Sunday, November 28, 2010

Conversation

I have been thinking about the conversation all day.
We were talking about people abusing or neglecting their kids. They had a choice, you know, I said, they chose to have children, now they have a responsibility to take care of them.
And that's when she said, That's why I have no problem with abortion. I kept silent and wondered. I had many friends who had abortions in college, they still remember their baby's birthdays every year, still think about them, she said. And then I spoke.
I have a passion for adoption. I find it sad that girls do not know they have another option. We freely accept abortion,and speak against keeping and taking care of the baby, but forget to tell them they have another option. That is why I wish I could talk to them, reach them at school level and tell them about the third option, I said. Talking about an unwanted pregnancies: They believe they only have these two horrible options, either keep the baby they do not want, or abort the baby. I want to tell them about the thousands of families waiting to love, adore, care for and provide for these babies. AND they are chosen and screened to be parents! They have everything to give a baby, from love to finances. All their medical expenses could be paid for, AND they can help choose the family where their baby is placed. Is this not a better option?
(I think of my little man, and wonder about the families that would have loved those babies.)
Well, I do believe in the Buddist way, that souls are searching for and choosing their next homes, she said later. I do not believe that. I know God gives one life to each soul, and He places them where He wants to. But I know she heard the point. My son was always mine, no matter where he came from. I am thankful to and have great respect of the person who chose to save his life and give him to me.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Adoption revelation

Got a call from my sister one day. She had read an article on the internet from a man who tries to disprove facts in the Bible. This particular article was about Jesus's genealogy. He found it interesting that God makes apoint of listing every name and took so much effort to get it exaclty right. He handpicked every man and woman on that list. BUT, it is Joseph's blood line and not that of Maria. And as we all know, Jesus was not part of Joseph's blood, but only Maria's. For that is the way the Gospel goes. The only way he could make sense of it, is if Joseph adopted Jesus and that that is such a powerful, spiritual act, that it makes Jesus part of his own bloodline.
Wow. What a great thought. What an interesting point of view. What a mindshift in the way we see adoption if it is true. It makes sense though, otherwise Jesus is not part of Abraham, David or Joseph's bloodline. That makes the act of adoption very powerful and Godly. Then I started thinking about God being the first Person to adopt when He allowed any person from any origin, through faith, to become part of His family, bloodline and inheritance. AND He planned and allowed for His only begotten Son to also be adopted.
For me this means two things: One - how special, powerful and Godly the act of adoption is, and Two - that as God was the first Person to adopt, I am following His example and my family looks more like His family, because I have biological and adopted children in my home. Be encouraged to consider adoption and become part of His example, or if you have already adopted/or are adopted, know that you are following in Great Footsteps. xxx

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The midwife experience

Jenny was great. She held me, rocked me, massaged my back, soothed me, encouraged me and challenged me when it got real tough. She kept contact with me all day, but only showed up when I was in active labour. Before then it was just my husband and I - bonding, laughing and coping. She kept asking where the pain was, how my body felt and we followed that lead. I gave birth, squatting in front of my bed, held in my husbands arms. She debriefed me afterwards while stitching up my lttle tear, saying over and over: you did so well, you can be so proud of yourself, it will be easier next time, you did so well. I sank into a warm bath and had sweet tea. I was helped into my own bed, tucked in, and only then did she come and weigh my new little person on the bed where I could see. She helped me breastfeed, tidied up the room, packed up her things and left two hours after the birth. She returned a day later to check up on us. I remember thinking, I am not ready for you to leave, not ready to let you go. You meant too much to me, did too much for me. You will forever be part of who I am.

I found her through the internet as well as by recommendation of everyone I asked. There are very few midwifes in my area because they have so little support from the medical world, but I was assured that she was experienced and respected. I made an appointment and had my first free visit with her when I was six weeks pregnant. She was professional, but friendly and relaxed. All this was new to us and we had mountains of questions, but she answered each one, without ever making us feel as though we are getting a bit ahead of ourselves or questioning her abilities. That was that. I had to start my visits only after 12weeks as she could only then start to monitor the heartbeat. She asked me to make appointments for a 12week and 23week scan. Then we waited.

We met again after the first scan and continued to do so every month, where she did a urine test, checked my blood pressure, meassured and felt my stomach and listened to the heartbeat. She encouraged me to bring my toddler along explained to him what she was doing. Just as with a doctor, visits become every second week after 30weeks and then weekly by 36weeks.

Our plan was to deliver the baby at a hospital, but with her help, not with the hospital staff. Near the end of my pregnancy, this changed. We realised how slim the chances of a natural, unmedicated birth was in a hospital and decided to plan for a home birth. I made an extra appointment with Jenny to inform her of our plans. She was happy, but reminded us that we have a choice in everything, even up to the end.
Just  I had two visits with my back-up doctor, and at the last one something interesting happened: We were discussing the fact that the baby had not dropped yet and I made the comment that I was two weeks late as a baby, so if there is one thing I do not fear, it is a overdue baby. Then he said, just remember that some babies just die after 40weeks! One day they are still there and the next they are gone. Just like that he said it. And I felt the tentacles of fear trying to get a hold of me. No wonder many couples make rash decisions at the end! Who wants to jeopardise the life of your baby? We shook off the fear and went home. Nothing in our bodies work according to a strict clock, why would a whole person be formed in exactly 40weeks? Like a oven bell that goes off.
I went into labour just before 39weeks and it took 19hours. Jenny came prepared with a medical doctor on standby, an incubator and oxygen and set up a little station in my bedroom. Every so often she would measure the heartbeat and check how far I was dialated, but she let me do this at my own pace. When I was ready to push, she let me. A good midwife's focus is to assist you in childbirth, not to deliver the baby for you. They watch you and take your lead. They are there if and as you need them. Be encouraged to look into a birth with a midwife, whether in hospital or at home. For me, it turned a medical procedure back into a natural, personal, womanly right of passage.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Adoption passion

I have a passion for adoption. Always have. Ever since I was a little girl and read the Maasdorp series of books where a rich family adopting one of the school girls. My husband married me knowing that, appart from our biological children, we would adopt. I used to pray for my children in a special way: wherever they are, wherever they will come from, that they will be protected and know that they are accepted, wanted and loved. I did not know whether they are yet to be born or running around somewhere. We waited years to fall pregnant and then decided to adopt first. Which I think was wonderful, as I hear many people with a passion for adoption, never adopt once they have there biological children. It was like a whole new world opened up for us and we will never be the same - even though we have received a biological daughter thereafter and expecting our other one soon. I listen to couples spending thousands of Rands on fertility treatments and going through the emotional hell of it all, and wonder why they do not just adopt. Amazing biological mothers and amazing children are waiting for parents who want to love children as much as these couples want to. I hear their fears and I know they are based on lies or half truths, or scary stories they once heard somewhere. They worry about bad genes, forgetting they have those themselves. They worry about the biological mother taking the child back, while there are perfectly good laws to protect against that. They worry about feeling different, but those of us who know, can tell them that THAT AINT SO.
Then there is the flipside of girls falling pregnant and choosing between two option, keeping the baby or abortion, while there is an amazing third choice. They worry about where the baby will end up, without knowing that they have a say in the matter and all families are screened (which does not happen in the biological parenting way). They worry about expenses, not even realising that through a private agency the adopting family pays for all the medical expenses as well as the birth. I wish I had a voice, loud enough and strong enough, to tell girls before they are in such a situation, and this is my message: EVEN THOUGH YOU ARE PREGNANT BY ACCIDENT OR WITHOUT YOUR FAULT OR CONSENT, IT IS STILL A MIRACLE. AND THERE ARE MANY FAMILIES OUT THERE PRAYING FOR SUCH A MIRACLE. xxx

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Midwifes, Doctors, Birth and things

I am concerned about the things I hear pregnant mothers say. I am concerned about the things that doctors tell new expecting mothers. I am concerned about how easily they believe the doctors without knowing their options, choices and in lots of cases, the truth.
Years back, I once listened to someone teling me of her birth experience with a midwife. It was a hospital birth, but sounded so rich and fulfilling. So personal and special the whole journey that my husband and I decided there and then that we will follow the same route.
The big difference that I could tell back then, without personal experience, was that doctors focus on what could go wrong, and try to prevent that, and midwifes focus on the fact that it is a natural experience that your body was made to perform. There was no fear on the midwife's side. No issues about age, baby size, position of baby or multiples. Just the personal process of a woman becoming a mother.
We are all afraid of pain and suffering. We will all try to avoid it at all cost. But there is so much more to childbirth than pain. We should let women experience it again. Encourage them to try, to make wise, informed decisions and not ones based on fear. There are always risks, but in trying to eliminate them before they are even an option, takes away the freedom of choice and the knowledge that this is a natural and wonderful process that your body was made for.  Even the pain is natural, not to be feared, and takes you into motherhood. Mentally, the knowledge that you have succeeded into bringing this life into the world, helps you cope better with the challenges that are coming- the sleepless nights, the crying, the emotional rollercoaster ride and perfecting breastfeeding. Baby enjoys the blessing of being alert after birth to best bond with mommy, who is also alert and mobile, and can fully explore the instinct to suckle which leads to better foundations of breastfeeding success.
Appart from all these mental and emotional reasons, any person can just start to read up about birth and would realise the enormity of all the physical benefits for mother and baby. Where do we start, and should I start. Maybe next time.
If you are pregnant and reading this, please be encouraged to at least read up about birth and the option available to you. Know what warrants medical intervention and what is merely the opinion or preference of your doctor. There are wonderful doctors out there, who understand, value and encourage natural birth, and it might be in your best interest to change doctors now, if you feel pressured or unsure in any way. For those of you who are interested, please take the leap and seek a midwife, one you can trust and be comfortable with.
Enjoy the birth of your baby, it is beautiful, special and challenging because it was intended to be so. xxx