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Birth Balance Blog

A series of topics related to preconception, pregnancy, labor, birth, bonding, and post partum issues. Feel free to make suggestions for future topics.

Archive for February, 2009

The Future For Our Children…

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

TO ALL WHO “SURVIVED” THE 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s…  
Jay Leno,  Television Talk Show Host   
(February 2009)

We were born to mothers who smoked and drank while they were pregnant. They also took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can and they didn’t get tested for diabetes. We were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-base paints. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, locks on doors of cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we wore baseball caps and not helmets on our heads. We rode in cars with no infant car seats, no booster seats, no seat belts, no air bags, and riding in the back of a pick-up truck on a warm sunny day was a sumertime treat for every kid and teenager and family dog.

We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle. We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle, and no one died from it. We ate cupcakes, white bread, real butter and things cooked with bacon grease. We drank Kool-Aid made with real sugar and rarely ever were any of us overweight. Why? Because we were always outside playing… that’s why! We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back by the time the streetlights came on. No one was able to reach us all day and we were O.K.!

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride them down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times we learned to solve the problem. We did not have Playstations, Nintendo’s and X-boxes. There were no video games, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVD’s, no surround-sound or CD’s, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet and no chat rooms. WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, got a few broke bones, and there were no lawsuits from these incidents. We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever. We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and, although we were told it would happen, we did not put out everyone’s eyes. We rode bikes or walked to a friend’s house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them. Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team.. Those who didn’t had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that! And the idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law- and the law actually sided with the PARENTS.

These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors in history. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with ALL of it. If you are one of the lucky ones who were fortunate enough to grow up in America BEFORE the lawyers and the government regulated childhood out of existence, congratulations! Try not to cry today when you look at your grandchild’s smiling sweet face, try not to think of what a pittiful excuse for a childhood they’re going to have compared to yours. Cry when you think of THEIR children.

“With hurricanes, tornadoes, fires out of control, mud slides, flooding, severe storms tearing up the country from one end to another, and with the threat of bird flu and terrorist attacks, are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?”


TImes have changed and here is a child today who is reaching out to the world with an important question. Tell Me Why

‘Birth Dissonance’ Into ‘Birth Consonance’

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

Are you ready to stop pouring your life energy into defining yourself as a separate entity and allow yourself to beome undefined? Going from wasted energy put into egoic identity can be invested into a new and more interesting purpose.  A whole different perception, way of being and knowing, gettting and doing or not doing, when interacting with the Universe?

The dreamstate is a magical place and we are a part of it.  We ARE it.  We are the miracles, the mysteries and we keep looking outside ourselves, giving our power away, for something or someone else to create it all or fix it for us; TENS machines, epidurals, pitocin, doula, acupuncture, homeopathy, cesareans, prosteglandin gell, a birth tub, midwife, doctor, partner.

A psychological term to describe the discomfort we feel when our thoughts, (seeming reality) and beliefs, (feelings and emotions) come into conflict is:  Cognitive Dissonance.  I see it all the time in pregnancy or particularly in labor and birth.  The woman get’s signs from her body and the baby that it is not ready to come.  Her doctor says, “The baby needs to come now.”  She is in conflict with her belief and the thoughts instilled in her by the doctor.  The problem begins as the pressure builds and the woman allows herself out of fear to go with the doctor’s demands.  

What does she know?  This is her first child?  This doctor has ‘delivered’ thousands of babies. They are the expert, yet her belief and inner knowing is, ‘the baby is not ready to come.’  The problem excellerates as she gets induced and her body is not dilating.  Even with all the drugs, everyone is confused about the “insufficient cervix,” or the “inability to progress.” No one is taking into consideration the most important element in the center of the drama.  The mother’s belief’s conflicting with her thoughts.

I call this ‘Birth Dissonance’.  Where the internal belief collides with external reality. Where self and not-self come into contact/conflict.  We are not innocent by-standers or victims of our experience. We are the shapers of our dreamstate reality.  Until we get it, really get it, by standing up for, falling apart from, letting go of, surrendering into the opposite of where we have been all our lives, things are not going to change.  And we will continue to blame everyone and everything for our lives being the way they are. Falling apart is coming together.

Society has put billions of dollars into medications, illegal, legal drugs to separate mind from body.  Something to put you to sleep, something to make you wake up. Something to make you dialate, (pitocin)  something to numb the pain, (epidurals) and when the epidural stops the pain and the contractions, there’s more pitocin to regulate it back to par.  (Providing all systems are ‘go’ for the woman being induced.)

What people are looking for is ‘Birth Consonance,’ an end to discomfort, not the delusion. But the truth is, the consonance sought  can only be found in deeper unconsciousness which requires reduction of dissonance.  How does one get to reach that natural, integrated level of consonance?  Through serenity and tranquility or diving to the depths of the self-delusion and swimming through the muck until one gets to the surface and is able to see and know the insanity and madness they have been buying into all their life.

So, are you a person who is stuck and wants to get unstuck?  Or a person who knows you are stuck and wants to stay stuck your judgements and denial?

Ah, and there truly lies a of potential consonance or dissonance.  

Whatever your choice in or out of the labor room:  “Everybody Breathe!”

(Ideas inspired out of  Jed McKenna’s third book in a trilogy entitled, Spiritual Warfare)

Colony Collapse Disorder – The Tipping Point

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

We have heard of ADD, (Attention Deficit Disorder) ADHD, (Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder) PIT, (Pitocin, an artificial oxytocin to get labor contractions started)  ROM, (Rupture of Membranes, breaking of waters during labor), VBAC, (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) but have you heard of CCD, Colony Collapse Disorder?  I hadn’t  until I read the recent issue of Yoga + , (Spring 2009)  Lorrain Dusky’s article on “The Future of the Bees”.  Without the healthy cross-pollination of 25 million flowers per day…we can kiss many simple nutritional pleasures in our lives goodbye. Melons, apples, coffee, blueberries, cherries, cucumbers…shall I go on? 

As I read the article, I began to see many correlations between the world of bees collapsing and the world of birth at a critical mass.  And who is responsible for both?  Of course, we humans.  

Industrial beekeepers scratch their heads and wonder what the possible cause of CCD could be? Medical caregivers scratch their heads and wonder what the cause of the rise of inductions/epidurals/ cesareans/infirtility could be? 

In Rowan Jacobsen’s book, Fruitless Fall,  he takes a look at how far the bees have been taken from their natural environment, where they eat a varied diet, and thrive to the monocropped fields of industrial farming today where they struggle and die.  Sound familiar?  So what is this ‘industrialized agriculture disease?’ Chemically fertilized fields of single crops: no biodiversity, not local pollinators, no curbs on diseases than can spread across countries through the packing and shipping.  Hmmmm…not only is the care in a disarray, the stress levels put on bees is outrageous: trucked around countries to do their pollination duties, viral infections on the rise mites, chemicals to kill the mites, exotic pathogens, antibiotics  and on and on.  Sound familiar?  Diets of CORN SYRUP, for DECADES.  As Jacobson states, “GIving them corn syrup is like giving us nothing but soda when we are sick.”  As Dusky mentions in her article, “Migrant labor, bee style, One job to the next, no vacations and lousy food to boot.”

Queen bees are dying off in 6 months instead of a couple of years!  The baby bees are weak and subject to all sorts of viruses. Forager bees are listless and exhausted, a perfect breeding ground for the mites.  Bees die off in the fields.  Not only is this happening in the United States, but Canada, Asia, South America and China.  Sound familiar in the birth world?

Jacobson even suggest, “If the bees lived a life they evolved for, staying in one place, having a variety of flowers to visit, which would give them the different nutrients they needed, the corn syrup addition might be okay.”   Dusky continues with, “But when a cheap diet of sucrose comes at the end of a long list of stressors, you get a tipping point and …CCD.”

So what is our ‘tipping point’ in the birth world? The fact that in 3 decades cesarean sections have gone from under 7% nationally to 35+% today.  Faster, easier, more convenient and financially profitable procedures. Why waste the time on letting a woman’s body go into labor naturally when the drugs and pharmacuticals exist today to expediate the process.  Step away from nature, at what cost?  The World Health Organization (WHO) states that no region in the world is justified in having a cesarean rate greater than 10-15%.  

“Inductions and epidurals?’  Another ‘tipping points’ in the field of birth. All creating more opportunities for us to distance ourselves from nature and our own natural chemicals and allow the ‘machines’ to determine, when, how long and how much time. 

I remember, seeing a birth film by, David Sotnik, “Fate of the Earth, Fate of Birth,” (1997) where midwife, Candace McCracken stated, “I’m worried that natural childbirth is becoming an endangered species.”  Birth and cultural anthropologist, Robbie Davis Floyd draws a line between women who choose to ‘drop down into biology’ and those who do not choose to ‘drop down into biology’, thus creating two completely different cultures.  One that tunes in and trusts the nature of their bodies and the other that sees and experiences their bodies to be a ‘vehicle’ and the baby to be the ‘end result’. A culture of a mechanistic, detached society that does not choose to be in their bodies by even breastfeeding.  Where do you draw the line?

There is hope for the bees though, with a Buddhist, Bee Mystic, in Vermont, Kirk Webster.  Instead of opting for chemicals to kill his crop of mites, he allowed the bees to die, took the survivors and bred them with each other and introduced hardy Russian bees into the hive.  Patience was the key, because he had to wait a decade without income. (OH HORRORS for the industrial world of bees)  The result was developing bees largely resistant  to mites and letting the bees build their own V-shaped organic hives. No bad diets…only a variety of apple blossoms to feed off of.  Staying local, no trucking around the country.  The Bee’s needs were met.

As with any collapse or disorder, there is a silver lining.   Colony Collapse Disorder opended the world’s eyes to the fact that agriculture depends on honeybees. Biodiversity is what we humans crave and need for survival.

So, what is our silver lining in the birth world? What are we going to do to bring back our connection to nature, our natural secretion of hormones, healthy vibrant food sources and trusting the process of labor and birth?  I put it in your hands, your words, your actions.  

If the bees can make it with the help of one small farmer at a time, remembering it takes patience, trust, good strong genes and getting back to nature…it might be a helpful formula for the birth community to regroup, realign and tip the point in another direction.

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