Friday, July 24, 2009

Ever wonder how Dad might feel about a home birth?

Here is one Dad's experience with a hospital birth and a home birth. A great big thanks to Chalan Derry who wrote this post for us! He is currently living in the South Texas area.


"My name is Chalan Derry, and I am the father of 6 kids, 5 rowdy boys, and 1 precious little girl. The 2 oldest boys were part of the package deal when I married my wife (Liz). I will tell you about the birth experiences of the other four.

"Joey was born in February of 2001. He was born at the Hospital in Uvalde. This being my first birth experience I was rather nervous. The pregnancy was normal, so I will simply describe the birth. Joey was about 2 weeks over due, It was a long, stressful 2 weeks. The day he was born was the only of the entire month I had plans to do anything else. I had committed to decorating the church hall for a valentines day party. When Liz called me and told me it was time I dropped what I was doing and rushed her to the Hospital. Once there the nurses rushed us into a room, hooked Liz up to all sorts of machines and monitors and left. It was exciting, but also boring. For the next 3 or 4 hours I spent standing next to my wife trying to help her relax, and listening to all sorts of beeps and noises from the monitors. Periodically a nurse would come in and "check" liz and leave again. Eventually the doctor came in and assessed the situation. He informed Liz that he should break her water to help things move along. Liz said she would rather wait a little longer. The doctor returned 45 minutes to an hour later to see how things were moving along, and again informed us he should break the water. Liz still wanted to wait, at which point he said something along the lines of "well I am the doctor". So we consented. After he did things did begin to move rather rapidly. Within 90 minutes Joey was born! It was and still is one of the greatest moments of my life. But It was exhausting. I feel like a jerk saying I was exhausted after my wife gave birth, but I was. I had spent 6 hours mostly standing, no one telling me anything, and worried the entire time. After the birth I didn’t know what to do. I went to the lobby to call friends and relatives about the good news. The Hospital brought in a roll away bed for me to sleep on in my wife’s room. I did enjoy spending this time with my wife, and new son, but I felt very confined to this small hospital room, unfamiliar bed, and lousy hospital food.

"Fast forward about 18 months to the birth of our next son Benny birth. Liz had discussed the possibility of a home birth with me several times, but it wasn’t until she was pregnant without any insurance and the realization that we would be paying for this birth out of pocket, that I finally consented. The birth experience was a lot different. When Liz went into labor, we simply called our midwife (Holly). Liz would inform Holly every couple of hours to let her know how she was doing, and how things were progressing. During this time life kept going on as normal around our house. I fed and prepared our other children for their bedtime. I would of course check on Liz and spend a few moments talking with her. She was much more free to move about and labor in different positions. When the midwife and her assistant arrived and began checking Liz, I was able to slip out of the room, and call relatives and inform them of the situation. In fact I remember sitting at the kitchen table balancing the check book while Liz and the midwives were in the bedroom for much of the labor. When it was time I came in and assisted by holding Liz as she squatted at the foot of the bed to deliver the baby. After the delivery the midwives stayed and cleaned up, checked on Liz and Benny, and other such things. I was not nearly as "exhausted" as I was with Joey’s birth. I was able to sleep next to Liz and Benny in my own bed, and in the morning got up helped the other children get up and going.

"The experiences with our last two were very much the same, except that with our daughter (Reagan) both Liz’s and My mothers were in attendance. It was a very special time for both of them to be able to attend and participate in the birth of their granddaughter.

"After experiencing both a hospital and home birth, I would highly recommend to everyone that they consider a home birth. My experiences with home birth have been very good, and I believe it is a more peaceful, and happy experience overall. "

-Chalan Derry

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

" give birth, it is both very powerful and amazing! It is the biggest high you can achieve, those endorphins really do some magic!"

After reading these words from the following post, I knew what Jennie has to say was intriguing. Can yoga really help a natural birth (yes, that means no meds!) actually seem magical? Read and find out.

Benefits of Yoga During Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting-
by Jennie Woelpern, RYT

Our beautiful Abigail Rose arrived September 5th, 6:44am 6lbs. 11oz, 19" long and most important in perfect health. She gave her mom a quick labor & delivery. Though it was quick I certainly can't say it was easy. I did an all natural birth/physiological birth at the hospital without drugs or intervention. Those were my wishes and my birth plan. I feel it is the number one accomplishment in my life compared to all the things I have ever done!! It is hard to describe in words how it feels to give birth, it is both very powerful and amazing! It is the biggest high you can achieve, those endorphins really do some magic! I still can't believe I did it!! I feel that yoga, the support of my husband, and my sweet friend and doula Stacy was what helped me. My total labor was less then 8 hours. I was home for 6 of those hours. During that time I finished packing my bags for the hospital , organized a little, and did some deep breathing while doing cat/cow pose and puppy pose (featured in the picture above) to help relieve the discomfort I was feeling. This was all while trying to be patient waiting for my husband to arrive from work. If I did not do yoga I don’t know how I would have made it through the labor pains, it was very beneficial. During my entire pregnancy I did yoga everyday in addition to walking a few miles every day. Preparing for labor is like preparing for a marathon you really need to have the mind set and hold your self to it. These are some wonderful books I recommend to help you prepare: Guide to Childbirth by Ina Mae and Natural Healing for the Pregnant Women by Elizabeth Burns, ND

My pregnancy wasn’t all that easy and testing at times. I dealt with a lot of nausea and waves of emotions. However instead of allowing myself to sit around and be inactive, I got up, moved, breathed, and focused on making myself feel as best I could. A couple years before my pregnancy I took an 8 month yoga teacher training program and also a prenatal and postnatal yoga teacher training program. What I learned in those programs not only helped me cope during my pregnancy, but it also helps me in my every day life and situations. It helps me to be a better person, more patient, and to be able to deal with challenges more easily. I do a daily yoga practice every morning to help me start my day centered and to release tension. In addition, I also feel because I did yoga everyday during my pregnancy that it helped my daughter develop to be a calm baby. I feel it is important to do something that will help you be a better person mentally and physically, and that is what yoga does for me. If you haven’t tried yoga yet get yourself some DVDs, books or better yet go to a class where you have the support and the help of a teacher. I would recommend: Preparing for Birth With Yoga by Janet Balaskas and Prenatal Yoga DVD by Shiva Rea.

Abigail and I have taught Mommy & Baby yoga classes together, which is a great way to connect with your baby and other mommy’s. In these classes you are able to build up strength, reduce tension, and learn more about yourself and your baby. I encourage you to go to a class or get some DVDs/books to do at home together. Some great resources: Baby Om (, , and Postnatal Yoga DVD by Shive Rea,

We have recently moved to the surrounding Houston area, so I am no longer teaching in Corpus Christi. However if you are interested in yoga and classes, there are several locations in Corpus Christi. There are yoga classes at the local gyms, Spohn Clinic on the Island, Corpus Christi Yoga Studio and Crossroads Yoga Studio . For more information on yoga you may check out my web ( ) or feel free to contact me at I am always more then happy to answer any questions.

If your interested in my birth story check out my story at my blog:

Monday, July 20, 2009

Now, what is a physiological birth again?

So, this is a post from the STBA blog that I transfered to here:

Saturday, May 2, 2009
A friend emailed me the following question:
Hi Carrie,
What do you mean by "physiological birth"? e.g. with no anesthetic drugs/epidural, etc.? without inducing the birth with tocolytic drugs? or do you mean birth in a bathtub? or giving birth in a football player starting position vs. lithotomy position? or something else entirely?

My response:
I'd like to pose the question to the blog readers:
Physiological is a descriptive word used to depict something as normal and natural... Is a birth with no anesthetic drugs/epidural normal and natural? What about births that are induced by tocolytic drugs? Are they normal? Are pools of water or half clad squatting women normal and natural in childbirth?

What do you think?

Posted by Carrie K at 3:18 PM

LizD said...
I personally think physiological birth implies that a woman is able and enabled to listen to her body during the labor/birth process as completely, with as little intervention, as possible. If that means she walks around during the majority of her labor, moans or screams, slow dances, or sits in one spot, that should be facilitated as best as possible. It is also important for her to do this in whatever location she feels safest.
May 12, 2009 7:53 PM

Beth Overton, CPM said...
Hey Carrie, I'm going to try and write an article about this question for you. I really prefer the term "physiological" to "natural" because I find that "natural" has TOO broad a meaning these days. It is really sad to me that too many people think "natural" only means the baby was born vaginally and not be c-section. There is NOTHING natural about being strapped to monitors, told to lie still on your back while you are given all kinds of drugs to control YOUR birth. That is NOT natural. But sadly, too many people in our culture don't understand natural birth. So when we use the term "physiological" it makes them think more. :-)
May 13 2009 6:23 AM

Monday, July 13, 2009

The facts on CPMs- Important?

Ever wonder what the facts are about Certified Professional Midwives and at-home-births? Ever think they could be so powerful, so touching, so important?

Here's a great video presented by the Big Push for Midwives

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Natural Family Planning and Physiological Birth- By Ann Craigs

Ann has come up with our first real "guest" blog. Thank you Ann! Here it is:
It’s fun to see people’s eyes grow wide when I mention my six physiological births. Four were attended by outsiders and two were assisted by my husband. It’s sad to me however, that when I discuss physiological family planning, people are unaware of what I mean. I learned about natural childbirth from a high school class. I learned about natural family planning from a book.
Not knowing what in the world the title of the book meant, I checked out Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing. It was from La Leche League during the time that I was nursing my first baby. The author, Sheila Kippley, absolutely fascinated me.
Did anyone really space babies like this these days? I almost dismissed the idea; I am a nurse and had never heard of such a thing. Now, skip ahead with me a couple of months. Try to imagine my amazement to discover that my breastfeeding pattern, labeled “ecological breastfeeding” by Kippley, was hormonally keeping my monthly fertility cycles away.
My cute baby nursed frequently day and night. We took a nap together each day, plus delayed solids and liquids until around six months. Since my son hated pacifiers, swings, babysitters and schedules, we avoided them. I nicely went without any menstrual spotting or bleeding for over a year.
Although women breastfeed differently, all these very specific behaviors, named “Seven Standards” by Kippley, usually result in impressive, eco-friendly child spacing. I repeated these special circumstances with all my children. Sheila’s 2008 book, The Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding has newer research that should definitely be in nursing school courses. However, the book is written for ordinary moms. I have met many women for years, who are equally pleased with this as I am.
I next learned a broader form of ‘physiological’ family planning. When the breastfeeding infertility stops, I monitor my temperature and cervical signs daily. If not planning a child, we abstain on the fertile days and enjoy marital intimacy on the naturally infertile days. I feel so clean being patch-free, pill-free, shot-free, and latex-free. It’s similar to birthing without drugs, devices, and interventions. I am very respectful of my husband who ‘two-steps’ with me on this. Just as behaviors indicate different stages of labor, so my body signs, jotted down quickly on a chart, indicate my phases of fertility and infertility.
I am indebted to Sheila’s husband, John, as well. This couple just published a slim 2009 book, Natural Family Planning, The Complete Approach. I got a coil-bound version, perfect for home study. In addition to charting, breastfeeding, and special situations, one chapter explains why some use this for moral reasons and another chapter has true stories of how this has improved women’s childbearing years. To preview it, see a free downloadable form at
Ann enjoys all her children, physical and spiritual, that she has been around over the years while volunteering as a nurse, breastfeeding counselor and NFP instructor. She enjoys fishing and knitting and wouldn't trade her life for anyone's - well, maybe trade with a midwife :) Recent highlights in her life include the first grandbaby, plus seeing John and Sheila Kippley receive an honorary doctorate from Franciscan University , both events in the winter of 2008.

Anonymous said...
I had a similar experience to Ann's--learning about ecological breastfeeding and natural family planning through alternative means. I remember mentioning nfp to my doctor before I got married and he dismissed it. I wish that the medical establishment had good data on this method. I would never go back to artificial birth control methods. Natural family planning treats my feminine nature with the dignity it deserves. It treats my marriage with the dignity is deserves.

I have successfully used ecological breastfeeding to postpone my menstrual cycle for up to 15 months. It works to postpone pregnancy and nurtures a beautiful relationship with the new baby. Doctors need to know more about this method and be able to offer more options to their patients.

T Kimmel, mother of 7 and a baby on the way