The Forever Endeavor

1 + 1 = 4

The Angel and The Devil July 26, 2008

Filed under: 2nd Trimizzle — katecosby @ 2:26 am

Wednesday afternoon my colleague Sandy and I decided to go get some Starbucks coffee to beat the mid-week and mid-day slump. I had my heart set on a decaf caramel frappacino with whip…until, while walking across City Center…the salty/spicy/greasy fragrance of Popeyes chicken enticed me elsewhere.

That’s right, I went out for coffee and came back with a two-piece chicken meal with a bisquit and honey. These are the stories that will be repeated during Cougar Dan’s childhood.

 

When Did Kate Become Such a Hippie? July 24, 2008

Filed under: 2nd Trimizzle — katecosby @ 5:40 am

It was in the 10th grade in Mr. O’Boyle’s Civics class (shout-out to sister Natalie) that I first learned that I was a liberal. We took a quiz which consisted of a series of questions about our political opinions and at the end was a big whopping donkey. Friends and family can vouch that I have always been left of center. Even when I considered myself a Christian, I would argue that Jesus was a feminist who was opposed the death penalty and in favor of gay marriage.

Yet my well-earned pink stripes began to fade when I moved out to California. Because in comparison to the nutty folks out here…I’m basically a libertarian (shout-out to cousin Bradley). And that’s not just because I favor legalizing pot and opening the borders.

I find myself most at odds with my peers in California when it comes to things like environmental issues and 9-11 conspiracy theory. I think the tree-sitters on the Berkeley campus are wasting their time. I’m unconcerned about the possible harms from plastic, microwaves and cell phones. I tend to eat well…but that’s mostly because of my good up-bringing and the seductive nature of natural food labeling. I heard someone once spew the epithet “npr liberal” and I think it stung so much precisely because it fit so well.

Okay, i know what you are thinking “what the hell does this have to do with Cougar Dan?”

If you had asked me about home birth 6 months ago I would have told you what I have been telling people for years, “The epidural is one of the major accomplishments of the feminist movement.” Who wouldn’t be in favor of taking the pain out of birth? Isn’t the pain of birth supposed to be “women’s punishment” for original sin anyway?

Furthermore, I had always been (and am still) sensitive to the culture of judgment around women, pregnancy and motherhood. Home birth advocates and those nuts at the La Leche League have always struck me as card-carrying members of the “what women should do with their bodies” club.

Spare me, right?

But a couple months before I got pregnant Natalie gave me a couple books about birth. One by Marsden Wagner, is a strong criticism of the birth industry in the United States. I found Dr. Wagner to be, like many doctors, incredibly arrogant and condescending.* Nevertheless, the weight of his experience and the scientific evidence presented in the book was very compelling.

But what person would make a decision based on scientific evidence alone? There are other reasons…emotional and personal which have also contributed to my decision to opt for a home birth, rather than a hospital or birth center birth.

A second experience which influenced my choice happened on a regular day like any other day. I was sitting in my living room contemplating my home. Home is an important place for me now. In my childhood I moved quite a bit…and it now gives me comfort to have stayed in one place for so long. This August, Howie and I will celebrate our 3rd year living in our apartment. I will have to check with my parents on this…but I’m fairly certain that this is the longest I have ever lived anywhere.

Feeling content in my living room, I began to imagine what it would be like to give birth at home versus in a hospital. I imagined the things I would have available to me: my bed, my shower, my kitchen, my clothes, my music etc. I imagined being able to walk around my neighborhood while in labor…thinking of the beautiful trees, sidewalks and arts and crafts houses. I thought about how I love to be at home when I’m not feeling well and about how rotten I feel when I have to go somewhere else.

And that was it, at that moment in my living room I could see myself doing this thing at home…in the place where I’m most comfortable…in the place where I can build a support network that will be especially focused on me and my needs.

Obviously, these two anecdotes are not the complete story. But they do show how I came to be on this home birth path. Since these experiences a lot of reading, discussing with Howie, interviewing of midwives, and consulting of professionals has happened. In the next couple weeks I hope to reveal more about our plans for “the birth.”** And, since we’ve invited all of you to participate in this exercise with us by giving you this blog address…we welcome your thoughtful comments about the path we’re on.

More to come… k

*This statement does not apply to any of the Dr’s that I work with, am friends with or am related to (even by marriage).

** My mom was pointing out the other day that it’s funny to refer to it as “the birth” when after “the birth” it will be “XX’s birth.”

 

Midwives, Licensure, and ACOG July 23, 2008

Filed under: 2nd Trimizzle — katecosby @ 11:25 pm

An interesting article about the recent ACOG statement regarding homebirth midwifery.

http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/blog/2008/07/18/whos-catching-your-baby

 

Meet the Midwives July 22, 2008

Filed under: 2nd Trimizzle — katecosby @ 5:54 am

The number one cool thing about having midwives is that they come to your house. This past Wednesday we were visited by our midwives Racha and Maura from Nest Midwifery. Our first appointment consisted of going over lots of paper work and talking about my pregnancy. I had to provide them with all of my recent tests at Kaiser…which included things like my blood type (B-Positive), whether I tested positive for anemia (nope), and whether I have a history of any genetic illnesses. They gave me some informed consent forms about prenatal testing, sonograms and their services which include prenatal, birth, and postnatal care.

Here’s how the typical home birth midwifery arrangement works in the Bay Area. For about $4,000 midwives will provide you with prenatal, birth and post natal care. All of this occurring in your home. The appointments happen monthly until the 7 month. Then biweekly until 36 weeks. Then weekly until Cougar Dan is born. The midwives also come and stay with you for the whole birth whether it’s 12 hours or 36 hours. Then after the baby’s born they stay for 4 hours (or until you are settled in and breastfeeding). Then they come the day after the baby’s born, two days after that, two days after that, and then a week after that. In other words, it’s a lot of appointments and a lot of home care.

Here’s some answers to some obvious questions:

1. Do your midwives have admitting privileges at a hospital? No. The midwives are trained to assist in normal deliveries of healthy babies at homes and in birth centers. (Maura and Racha only do home birth) If there were a problem, I can go the hospital any time. However, upon admission, I will be under the care of that hospital not my midwives.

2. What happens if I need to go to a hospital? Well, as Michelle stated in the comments of the last blog entry, I live 3 blocks from Alta Bates. If there was an emergency I would go there. However, I’m still insured under Kaiser and can go to any Kaiser hospital- so if something else happens- like the labor goes on a long time, or there’s some other issue that is not an emergency I will go to Kaiser Oakland.

3. Does your health insurance cover your midwifery care? No. Please write to your senator.

4. Is home birth safe? Yes, for normal, uncomplicated births they are very safe. Here are some resources to consider:

Outcomes of planned home births with certified professional midwives: large prospective study in North America [Full-text article]
Kenneth C Johnson, senior epidemiologist, Betty-Anne Daviss, project manager
BMJ 2005;330:1416 (18 June), doi:10.1136/bmj.330.7505.1416

Outcomes of intended home births in nurse-midwifery practice: a prospective descriptive study.
Murphy PA, Fullerton J
Obstet Gynecol 1998 Sep;92(3):461-470

Meta-analysis of the safety of home birth
Birth 1997 Mar;24(1):4-13; discussion 14-6
Olsen O

———————————-

In response to the two questions about what cravings I have had… let me think. I think the thing that tastes best right now is tomato, basil and olive oil and salt and pepper. I’ve been eating a lot of fresh peaches as well. The summer is such a good time for good produce!!!

Also, I realize that the post above…while informational does not give much information about why I want a home birth rather than a hospital birth. I hope to get into the nitty gritty of that question in my next blog post.

 

Turn the Beat Around!

Filed under: 2nd Trimizzle — howiecockrill @ 5:43 am

At our first home visit from our midwives, we got to hear our baby’s heartbeat.

Listen!

heartbeat1

 

My Dearest Readers July 19, 2008

Filed under: 2nd Trimizzle — katecosby @ 12:31 am

Well it has been several weeks since i have written on this blog. I have become a real lazy pants (that’s Ms. Lazy Pants to you) and outsourced all the writing to my incredibly attractive and witty husband. Well now he’s out of town and this poor website is languishing in his absence. So here I am to fill you in.

I am currently 16 weeks and 5 days pregnant. Woot! Thus I am in the phase of pregnancy where you are able to walk through walls and eat small pizzas in a single bound. In other words, I feel great. I also look pregnant which is never ending fun for friends and family who like to oggle my changing body.

Never being one to shy away from attention…pregnancy has done great things for my self image. It’s genius: since you are pregnant it doesn’t matter if you look pregnant. It’s no wonder the Mormon’s and Catholics are said to have such high self-esteem.*

I’ve also begun learning about birth, babies, breast-feeding. I have always thought that no issue could engender as much debate as the one I spend my professional time working on. But I think that parenting methods (Attachment Parenting vs. Parent Directed Feeding) and place of birth (home, hospital, or birth center) may divide people even more deeply then “shmasmortion.” These issues may even be able to predict the outcome of our next presidential election. I’d love to see a debate between O’Bama and McCain on co-sleeping vs. bassinet sleeping.

Anyway, I have little time to provide a full update of my life right now so instead I will give you a list of upcoming blog features:

Cougar Dan MP3 – If you’ve been wanting to add CD’s heartbeat to your latest mash-up your chance is coming soon.

Cougar Dan’s Sex – We have an ultrasound August 8th and will be revealing it on the website…stay tuned.

Home Delivery- It’s not just for newspapers! We’re planning one so we will fill you in on our thinking about the issue and introduce you to our midwives. We’ll provide a special comments page so that you can tell us how crazy you think we are…and how your aunt would have died during birth if she hadn’t been in a hospital.

Let us know if you have any burning questions that haven’t been answered on the blog. We’re here to please you.

* this is a total fabrication and not based on science.

 

The Littlest Patriot July 9, 2008

Filed under: 2nd Trimizzle — howiecockrill @ 9:06 am

July 4th was lotsa fun. We went up to Ashland, Oregon, and camped with some friends. Actually Kate and I slept in a cottage in a bed while our friends camped out.  (thanks so much to Hannah & her parents!)

Highlights included:

  • small town July 4th parade with Lady Abe Lincoln, Uncle Sam on a Segue, Gitmo protesters and, randomly, a poodle
  • incredible birthday haiku book (thanks Kate!)
  • intimate marimba concert. mesmerizing.
  • good food like pizza, eggs, bacon and sandwiches. also watermelon.
  • late night music jam plus tequila from the bottle
  • backyard frisbee golf with curious hazards
  • met nice new people

Oh, and we also went to the Klamath River on my 30th birthday.

It was surprisingly roasty, so the icy river felt awesome between rigorous sessions of lying in beach chairs and reading magazines.

As you can see, our work ethic is strong. Birthdays are no time for having fun.

And what does any of this have to do with Kate’s pregnancy?

Answer: She was actually able to go on this trip.

She’s in her 15th week or so, and seems to have moved out of the 24 hour morning sickness (at least for now).

Aside from needing to eat all the time and sleeping a good bit, she felt pretty good. There were certainly no P.O.V.s (pull over vomits) or any V.O.P.s (vomit on plants).

And thus went Cougar’s first July 4th weekend. Cougar is a true patriot.

I know because at first he questioned his surroundings and was irritable, which made Kate nauseated. But now he has gotten with the program and started showing proper respect for his surroundings.

You can take this fetal patriotism metaphor as far as you want. But I’m done.