I Need You to Know That I Loved You.

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I need you to know, more than anything else, that I loved you.

I was so scared. I have never known fear as great as the day I found out that you would be coming to this world. But I loved you. So much. I still love you and I will always miss you.

There were so many things I wondered, worried and agonized over. Almost every waking moment, and many of my sleeping ones, I ran over every possible scenario that I could think of. How much of that did you feel? How much of my stress caused you harm? Could you feel my love too?

Never have two little pink lines been so terrifying. I am so sorry that there were no tears of joy and squeals of laughter. All babies should be welcomed that way. You weren’t any less beautiful, miraculous, or amazing. I was so angry when I realized I was pregnant. Not at you, or because of you, but I was angry at how it could be possible for a responsibility and a privilege so great to be given to someone like me, who had no way of providing, protecting or loving you the way that you deserved. The way every beautiful, precious, miracle of a baby deserves.

Your amazing beating heart flickered there on the screen for me. It was weak and you were small but you were fighting. You lived, if only briefly. I wanted not to worry. I wanted to be joyful but instead there was just gut wrenching fear.

How do I explain who your father is? What he is? Where he is? What he did? How do I conceal that you even exist to protect you? The world is small and eventually he would have found out…how do you trust a broken governmental system to protect the most vulnerable among us? How could I provide for you? How could I walk away from you every day to leave you in daycare? How would I afford daycare? How do I face each day, being the mom you need, stretched too thin, with no financial resources? How do I deserve you? How will it feel for you to watch your siblings leave to go see their father and you won’t have one to go to? What will you say? How will I explain it?  Will my love be stronger than the pain he caused? Am I a good enough mom? How will I afford any of this? How do I face my fears, acknowledge them, and let them go? How do I trust that the world will be here for us when the world has felt so dark?

Darkness. Everywhere things just feel dark. How could all of this happen? What did I do to deserve this? How do you keep faith in humanity when things keep going wrong. Consistently, irreparably wrong? I have always been a positive person. Looking on the bright side. Trusting the good in people. In the world. Little by little, the world is changing me. How do I stop it from changing me? How do I stop from becoming dark myself?

I tried to be brave for you. To think of the beautiful birth you would have. Would you be born wide awake and curious like your sister? Huge and quiet with one eye open like your oldest brother? Or would you sleep through a fast and furious birth like your youngest brother? I imagined wearing you in a wrap and nursing you. I imagined rocking you and holding you and our quiet days together, when your siblings were with their dad.

Were you the little girl we’ve all been hoping and waiting for? The sister that’s been longed for? Were you going to teach me that I am stronger and braver than I give myself credit for? Would you show us with your beautiful smile, your sweet grasping hands, those deep soulful eyes, and that indescribable baby smell that despite the darkness in the world, that each amazing, beautiful life possesses the power to bring meaning and light?

I will never know the answers to those questions. Your little heart stopped beating and you, my brave, sweet baby, with your short powerful life, will leave me forever wondering about you. Missing you. Loving you.

I am thankful that you have been spared the fears and possibilities that I agonized over. I am grateful and relieved and yet pained with guilt, remorse, pain, and loss. But above absolutely anything else… I love you.

-Mom

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A Suprise Visitor – Featured in the Local News

Today, Garrett and I went out on our first outing to the Chiropractor so that I could get some needed adjustments. I also wound up having him looked at and the Chiropractor, Matt Herres, very gently examined Garrett’s spine while he slept on me. Considering his size and also what a tough time he’s had handling bowel movements I thought it was worth a try having him looked at.

Garrett definitely had some tender spots and Matt was able to gently adjust them (Garrett slept through it all). What was most surprising is that literally within a millisecond of being adjusted Garrett had a bowel movement in his sleep without any screaming and squawking – which has been typical. Also, since we’ve been home he’s had several more and seems to be handling things so much better. A big thumbs up for chiropractic care for babies after birth.

When we arrived home I was surprised to see a local KNDU news van outside my house. A reporter by the name of Allison Cordova was here to interview me because of the TIME article. It was kind of a hectic/crazy interview since I was in no way prepared for it but I decided, “why not?”

I am just laughing at the actual news report which I find fairly typical for the quality of news in this area (we are used to Seattle news) but at least Home Birth is making the news again. Out of all of the questions I was asked and the footage that was taken I found it funny what was chosen to be put in the segment.

I also had to laugh out loud with the last line, “despite some fearful moments she is happy with the outcome.” That’s not exactly what was said but I guess I’m not shocked that the focus was on fear. Actually, when I was prodded about my fears for this birth I basically said that no, I didn’t fear this birth at all. I spent my pregnancy focusing on any fears that I might have and working through them so that they wouldn’t crop up during the birth. I then elaborated that I would be more fearful of having a natural birth in the hospital than having a baby at home because of the temptation of wanting an epidural if it was handy. At least that is what I tried to get across with the rest of the conversation that wasn’t included. Surprisingly, I never even thought of an epidural during the actual birth, which was surprising to me. There was actually a lengthy interview, none of which was used in the video footage.

Anyway, I still haven’t had a chance to write out the birth story yet but for the record it was a fantastic experience and I am ecstatic with the outcome and would do it again in a heartbeat. Here is the story that was featured and the footage. I can’t say I’m thrilled with the results but at least Home Birth is making the news again.

Link to KNDU site: http://www.kndu.com/global/story.asp?s=8882118

Pasco Woman Gets Interviewed in TIME Magazine

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PASCO, Wash.– The famous saying ‘”there’s no place like home”, has a new meaning for a Pasco mother. Jessica Reid says home, is where she gave birth to her son.

“We had the baby in a birth pool, so it’s like a big inflatable tub and it was actually right here,” said Jessica Reid, who recently gave birth.

It was less than a week ago, this mom spent seven and half hours in labor, now it’s back to basics for her and baby boy Garret Michael.

For going the natural way, Reid was interviewed by a freelance reporter from TIME magazine. TIME was looking for a woman giving birth at home for the first time.

“I’ve had the epidural and so I know what it feels like, and yes it’s wonderful, but I think in some ways there’s something missing,” said Reid.

Reid says the interview was done over e-mail and at the end of July a photographer from Portland drove to her house to take her pictures.

Like the article, Reid agrees the number of women giving birth naturally is low.

“I don’t think that there’s many women that feel that they have the power within them to give birth naturally, I think that society has convinced them that they can’t,” said Reid.

But before making decisions Reid did her research on the web and books, and she had a midwife in the birth pool with her.

“You know my biggest fear was that I was gonna get to the point where I’d want an epidural, which is why I didn’t want to give birth naturally in the hospital,” said Reid.

Despite some fearful moments she’s happy with the outcome.

Drum Roll Please…

I am here to announce that our baby was born on Friday, August 15th at 2:58 in the afternoon and it is a ….

BOY!!

We feel so blessed and are so happy with our new little guy. I have so many things to say and I have no idea where to start.

To begin we have named him Garrett Michael Reid and he surprised all of us by being born weighing a whopping 11 pounds and 3 ounces, 22 inches long with a 15 cm head. He was born at home, in water, with the assistance of my wonderful midwife Sherry and her two assistants, Dorise and Susan. Thanks to Sherry I was able to birth my gigantic little guy without tearing! I am so glad I did not know how big he was going to be. Having no fear over his size definitely allowed me to birth him without complication. I fear that had he been born in a hospital he would have been an emergency c-section or at the least, I would have had an epesiotomy. His head was born under water but Mike had to support me while I stood to birth his shoulders. I’m not going to get to the birth story today but labor began around 5 in the morning (I’ll have to look at my notes) and he was born at 2:58 so it was a short labor. I can not tell you how relieved I was considering that his sister, Camden, was born after 58 hours of labor. Thank you Red Raspberry Leaf Tea! The birth was so wonderful and I am so happy with how things turned out and feel so blessed to have been able to have and give my son the birth experience I have always wanted.

I took new pictures today and yesterday but haven’t had a chance to upload them to the computer yet and Garrett is sleeping on me so I’ll have to do that later. For now here are a few pics. Thank you Emeth and Shelby for being at the birth to help and to take pictures and I’m sorry to Lisa and Shilowe who wanted to be there so bad and weren’t able to.

When I share the birth story I will include pictures of the birth.

Here he is!!

Garrett Michael Reid

TIME Magazine – “Giving Birth at Home”

I was given the wrong date for the original publishing of the TIME article that I was featured in. It is August 8th, not the 18th. The online version of the article came out today and it will hit the newsstands tomorrow.

I have copied the article below or you can see it online at TIME.

For most pregnant women, a key part of their birth plan involves how they’ll get to the hospital. But more and more moms-to-be are skipping that step and planning to deliver at home. Old-school birthing is back in style, with well-read women forsaking obstetricians for midwives and epidurals for warm baths. These women want to give birth in their own bed or tub, with none of the medical interventions that have become staples of modern childbirth, like contraction-inducing medication and C-sections, which now serve as the grand finale in nearly a third of U.S. births. “For a normal, healthy pregnancy, the hospital environment is overkill,” says Jessica Reid, 27, a stay-at-home mom in Pasco, Wash.

Reid had her first baby in a hospital but plans to have her second–due in late August–at home. “Interventions that neither the mother nor father wish to occur are more likely when surrounded by people who view pregnancy as an illness or labor as inherently dangerous,” she says. “I consider birth sacred and a joy, and I intend to birth my baby in a way that reflects that.”

Not since Ina May Gaskin’s natural-childbirth advocacy inspired a generation of home birthers in the 1970s has the practice been such a hot topic–or so hotly contested. While home birthing still accounts for less than 1% of U.S. births, there’s a movement afoot to license more lay midwives to attend home births. Concerned by this development, the American Medical Association (AMA) is urging lawmakers to curb the home-birthing movement, including having the licensing of so-called direct-entry midwives–who do not have nursing degrees–overseen by a state medical-practitioner board.

One of the biggest champions of home birthing is former talk-show host Ricki Lake, who produced the 2008 documentary The Business of Being Born. Lake and other activists contend that fear of litigation has led to more women in labor being tethered to monitors and forced under the knife. And pro–home birthers are pushing the notion that choosing where and how to give birth should be regarded as a civil rights issue. “Legislating against home birth is totally un-American and unfair,” says Joan Bryson, who has worked as a midwife in New York City for 17 years. “We rank 42nd in the world in live births, and we spend more money than anyone else. You can’t blame it on home birth.”

Most planned home births are assisted by a midwife, although some extremists favor so-called free birthing, with no attendant. Home-birth midwives say they accept only low-risk patients, which excludes women with diabetes, high blood pressure, multiple births or any other risky condition. Most midwives–who typically charge from $1,000 to $5,000 per birth, significantly less than the cost of a hospital delivery–travel with basic emergency medical equipment, including oxygen, resuscitation gear and medication to stop hemorrhaging. And all insist they practice preventively and know when–and how–to get a woman to a hospital.

Take, for example, the case of a prolapsed umbilical cord. In roughly 1 out of every 300 births, the cord slips down into the birth canal before the baby does and risks cutting off the baby’s oxygen supply. Kitty Ernst, an expert on midwifery at the Frontier School of Midwifery and Family Nursing in Hyden, Ky., says midwives are trained to push the baby’s head back up off the cord and hold it there–the same way an obstetric nurse would–and get Mom to the hospital as an operating room is being prepared for her. “Your hand gets pretty tired,” she says of this emergency procedure, which she adds can take as little as five minutes if the hospital is across the street.

But it’s those precious minutes that have obstetricians alarmed. “Unless there’s ready access to certain emergency personnel and equipment and even surgery, you’re potentially endangering babies’ and moms’ health and lives,” says Dr. Erin Tracy, an ob-gyn at Boston’s Massachusetts General Hospital who authored two anti-home-birth resolutions approved by the AMA in June. “We’ve all seen scenarios where mothers came in, after very major blood loss, in a very catastrophic state,” she says. “By the time they arrive in the hospital, you’re sort of behind the eight ball in trying to resuscitate these patients. The same thing with neonatal outcome.”

Doctors argue that what may seem like a low-risk pregnancy can go very wrong at the time of delivery–and that making home birth easier to access could lead to a huge step backward. After birthing moved to hospitals en masse in the 1950s, the maternal mortality rate plummeted, from 376 per 100,000 live births in 1940 to 37.1 per 100,000 in 1960. The most recent statistics show 15.1 deaths per 100,000. Many doctors fear that mortality rates will go up with the rising incidence of home birthing, but there are conflicting data on this. A study published in 2005 in the British Medical Journal found that home birthing had a similar mortality rate to that of low-risk hospital births; other studies have suggested a two- or threefold increase in the incidence of neonatal death.

In the absence of clear data, obstetricians in the U.S. are concerned about the recent push by direct-entry midwives to receive licenses so they can practice their craft without fear of prosecution. This summer, Missouri reversed its 25-year ban on non-nurse midwives. Twenty states have similar legislation they are either introducing or planning.

Meanwhile, many obstetricians are trying to meet women halfway, through hospital-affiliated natural-birth centers. These centers are often located near regular hospitals and boast low episiotomy and C-section rates. The decision about where to give birth “is not black and white,” says Lake, who is on the board of a $7 million birthing center set to open in Manhattan in 2010. “It’s amazing, the technology we have. But we are losing the value of normal, natural birth.” Nationwide, the number of birthing centers is growing by about 5% a year. But what might seem like an ideal solution has run into roadblocks, as a few prominent centers have closed in recent years because of high malpractice-insurance costs–which means many natural-birth seekers will still have to choose between hospital and home.

Original Article was featured in TIME Magazine at the following link:

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1830388,00.html

Exciting News – TIME Magazine

Today I got some very exciting news. Some crazy things fell together and I have been interviewed to be in an article that will be featured in next month’s TIME Magazine! Their article addresses the AMA/ACOG resolutions that encourage legislation against lay midwives and home birth. TIME wanted to speak with women who were going to have their first home birth. Tomorrow, a photographer is being sent to my house to take pictures to go in the article. It is all very exciting and I am so happy to be able to speak out on home birth. The magazine is set to hit the stands on August 18th.

The picture above was taken today by my friend Shilowe. I will update the rest of the pregnancy photos that she took of me today at some point tomorrow.

Below is the resolution put forward by AMA (American Medical Association) and ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists):


AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION HOUSE OF DELEGATES

Resolution: 205

(A-08)

Introduced by: American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

Subject: Home Deliveries

Referred to: Reference Committee B

(Craig W. Anderson, MD, Chair)


Whereas, Twenty-one states currently license midwives to attend home births, all using the certified professional midwife (CPM) credential (CPM or “lay” midwives), not the certified midwives (CM) credential which both the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM) recognize[1]; and

Whereas, There has been much attention in the media by celebrities having home deliveries, with recent Today Show headings such as “Ricki Lake takes on baby birthing industry: Actress and former talk show host shares her at-home delivery in new film” [2]; and

Whereas, An apparently uncomplicated pregnancy or delivery can quickly become very complicated in the setting of maternal hemorrhage, shoulder dystocia, eclampsia or other obstetric emergencies, necessitating the need for rigorous standards, appropriate oversight of obstetric providers, and the availability of emergency care, for the health of both the mother and the baby during a delivery; therefore be it

RESOLVED, That our American Medical Association support the recent American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) statement that “the safest setting for labor, delivery, and the immediate post-partum period is in the hospital, or a birthing center within a hospital complex, that meets standards jointly outlined by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and ACOG, or in a freestanding birthing center that meets the standards of the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, The Joint Commission, or the American Association of Birth Centers” [3] (New HOD Policy); and be it further

RESOLVED, That our AMA develop model legislation in support of the concept that the safest setting for labor, delivery, and the immediate post-partum period is in the hospital, or a birthing center within a hospital complex, that meets standards jointly outlined by the AAP and ACOG, or in a freestanding birthing center that meets the standards of the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, The Joint Commission, or the American Association of Birth Centers.” (Directive to Take Action)


Fiscal Note: Implement accordingly at estimated staff cost of $1,929.

Received: 04/28/08


[3] http://www.acog.org/from_home/publications press_releases/nr02-06-06-2.cfm, accessed March 18,2008