Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Guest Blogger: My Husband on BIRTH




I know this is a little unexpected. But I'm going to have my first guest blogger: my husband. During my last two weeks away from regular blogging we had a lot of firsts. Two of the biggest were: (1) my husband's dissertation defense (he's now Dr. Miller - WHOOOOOOOT!) and (2) our 3rd baby's (Brighton's) 1st birthday. I've been wanting to write about both for the last 10 days and it's just been killing me to see each day slip by without my finding the time to etch my thoughts in cyberspace.

So....today's post will be a quick recap of Brighton's birth in celebration of his first birthday. Brighton Lee was born March 27th, 2008. After two prior unnecessary cesarean sections, Brighton came peacefully in a blessed home birth. It was the most amazing, empowering birth and seriously flipped our world upside down as we discovered just how backward we'd previously seen and understood the nature of birth. I've stolen (with permission) this small section from a "note" my husband wrote on facebook a couple months ago to use in lieu of my own "birth" ramblings today. I love it when a man really gets it.

Let's hear it for Lee: the doctor, the daddy, my husband and dearest friend.

We have three children. They are Brayla (5), Brandon (3), and Brighton (10 mos.). We're tired. Moreover, we lost a pregnancy between our first and third children, so Shaye has basically been pregnant or nursing for about six years. She's really tired. In any case, when Shaye was pregnant with Brayla, we did everything you're supposed to do…going to the doctor, listening and trusting the medical establishment, buying the most popular books, etc., etc. Basically we were stupid…we just didn't know it. Rather than depending on a body of collective tradition that would help us understand the very human prospect of childbirth, we trusted an establishment that had mechanized, sterilized, and in many ways dehumanized childbirth. What did we know? We followed the herd. Unfortunately, while that often turns out more or less fine for many (although we still question some of the outcomes of the "way things are done"), for us it resulted in an "emergency" C-Section (we no longer believe it was an emergency, btw…).

We were completely unprepared for the issues resulting from a normal birth, much less a C-Section (and it didn't help that Brayla was born on the first day of my second year in the doctoral program). We did get pregnant only a few months later, but lost that pregnancy. On the next pregnancy, we trusted the wisdom of the medical establishment (and followed the herd) and did a planned C-Section (also, I was due to begin a new job three states away before Brandon's due date). We now regret the planned C-Section for the many outcomes that we believe arose from it, not least of which was the longer recovery for Shaye.

With Brighton, then, we chose to take over our own childbirth experience. We got our hands on books that were not in line with the herd's group think, Shaye did lots of research on childbirth in general but also VBAC's (vaginal birth after cesarean), and we decided to do a home birth with a certified nurse midwife. Unfortunately, since this is not legal in Nebraska, and wasn't at the time in South Dakota, we had to cross two state lines to have this birth in our midwife's home in Wyoming. What a trip (literally and figuratively). And we couldn't be happier with the outcome. We've even become advocates for midwifery and home births (especially Shaye has). And mother and child were healthy and happy from the first day. One other note, it was the coolest thing ever to get to witness and help my wife do this most incredible human thing.

The following shot was taken just moments after she pushed Brighton into the world. Gotta love all the beautiful smiles!


And here's a shot of Brighton on his 1st birthday. What a precious baby boy!



Happy "Birth"day, sweet boy! Mommy and Daddy love you longer and longer...

If you care to see pictures of Brighton's 1st birthday party, you can see them on my mom's blog HERE and if you want to read the entire birth story, you can always find it HERE (best viewed with Internet Explorer).

38 ♥ thoughtful comments ♥:

♥ bfs~"Mimi" ♥ said...

I'm looking forward to reading this. No time this morning, but I'll get to it!

Are these my pix? :-)

Shay said...

This last picture says everything!

Congrats and happy birthday little Brighton!

Rocksee said...

I think your hubs did a great job!!

Pam said...

What a great post! And that family picture is a real treasure. Congrats, too, to DR. Miller. Way to go!

Ms Perfect said...

Thanks for the comment. Its really easy to get the channel started and you can add a million videos. I've seen some people who have years worth of videos. Let me know when you start your channel. We can subscribe to eachother!

Southern Rose said...

Wow, what a story. I didn't realize home births w/midwives were not legal in some states. I have recently been going through a series of e-mails my husband, his parents, and I wrote back and forth while we lived overseas years ago (my mil printed them out and gave them to us bound together) - a lot about me and the kids and what was going on at the time. I love reminiscing and reading what my husband told his parents about us, especially when he was deployed.

www.southernrose.wordpress.com

Ronnica said...

Happy birthday to your son!

Jess said...

What a beautiful family you have Shaye. Your hubby did a wonderful job with his post. I read about your birth story a while back, and even tho I'm done with child rearing, it's good info for my friends who still are NOT done. I appreciate it.

I didn't make it to the party -- I ended up having a number of errands to run and things to get ready for Shelby's concert last night. Time just goes too quickly -- I'm sure you know the feeling. Our kids just keep us running. I, too plan to do more with my friends. My kiddos are getting a little bit older, and I'm hoping to make a little more time for fun stuff for me, too!

Love your blog -- keep it up! TTYL!

BlogBaby said...

Hello!

Just stopped in from SITS...

So glad you had such a great birth with Brighton, he is ADORABLE! Most new parents really are so clueless (mine included) and we do rely much too heavily and what "they" tell us we should do. Glad you followed your instincts and it paid off for you.

BlogBaby

Kelly Deneen said...

Wow!! What an amazing story!! :)

Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier today!

Meanest Mommy said...

Great story & great pics. Happy Birthday, Brighton. It was great to meet you a few weeks ago. :)

Lisa H.

Texan Mama @ Who Put Me In Charge said...

That's a really cool story. Happy Birthday to Brighton!

Just stopping by from SITS. Have a great day!

Farmgirl Paints said...

Oh what a sweet family you all are. I am so impressed. You are one tough cookie to have a home birth. I needed drugs;) Happy Birthday Brighton!

Joni said...

Hi there Shaye! I know you and your family from the ICAN list serve. What a pleasure to read (again) about your family's journey to homebirth and vaginal birth after cesarean HBAC. Those letters taste just as delicious as that birthday cake! LOL
Abrazos from Guadalajara, Mexico
Joni Parto en Plenitud

Heather @ Sugar N Spice Mostly Nice said...

I love to hear the Dad's side of things. They have such a totally different perspective on it.

Happy Belated Birthday Brighton!

♥ bfs~"Mimi" ♥ said...

Finally got to read Lee's post ~ very good! Still hard to believe that a year has gone by since he called me at work to tell me I had a new grandson. Wow! What a day that was!

Cate said...

Shaye...love the guest poster!
It's great to hear how a natural childbirth changed you both and your view of the medical profession.

For my second birth, we had pregnancy "complications". By that I mean that I had an ultrasound, they found an "abnormality", then kept looking and found another...
I wrote about it for Eco Child's Play.
In the end, it wasn't just that we "got the prize" (Elijah), it was that we finally took control. I was at the hospital for a full 20 minutes before he was born, 10 of which my medical midwife and the doctor observing her were also in the room.
It wasn't how I would have wanted and Mark and I still look back and say, "We could have had an unassisted birth" because it WAS really only us in there. WE knew when I went through transition. WE knew when I should push. And Mark caught Elijah. I was kind of like, "Why am I here? So you guys can get in my way?!"

I get how easy it is to get tangled in the medicalization of everything. I still gave birth, quickly and beautifully and naturally, for both sons. But they were far different from one another. (You can read about it at ECP: http://ecochildsplay.com/2009/03/12/the-medicalization-of-my-natural-birth/)

Sorry to hijack YOUR comments section! Happy birthday to Brighton!
Incidentally, our boys are a week and a half apart. Elijah was born on the 12th!
And Happy "Birth" Day to you, your husband, and your older children, who will always remember when their baby brother was born. What a cool gift!

Niecey said...

Fantastic post! Happy birthday Brighton, congrats to hubby, and thanks for this great story.

"FINE"al thoughts... said...

I followed the herd the first two times as well, then had two beautiful home births which was the most amazing and humbling and empowering thing, just like you said. My son was even born in a pool of water in our bedroom. LOVED it! Unfortunately we had to have our fifth child at the hospital because there was not a midwife around we could have help us but I have to say that home is WAAAAAY better than the hospital! I could go on and on about it but I'd be preachin' to the choir in this case. Happy Birthday to your cute little guy!

Clarateaches said...

Happy Birthday, little Brighton! You still are as adorable as the day you were born!

And, Happy HBA2C Day, Mama Shaye! You look fantastic, and so happy. What a lovely story, as told by dad (Ahem, Dr. Dad!) Lots of love to your whole family.

(And hello up there, Joni! I know you from the CBI list!)

Christy said...

you have really cute kids!! I love the names all being "b" names!!

Just stopping from SITS to say hello! I have a month of giveaways going on - the first one is: http://camarble.blogspot.com/2009/04/birthday-giveaway-1.html

Mommyof2girlz said...

Hi SITSta, thanks for stopping by this morning! Your little man is adorable, happy birthday to him!

Musings of the Mrs. said...

Thanks for sharing that. As I try to get pregnant, I will need to decide what I will do, and I have considered home birth (my husband currently will not, but we have time). I may have to pass this along.

Amanda said...

Thank you so much for sharing that! I'm just starting to research all this stuff for the pregnancy we're *fingers crossed* planning in a few months. There is so much information out there, and it's so overwhelming. I can't think of a better place to look for leads than from moms who've done it! Right now I'm thinking home water birth . . .

Kristen said...

Awww so cute!! Saying hi from SITS!

hellosweetworld said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog the other day! Have a great weekend!

Sarah said...

Wow! What a great post and beautiful story....yes you are in the busy stage of kids! :) Ours are now 12, 10 1/2 & almost 8 --- it is easier, but wowsers it was challenging when they were little. Thanks for finding my blog....I wonder how you found it?

PetalsYoga said...

What a sweet letter from Daddy. Can't wait to read more. Visiting from SITS.

Joanne + Michelle, kookie girls clothing said...

Happy Birthday to the cutie!
thanks for visiting us!

FranticMommy said...

good job Mommy & Daddy! What a GREAT story!

Lora said...

What a beautiful family you have!

Visiting you from SITS today :0)

I am Harriet said...

That's great!
Stopping by from SITS to say hello!

Shauna said...

L♥ve and Hugs to you my precious friend :)

Papoose said...

Shaye or we know you as Mama Miller. You won the March Papoose Blog Follower prize. E-mail me at amcam529@sbcglobal.net so we can make arrangements for delivery.

Amy
www.shoppapoose.com

Nicole said...

What a great post and your hubby did a great job! happy birthday the 1 year old!

Amy said...

This is great! I have six children, we followed with the first three and then had the second three at home, which was much preferred by all! As an aspiring midwife I hope to assist in delivering many babies at home someday!

~Tara said...

Lee, ahem- DR. Lee did a wonderful job explaining your journey in a striaght to the point, just the facts ma'am kinda way! Way to go for the guest blogger!

What a beautiful picture of all of you after Brighton was born and I absolutely adore the pic of you two at the end...

Gina said...

Being young when my first was born led to a medical birth. Which. I. Hated. and I swore I would not be back in a hospital unless someone were dying. (I also don't take my children to well child check ups- but that is another story altogether.)
The last 4 were born in the privacy and security of my home in their own time. We had some minor complications, but they were dealt with in a professional and quick manner.
Hooray for home births!

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