshots of my Bu!

That's about it! I have several other apps of this type on my phone, but these are the ones I rely on most. Tell me about your favorite apps!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Cervical Checks and why I'll forever DENY, DENY, DENY.

*DISCLAIMER: This post is made up of both my opinions and research. The research and reading I did while writing this is cited. Do NOT take this post as medical advice as I am not a doctor and don't claim to be. However, I hope that reading this does make you aware that you have options, and that it's best to do your own research into your options and the consequences of each choice. Remember: if you don't know your options, then you have no options.

A conversation in one of the internet forums I belong to recently turned to routine cervical checks and what I think of them. My exact answer was:

"I'd rather go through my Pitocin augmented, pain med free 46 hour labor again rather than EVER getting another cervical check"

I remember being in labor, thinking I was going to die during the cervical checks. Literally. I was making my peace because I was certain the pain of those checks was going to throw me into shock and my heart was going to suddenly stop beating. The labor was nothing compared to those checks.

Needless to say, I'm not really a fan. But I was in labor, I was scared, and I didn't think I had a choice. BUT I DID. I just didn't know it. Now I do know about my choices, and I can assure you my next pregnancy and labor/delivery will go much differently as a result.

Routine cervical checks (when a doctor does an internal measure of how dilated and/or effaced your cervix is) usually start happening at about the 36 week mark in pregnancy, though they may start as early as 34. The reason your OB gives you that fancy gown to change into at your appointments is to make these tests possible. They check you, give you a number, and possibly make judgements or plans surrounding your birth based on what they find.

Now here's the thing....these figures tell the doctor NOTHING. Some women are dilated to 3cm for weeks and it has no bearing whatsoever on when they'll go into labor or how long the labor will take. Other women are completely shut until the moment they're in labor, and have 5 hours between their water breaking and seeing their baby emerge.Cervical checks are absolutely pointless if you are not in labor.

What about during labor? Well, you might want to know. Your doctor might want to know. But again, your "number" at any given point of labor has no effect on, nor can it predict, how much longer it'll be before you can push. In fact, here's three things I learned about cervical checks during my labor (besides how astronomically they hurt me): 

*Firstly, different people have different sized hands and  checking for dilation is not an incredibly scientific process. Two different people might check you within minutes of each other and get two completely different measurements. 
*Secondly, knowing that number may just discourage you. Imagine being at full on transition strength contractions for 6 hours on Pitocin, only to be checked and have a nurse tell you that you opened up another half centimeter in those whole 6 hours. Talk about taking the wind out of your sails.
*Lastly, checks during labor take the laboring mother out of the flow. It's an interruption that takes you out of whatever space you put your mind in to get yourself through the next contraction, or whatever your focus object is, or the anticipation of meeting your child that helps you get through the pain. Whatever your "happy place" is, you have to snap out of it every time anyone even talks to you, let alone tells you to lie down for one of those checks.

Another thing I didn't know? Cervical checks can lead to infection, especially if your water is already broken. If only I had known that, I would have denied each and every one of those checks right off the bat. You live and you learn, right?

So what am I going to do next time instead? Keep my pants on! Unless the prenatal appointment includes the GBS test, there's nothing that's going to happen at that office that can't happen while I stay in my own clothes. As far as during labor, there are other ways that a medical professional can tell how close you are to being ready to push. If anything, I suppose one could opt for minimal checks and perhaps choose to not be told the "progress" so as to not get discouraged. Plus, minimal to no checks mean less chance for a doctor to pull the "failure to progress" card. 

What is your experience with cervical checks? Perhaps they didn't hurt you and I was just lucky ;) perhaps the number encouraged you to keep going when the going got tough...I'd love to hear all opinions and perspectives on this!

Additional Information:
*Stages of Labour and Conclusion
*The Assessment of Progress

Advice from home-schooling parents?

I know it's probably premature, seeing as my child is a year old, but I have been extensively researching homeschooling and I feel that it might be the right choice for my family.

My husband is about 60% convinced...he's concerned that our son (and any future children) might be socially crippled by homeschooling them...I have the same concern, but hope to keep them involved in sports or dance teams, etc so they can socialize with children that have similar interests. Ideally, we could have some sort of homeschooling co-op situation, where we form a group with other homeschooling families and occasionally learn together so they can meet and make friends with other homeschoolers. There are 2 problems with that, the city of Miami, homeschooling seems to be at a minimum. The second issue is that most homeschoolers (from what I've seen in my research, perhaps I'm mistaken) seem to teach from a religious standpoint/curriculum, and we are raising our children nondenominationally.

I'd love to hear from any homeschooling parents about learning resources, socializing your homeschooled children, and just about your experience in general. Any advice or insight would be greatly appreciated! I know it's early, but this is a big decision and I want to be certain I'm making the right choice for my child(ren).

Saturday, August 17, 2013

A Call for Guest Contributions...

The motto/mission of my blog is "Support for every path to motherhood"...I want to provide support to anyone that feels like they need it as they prepare for pregnancy, birth, and beyond...but I understand that I can only speak to my own experiences and the best way to be able to relate to a wide variety of parents is to KNOW a wide variety of parents and their experience of motherhood!

That being said, I'd like to invite you ladies to write a guest post for me if you'd like  about your experience of motherhood. Be it from the perspective of someone who is a single parent, divorced parent, adoptive parent, someone who has tried a VBAC or elected for RCS, I want to hear from you all. It could be a birth story, but it doesn't have to could be about why you chose to vaccinate or not, why you became a crunchy/green parent, if you had an unassisted birth, if you chose not to find out the sex of your kids, the journey to TTC, miscarriage survivors, rainbow you can see, I'm not picky lol I just want to be able to share all kinds of stories in hopes that reading them might help someone else going through something similar.

It will help me learn about how others relate to parenting (as I'm a postpartum doula in training), and also it will possibly help someone relate to your experience when they can't relate to mine.

I'd love to hear from anyone that is willing to participate and potentially help someone out there by sharing their experience! My email is and the blog facebook page is Thanks!!!!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Advice to fellow plus size preggos

You absolutely CAN have a healthy pregnancy at any weight! I weighed 285 when I got pregnant and got up to 318, with no hypertension, high blood pressure, diabetes, NOTHING!

My advice: BE YOUR OWN ADVOCATE! Read and research everything, and don’t take anything your doctors tell you at face value. A lot of doctors don’t have a lot of experience dealing with overweight/obese moms-to-be and might default to giving you generalized advice assuming your health is crap when it may or may not be, regardless of your weight.

I labored drug-free for 46 hours (!), and only ended up having a c-section because I would not dilate past 3 cm…my weight was not a factor. I researched all my options fully (google was my best friend!) and was very strong in my convictions of how I wanted my labor and delivery to go, but only because I learned enough to confidently push back against the doctors and hospitals when I felt they were taking a course of action not because it was safest, but because of their ignorance or because it was more convenient for them.

It’s your labor, your delivery, your child, your life…you CAN do it! And don’t let anyone tell you or make you feel different. I feel I am a much stronger person overall BECAUSE I was a plus size preggo!!! :)


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

VBAC vs RCS risks

VBAC vs Repeat CS Risks as presented by iCAN

VBAC or Repeat Cesarean
What is safe? What are my options?
If you have had a cesarean delivery and are planning another birth you have to make a decision to have a Vaginal Birth after Cesarean (VBAC) or a Repeat Cesarean Section (RCS).  This can be a hard decision with all the misleading information out there on both topics.  Lets look at some of the facts.
VBAC (Vaginal Birth after Cesarean)
The biggest concern with VBAC among women is uterine rupture. Permitting labor to begin naturally with a low transverse scar ("bikini cut") VBAC after one previous cesarean carries a risk 0.4% of uterine rupture with an increase in an augmented or induced labor. (Landon, 2004)  Successful VBAC's have lower complication rates than planned RCS which have lower complications than a "failed" VBAC. (Landon, 2004)
VBAC is a safe and appropriate choice for most women with one prior cesarean and for some women with two prior cesareans according to ACOG, 2010.
"the chance that a VBAC candidate will require emergency surgery, is for all practical purposes, no higher than that of any other pregnant woman" and "the risk of VBAC is not substantially greater than the risk of any type of childbirth" (Bruce Flamm, MD, Birth after Cesarean)
VBAMC (Vaginal Birth after Multiple Cesareans)
Here is a link to a study done in 2006 by Landon, Risks of Uterine Rupture with a Trial of Labor in Women with Multiple and Single Prior Cesarean Delivery.
The study of 975 women with multiple previous cesareans found a rupture rate of 0.9%. They also showed VBA2C within two years of a previous cesarean delivery to have a 1.1% rupture rate. Not nearly as high as many doctors tell you. Those risks are still lower than those risks of a 3rd cesarean.
Landon concludes, Vaginal birth after multiple cesarean deliveries should remain an option for eligible women.
Overall trial-of-labor success rates were 73%Single prior cesarean delivery success rate of 74%Multiple prior cesarean deliveries success rate of 66%Two prior cesarean deliveries success rate of 67%Three prior cesarean deliveries success rate of 55%
When a cesarean is necessary it can be a life saving procedure for mother and baby.10 true reasons for a Cesarean
Cesarean Risks include placenta accreta, hysterectomy, blood transfusion, ICU admission, which increases with each surgery and uterine rupture. Whereas with successful VBAC uterine rupture and other labor related complications decrease significantly.
The risks associated with RCS increase with each cesarean performed.
Maternal death is very low with each option: 0.02% with VBAC and 0.04% with RCS. (Landon, 2004)

Make an informed choice about the risks of Repeat Cesareans vs. VBAC's
1st C-section Risk of hysterectomy: 0.65%Risk of blood transfusion: 4.05%Risk of placenta accreta: 0.24%
2nd C-section 1st VBAC Risk of major complications: 4.3% Chance of successful VBAC: 63.3% Risk of placenta accreta: 0.31% Risk of uterine rupture: 0.87% Risk of hysterectomy: 0.42% Risk of hysterectomy: 0.23% Risk of blood transfusion: 1.53% Risk of blood transfusion: 1.89% Risk of dense adhesions: 21.6%
3rd C-section 2nd VBAC Risk of major complications: 7.5% Chance of successful VBAC: 87.6% Risk of placenta accreta: 0.57% Risk of uterine rupture: 0.45% Risk of hysterectomy: 0.9% Risk of hysterectomy: 0.17% Risk of blood transfusion: 2.26% Risk of blood transfusion: 1.24% Risk of dense adhesion's: 32.2%
4th C-section 3rd VBAC Risk of major complications: 12.5% Chance of successful VBAC: 90.9% Risk of placenta accreta: 2.13% Risk of uterine rupture: 0.38% Risk of hysterectomy: 2.41% Risk of hysterectomy: 0.06% Risk of blood transfusion: 3.65% Risk of blood transfusion: 0.99% Risk of dense adhesion's: 42.2% NOTE: "Major complications" include one or more of the following: uterine rupture, hysterectomy, additional surgery due to hemorrhage, injury to the bladder or bowel, thromboembolism, and/or excessive blood loss.
All VBAC stats for this chart are taken from the Mercer and Gilbert study, 2008 which includes induced and augmented labors. Additional studies have shown lower uterine rupture rates (especially with spontaneous labors) and higher VBAC success rates with non augmented or induced labors.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) Countries with some of the lowest perinatal mortality rates in the world have cesarean rates of less than 10%. There is no justification for any region to have a higher rate than 10-15%.
In all 50 states VBAC is legal and in some states it is legal for a midwife to attend an OOH (out-of-hospital) VBAC. However of the women interested in VBAC 57% are unable to find a supportive care provider or hospital.
With the new AGOC (2010) guidelines in place we hope to see VBAC's increase and have more women find supportive care providers!You CAN birth!!

Monday, August 12, 2013

The VBAC Dilemma

The VBAC Dilemma - More Business of Being Born 

In case you can't see the video above, you can see it directly on YouTube here


Setting my intentions

Some backstory:
I have been slowly getting crunchier and crunchier since 2011 when I got pregnant with my one and only little guy, who is known as Bu on the interwebs :) I am basically the only remotely crunchy mom I know IRL, and I'm used to getting stares for baby-wearing, what I feed my son, my discipline style, etc. I am also in the middle of a lifestyle change while eating as few processed foods as possible because my husband and I hope to TTC when Bu is 3, and I am trying desperately to have a VBAC. I had a 46 hour augmented labor without pain medication that ended in an emergency c-section, and I want to be able to have the birth experience that I felt I worked for the first time around.

I have constantly and consistently run across opposition since I got pregnant, due mostly to my size or my desire to raise my son in an attached, natural manner. I found that a lot of the time, I felt unsupported in my choices, and sometimes became unsure regardless of how much research I'd done and how sure I was that a given path was the path I wanted to take.

I've shared most every detail of my pregnancy, labor and delivery on the internet, as much for my own reflection as to hopefully educate and inspire others that if you want to do something, you can do it. The education and support is out there if you seek it out. I found several like minded moms online and learned from them about cloth diapering, breastfeeding, cosleeping, babywearing...and whatever they couldn't answer for me, I sought elsewhere. I became obsessed with learning all I could because if my pregnancy and labor taught ME anything, it was that no one will advocate for you like you can.

I have joined several groups and forums now, from crunchy living pages to VBAC support groups, and found that the one thing missing was a page for plus size moms to get together and discuss all of these things. I created Plus Size and Pregnant to fill that gap, and three months later we are a handful shy of 100 members.

I've become sort of notorious among my friends for having as much knowledge as opinions on parenting and labor, so a lot of my non-plus-size friends have sought advice from me as well. "Wouldn't it be wonderful," I thought, "to train specifically in labor, delivery and parenting practices so I could REALLY turn my passion into a calling?"

Hence, Momma Friendly. I want to help all moms, moms to be, and anyone who's ever wanted to be a parent. As long as you're interested  in doing what's best for your children, future or otherwise, I want to do what I can to make that happen. I am about to start training to become a postpartum doula, and I will be talking about that in this blog. In the meantime, I am going to keep bringing articles and resources about related topics, sharing my experiences and thoughts, and answering any questions I receive from any interested parties. If I cannot answer your question myself, I will do my best to point you in the direction of the right resources.

Thank you for reading. I look forward to sharing with and learning from you all!

Forgive me, but...

having a soapbox moment...

I'm putting together my website, and so I looked up my interview feature that I did with NBC while I was pregnant about sizist doctor policies...turns out the article was posted elsewhere and some comments were received. They were pretty evenly divided between support for me and support for the doctor policies, but one in particular stood out to me:

"This woman is about to realize her pregnancy hormones got a little out of hand. Carrying a child and actually caring for a child are two different things. We'll see if she can physically keep up with a two year old at 300 lbs. Just stupid."

well GUESS WHO is keeping up with her 2 year old at almost 300 pounds, DOUCHE . Who's stupid now? Only proves my point that weight is nothing but a number and your judgment of me FOR my weight says much more about you than me.

/endrant lol

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Intro before the Intro

I've been blogging since before most people had ever heard of it. I got my first livejournal account in 2002...I've had approximately 20 different blogs since then, ranging from lifestyle to fashion and back. I  was known once as The Frugalista Fatshionista. When I became pregnant with my son, I evolved into Plus Size Preggo. All the while, I was blogging about my day-to-day at Walking Contradiction. Now, I vlog at Crunchyish Miami Momma.

Which brings me to the here and now. Momma Friendly is where I plan to being all of these versions of me together. I am a plus size health advocate, a promoter of attachment parenting and natural living, a doula student and VBAC seeker.

Above all, I am a mother.

Please stick around to get to know more about me. And I hope to get to know you as well.