And Thats How You Have A Vaginal Breech Delivery in Houston To hear Angela tell it, her baby called me to him as her doula, crafting the perfect birth team. And later he called the perfect doctor to him, because if the stars and moon had not lined up just so, this birth would of had a way different ending. Angela is a gifted meditation teacher, and she co~teaches with her horse Takoda, so we hit it off well and I was pumped to be her doula. Her husband Tracey wasn’t quite as sold in the beginning on me as the best doula fit, but in the end it took all key players and I was super glad that i had landed this doula gig. Thank you Tracey for taking a chance with me. On Thursday morning during an ENOURMOUS storm like we get in Houston, I started getting texts that A’s water was leaking, mild contractions. She was 39 weeks, first baby, and I seriously was like we have at least another two weeks, just go back to sleep, its the storm and just probably vaginal goodge in over drive. Two hours later I get a phone call from her hubs, and he’s like, “Uh no Rowan, this is strong.” So we strategize a plan cause by now we are gonna need an ark to get to the medical center, and they are an hour away, but this papa is a TEXAS STUD and he assures me that he can get her to the hospital in his Texas sized truck. So I’m all like, well, could you come pick me up? Because I’m pretty sure the Metro Rail does not have submarine capacity and my Honda Element is pretty low, and Rock Steady says, “sure, see ya.” They swing by and get me, and Angela is working hard in the front seat of the truck, and I am NOT DIGGING AT ALL the way her belly looks, but when I try to crawl over into the front seat of the big truck she says,” DONT TOUCH ME ROWAN!!!” which from this lady was some strong words. So I sat back nicely into my chair. Hubs drops Mama A and I at the front door of the hospital in the med center, and these crazy town valets are all like “SIT DOWN!” and keep telling us we need a wheel chair, and then again a transport aide accosts us and tell us we NEED a wheel chair, that she has to SIT DOWN, to which I pretty much tell them to step off, I have it handled. Contractions are coming every two minutes or so, and she is doing so well, and also telling me she’s ready for this to be over. Oh, and that she doesn’t want to sit down. I snag her a wheel chair, sling all our stuff in it, the wheel chair stabilizes her walking, and gives her something to hold onto during contractions (I locked the wheels), and she reiterates that for serious she does not want to sit down. We run into PJ the Placenta Picker Upper in the lobby, and I let her know we’ll be needing her soon. A couple of detours later we end up in triage, hubs catches up with us, and right before she gets checked, I suggest she grab a pee. I go in with her to the bathroom, and she’s getting sweaty and red faced and frankly I’m concerned because this woman has been so smooth and quiet and surreal in her calmness, and now she’s getting a little erratic. When she sits her undies reveal a black tarry mess, baby poop, so I grab the midwife and reassure Angela that we need to let the midwife see this. The midwife gets her onto the bed, and I can tell by the check that 1) something’s up and 2) that baby is real LOOOOOOOW. Midwife calls for an ultrasound, and a quickie reveals that baby is breech, and that the midwife had in fact felt a bum. Hospital policy is all breech births are surgical births, so we are quickly running down the hallway to the elevator for the next floor, the surgical floor. I’m running after grabbing all the bags including the midwifes (yes, I accidentally stole her purse) and whispering in Tracey’s ear that the only slim chance in hell we have for a vaginal birth is if an experienced doctor is the back up and will allow it. No such luck, newer totally awesome doctor is the doc on call. Staring down the gun of a C Section. We get in the surgical prep suite, and y’all its a tiny tiny room and there are like 5-8 people in there, and now mama is saying, “Its burning!!!’ and the midwife is encouraging her not to push and keeping her hand close by, and that’s when the midwife says, “I think we are going to probably have a general anesthesia, it’s to late for an epidural.” Y’all, I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t look into the eyes of this beautiful, effervescent woman after the fact and tell her that if she had just pushed her baby out in that OR prep room that she could of avoided a general anesthesia surgical birth. So I’m all shaking, standing next to her, and I put my lips to her ear and say, “You still have choices. If you don’t want a surgical birth, push.” And there is pretty much no part of me that didn’t think that bad ass midwife couldn’t deliver this baby. And I’m right here, happy to assist. The midwife, by the way, didn’t like me saying this at all. And said, “What are you telling her Rowan?” to which I replied, “That she has choices, but she’s gotta own them.” So now Angela is saying, “My baby’s ok? Why are we doing this? Why am i getting a c-section?!!!!” and the nurse starts yell-telling her that she has an unproven pelvis, that the baby’s head could get entrapped, and is over talking everyone else. I get it, it’s an excitable moment. So now Angela is yelling, “I don’t want a c-section, I can do it, I can do it, my baby’s ok, I can do it,” and then the sea of people parts and a kind faced older doctor who immediately brings a sense of peace and calm to the room walks in. And by older I mean more my age as opposed to my adult children. The doc looks at mama for a long moment, and then the midwife, who says, “Small baby, right here, roomy pelvis,” and stands back and looks. And looks. “I can do it, I can do it!” More looking. And then after a small eternity doc says, “I’ll deliver vaginally if you only listen to me,” and Angela looks at her husband, says, “What do you think?” to which Rock Steady replies, “I think you should push our baby out.” Lets just think about this for a minute. It is totally hitting the fan, and everyone is either telling you that your baby’s head is gonna get stuck in your wife’s vag or something else might go really wrong, and he says, “Push our baby out.” He was educated, he’d read the books, gone to class, but mostly, he believed in his wife. He believed in his wife. That was stronger than all the circus going on around them. #RockSteady So now it’s really crazy town in there, because we need to get her off the surgery transport bed and onto a different bed, one that breaks down for delivery. She gets moved over, Rock Steady on one side, me hand holding and leg holding on the other side, and midwife and Miagi doctor coach her to push against closed mouth, pressed lips. Out of her vagina comes a blue scrotum, and all I can think of is that OF COURSE this man has a baby that’s born balls first. Sheesh. Then we have a little tush, and Papa says to Mama, “Boo, I see him, I see our baby!” with a little hitch in his voice and it was so sweet. Next a torso and then some legs that are STICK STRAIGHT and kinda kicking/goose stepping, and when only the head remains and the anxiety is through the roof and it is WALL TO WALL people, like really think a Black Friday rush at the electronics store, Angela says, “I’m tired, I can’t push anymore!” Panic at the disco. Seriously, the energy of the room was like flames from a Nasa rocket at blast off. Anxiety to the max. I think to myself, no way sister, one more push and she’s gonna have a baby in her arms, so I encourage her to have one more strong push, push hard with a closed mouth, and pop, out comes the baby! A little cheer goes out, but its kinda subdued, so somewhere between a golf clap and a tennis cheer, because everyone who wasn’t busy in all of Houston is now in this room, and we are all AMAZED at this woman and her husband, and the doctor and midwife. Baby and mama and papa are cooing and loving up, and he’s on her chest and pinking up, and I can see where his little foot has been up by his ear, his legs jutting out like little sticks. At one point the doctor tells me to put her leg down, which I had completely forgotten I was even holding, and starts to address the placenta. I look over at the midwife, and mouth one word,” Fuuuuuuuck,” because as she says “The stars and moon aligned, and we got a magical birth,” and I don’t even know who Dawn is, but I want to kiss her on the mouth. Why? Because the doctor, the one doc of a small pool who even has breech delivery privileges at this hospital, who somehow happened to be on another floor, was called by Dawn, and told what was going on. THANK YOU! She maybe doesn’t want a kiss from a queer doula, but I officially from now until the end of time super heart her. #LOVEFOREVAH The best description I have for the doc comes from Rock Steady, who said, “That doc, he was just as cool as the other side of the pillow.” You got that right. Thank you Tracey, Angela and baby Garner for inviting me to the party. I’m a better person for being there. #gratitude. Wanna know more about Rowan’s doula services? http://doulamatch.net/profile/12605/rowan-twosisters
Hey Loves! First Labor Whispering Workshop went really well! Check out the fun we had! Shout out to Celina for assisting and keeping it legit! And a mega load of sharing, learning, think tanking and OMG collaboration. Big love to Labor Enabler, Village Birth and Babies, and Birth Spring for co-presenting. It was pretty magical, the synergy. I’m really blessed. So next one is getting scheduled for July 25 &26th And in case you were wondering what other shenanigans I’m hosting, you can scope ’em here. “Workshops with an Urban Curandera.“
How’d you like to have this guy at your birth? http://youtu.be/RvV3nn_de2k One foot on the brake, one foot on the gas; a perfect metaphor for trying to birth with anxiety. So we gotta take the foot off the brakes. Birth Brakes = Anxiety Let’s think about this for a minute, the more gas you give, the harder you push on the brake. What happens then? Nothing. A big nothing. Not even 55. We gotta take a foot off the brake. And just to review ya, anxiety is one of the top three reasons a baby goes “overdue.” Anxiety eats birth hormones. And it doesn’t really matter who has the jitters, ’cause that energy is in the room, in your head, in your world. So, AT ALL COSTS you gotta get that out and gone and away from you. Gone. Here is the science of it as explained by Michel Odent. “In order to give birth, women must feel secure without feeling observed, in a warm enough place.” -Michel Odent, French M.D. and water birth pioneer So that’s really the first step. Reduce anxiety. Up next week are practical ways to ratchet down the anxiety and up the security. Boom. Look, a cute baby! Awwww, Cairn was born at 12:33am on August 24 weighing 9lbs, and measuring 20 1/4 in long. Planned vbac homebirth that became hospital induction vbac because Mom Christina was 41wks and 5days. And now a word from our sponsor… This week’s sponsor is Labor Enabler, a local rockstar doula by the name of Kathleen Wilson. She’s part of TLC Doula Group, and is currently taking applications for her next doula apprentice. So, tell her I said hello, k? Oh, and we had a bit of a mix-up here at UC headquarters last week which resulted in you receiving a Punk Rock Hoops newsletter (oops, sorry). But some of you liked it, so if you want to keep getting those, you can go here and sign up in that handy form on the right sidebar. XO, Rowan P.S.: This week, I’m offering the Caryn Craig special to all my peeps. 6 sessions for 5 bills. Why? I have light books ’cause I’ve been traveling. Oh, and I miss ya. P.S.2: Here is this week’s #PlacentaTuesday
Hey Loves~ I just returned from the Philadelphia Transgender Health Conference, and you know what kept me calm? Hooping and a bindi on my heart.
For me, when I have on a bindi, (found on Amazon, of course!) on my heart, then I have this beautiful marker on a tender point. It serves as a reminder to listen with my heart, give the benefit of the doubt, and to not take things so personally. If you need one when you come in, tell me and I’ll get you fixed right up. Other exciting news is someone I greatly admire has joined up to Team Urban Curandera to help with some of the technical back end. Hellooooooo Alejandra!
Bindi on heart! Love for the win, Xo Rowan
My FaceBook post a couple of weeks ago.
“y’all, my grandmother died last night. The one who taught me through actions and words so many things, one of the biggest that it is totally possible to earn a living as a local wise woman/alternative health practitioner. If you have felt her love through me, could you give me a thumbs up, a hell yeah or hands in the air? She was awesome like that. Like me. Like You.”
I got a 133 likes, and over 50 comments. Wowzers. I’m thinking about all the things she taught me, either healing specific, “Those thongs, I don’t like them! How are you supposed to be free with that all up in there?” or about life, “Let your husband be the head of the household, so what?! Let him! You be the neck, what is he without the neck? Nothing.” And as I’ve been writing on Labor Whispering, MapBook for mamas, I kept FEELING her here with me, so strong, looking over my shoulder, “say more about that, no take that out” and then just had this over whelming sense of, “How can you teach them to get the baby out, its not even in there yet.” To which I say to the grandmother in my head, “UM, maybe they don’t need a lesbian to tell them how to get pregnant.” Her reply? “YA, well maybe some do.” So what I know is that the only way to guarantee you will get preganant is to be underage in the back seat of a car with someone you haven’t known all that long in a parking lot after a rock concert. That’s pretty much a done deal. So I shoved the Labor Whispering Mapbook for Mamas onto a back burner, got looped up on allergy meds, went on a writing marathon, and finished the entire first draft of a redo of some notes I had from a past workshop. I shot it over to a friend for editing. 3300 words, 9 pages, Prelude to Fertility, My GrandMothers’ Wisdom. Boom. Next step? Story boarding for the PDF.
And the friend I shot it over to for editing? Yeah, she already shot it back, in less than 24 hours, she’s good like that. Alejandra Ortega, mucho smoocho to ya. So I’ll work it over some more, apply my fancy PDF class knowledge from Jewels Branch Creative, and get it out ASAP. And I think my work is focused on folks who want some natural support for fertility, maybe they are not getting pregnant as fast as they hoped, wanting to try some natural options before heading into the fertility specialists. Perfecto. Here are 15 plus tips that you may not have ever heard of that will help you get that bun in your oven. xo, Rowan * Bless Me, Ultima came out this week on film. I had the great fortune to have Ms. Gwendolyn Green as my high school English teacher in the ’80’s. She had us read the book as an assignment, and then invited Rudolfo Anaya to speak to our English classes. It was awesome, and he said that as he kept writing his book, he HEARD Ultima say from over his shoulder, “You’ll never be successful with this book until you put me in there.” Grandmothers, sheesh, they think they know everything.
It’s not really about me, is it? It’s about you, how I can help You. I can help you heal your self, reawaken or breathe life into that tiny spark, that flame where you are your own best healer.
- Trust me, I can get you pregnant, look into my eyes…..
I am an Urban Curandera, wedda growing up in El Paso, where I always wanted to work in birth, show leadership in my community, and create safe haven for those needing to stop, rest, and recharge. The cultural diseases I work with most are stress, fertility challenges, navigating the birth a mama wants, and healing emotionally and physically in the postpartum period. Training? yeah, I have some: LMT, MTI, CIMI, TTTtm, Minister, Reiki master, Nia Blue Belt instructor, Hoopnotica, BodyHoops, and Punk Rock hoopdance instructor, and currently completing midwifery training. Unofficial credentials include medical intuitive, tarot proffesional, tarot instructor and lover of all things fermented, teacher of how to ferment damn near anything. I live and breathe healing arts. My experience includes 20+ years exploring massage, midwifery, essential oils, accepting divine self and green economics. I am committed to doing whatever it takes to facilitate folks living more comfortably in their own skin.
You know me, always learning. And then wanting to turn around and teach you too. Thats the kinda girl I am, wanting us all to learn, grow, get more better, more awesome(er). I wont quit my day job to become an English teacher with a grammar specialty, but I can teach you how to heal yourself. Massage, Tarot, Reiki, birth, business, chickens, fermenting and hooping. Bet you hadn’t put all of those on your healing protocol. Online or in Houston, I gotcha. Feeling game?
Doulas Rock. **Think about how long a bride plans for her wedding, and then compare that to how much time folks invest into education and planning for a birth. Let’s shift all that. A doula helps you look at options, offers feedback as you design and decide what would feel best for your baby’s birth. Hospital, birth center, at home, what’s right for you? Where do you feel best? Who do you want there? What medication (if any)? ‘Cause really the worst (and funniest) response to the question, “Do you have a birth plan?” was “I’m planning to have a God damn baby, why do you think I’m here?!
Best Massage Doula EVER Package~ $1900 Includes one prenatal visit so we can get to know each other, your partner can meet me, and we review the birth plan, and then:
3 Prenatal Massage sessions
1 Labor Whisperer massage session (where we get your pelvis muscles loose and juicy, energy blockages cleared, and the labor ball rolling) 1 Postpartum Session to help reset your body chemistry, check on your belly and take care of any sore new mommy muscles. 1 in-home awesome postpartum FOOT MASSAGE with clapping and cheering for you ’cause you did such a great job birthing your baby. Unlimited hours of labor support, and massage massage massage during your labor. Let’s do our best to provide You and Your family the birth you desire. Please review the Doula Contract to learn more. ** some clever doula that is not me first came up with this analogy.
Labor Whisperer Private Session – $225 What be this? A magical way on how to start labor? Well, almost. Many times I see the same 5 things over and over again holding a woman back from entering her labor excited and body confident. Let’s go through the list together and see what we can do to mitigate any blockages, loosen and prepare your muscles, check the position of your baby*, and create an attitude of joyous anticipation. Sometimes this massage gets the labor ball rolling, and other times a few of nights of serenity and wrapping up details occur first. I want to share every tool I have to assist you in an empowered, awesome labor journey. This is a full 2 hour session. *Baby Position is super important, let’s see what we can do to get bebe’ optimally situated!
- LOA baby, looking good!
Need more info? Check out this FAQ. Oh SNAP, you Say!! Not living in Houston, or even in the great state of Texas? I got your mama self starter PDF right here. Feel free to purchase before the 40 weeks, so you can be ahead of the game come labor time. And I need to tell you that while there are things that you can do to get yourself as on time and awesome as possible, attempting to get labor started before full term is not within the scope of this pdf. Unless your baby is ready. Pat Jones, Houston midwife and local hero, says “There is hardly anything you can do to keep a baby in when he’s ready, and hardly anything you can do to get him out if he’s not.” Shoot me an email if you are not sure if it’s right for you, and step right up and get you some PDF labor whispering empowerment if it is. xo, Rowan