Faith VS Certainty

Dr. Brene Brown says, “Faith is a place of mystery, where we find the courage to believe in what we cannot see and the strength to let go of uncertainty.”  

I have been investing time in thought around the difference between faith and certainty, or the lack of.  I have years of practice (religion, environment, experience, etc) that encourages me to embrace faith in my spiritual life.  There seems to be a growing intuitive compulsion to practice faith in the realm of health, especially natural healing.  It has been a journey to say the least.  I am hopeful that this journey continues.  I have seen the practice of faith lend miracles.  It is a power that I honor and revere, but it is far from understood.  I think that is the beauty of it….we are not meant to understand, just believe….be courageous!

A patient delivered her gratitude for this phenomenon in the form of a hand-made card.  She writes:

Dr. Taryn

It’s the day before Thanksgiving and I want to express to you how thankful I am that God placed me in your care to guide me on my journey to healing.  In May 2012 I found myself going down an unfamiliar path of dealing with several physical issues, and for some reason the majority of my pain manifested itself in my lower back and hip.  Something inside of me told me that all the issues I was dealing with had one root cause, and yet I couldn’t get anyone else to believe me.  I spent 7 months trying to deal with the issues myself.  I visited a couple of medical doctors that wanted to medicate the issues without getting to the root of all the problems, and that only added to my frustration.  I got to the point where I couldn’t stand the pain any loner and in January I found myself sitting in your waiting room.  After consulting with you I felt as though I finally found someone with a listening ear and the ability to address ALL that was going on with me.  I felt such a sense of peace when I left your office that day!  At that time I would have never dreamed all the things that I would learn on the other side of this journey….

First, I have learned to trust the God given instincts that He has given to me with the things concerning my body.  Secondly, I have learned to trust the peace that God gives to me when He leads me in a certain direction and to stay on that course and finish it.  I am so thankful God kept leading my path to you…..it was the only place my heart found peace and my body began to heal.  Thirdly, I have learned that my body is an amazing miracle that is complex and intertwined!  I have learned that if I treat the whole body….including the mind, spirit and emotion….then healing can begin.  I would have never guessed that all I was experiencing had so much to do with my chemical makeup and with what I was feeding it both physically and mentally.

My journey has had its ups and downs, but I finally feel like I am reaching the end.  I feel as though I have found peace in my heart.  In my mind, and in my body!  You have shared with me a vast amount of knowledge and have been my support and cheerleader throughout this journey….not to mention the many times your healing hands have brought relief to my hurting body 🙂  My words fall so short of what my heart feels and to simply say “thank you” seems very inadequate….but my words are all I have.  God has used you in my life to help me find my way to healing and I will forever be grateful!

My heart overflows with gratitude – Teresa Diener

I don’t know that I could say it any better than that.  When you listen to your “guts” and act in faith, truely amazing things can happen!

Sometimes we are blessed with confirmation through bloodwork or imaging  of a diagnosis (aka certainty).  From that diagnosis there is often a recommendation for treatment that can either prevent progression of the condition or resolve it.  BUT….more often than not, we are not given certainty.  It is very common to consult a healthcare professional with a symptom, maybe multiple symptoms, and a treatment is recommended as a trial.  Notice I used the word trial.  The practice of medicine usually starts with a differential of diagnosis.  One symptom could be a product of countless conditions.  A healthcare professional has to gather data from the patient and combine it with knowledge of disease/health that they have to conclude the list of possible conditions.  Again, we are occassionally blessed by a lab test or imaging that can confirm a single condition.  More often, treatment is recommended based on the more common or more likely condition, hence a trial of treatment, reducing and/or resolving the condition.

With a different pair of glasses on you can consider the power of adding good 🙂  Let’s say you are admitted to the hospital for 3 days for a cardiac procedure.  Of course the heart is an important organ.  The procedure is necessary to keep you alive.  Let’s also say you were denied food and water for those 3 days.  How would a lack of nutrition and hydration affect your ability to endure the procedure?  Recover?  Thrive?  I think everyone would agree, you would have to add food and water during your stay at the hospital to endure, recover and thrive.  The importance of nutrition and hydration, among many other “good” additions to our body, can be a game-changer when it comes to healing.  We all know what we should do to stay healthy; what if the right combination of  consistent “good” could be the key to our prosperity, even when there is disease present?

We need a myriad of “good” in our lives to thrive.  Everyone priortizes them a little different, but to name a few: food, water, relaxation, purpose, supplementation, sleep, exercise, oxygen, adjustments, detoxification, connection to others and positivity.  How often do we priortize the needs of others: work, school, friends, status, church, etc?  The  constant demand to serve immediate needs (of ourselves or others) at the expense of our long-term needs can rob us of our health!

It is often easy to convince yourself that a prescription medication that has been researched and approved by the FDA will help hault progression or resolve your condition.  What gives you that certainty?  Can you think of areas of “good” that you have neglected in your health?  Could you convince yourself, in the presence of a symptom/condition, that simply adding good would help you heal?

Every body is unique.  Every body has strength and weakness.  Every body handles germs, inflammation, pain and stress differently.  Strive to find the perfect combination of provider, treatment, faith and certainty that is right for you!  Never doubt your intuition, even if it challenges the norm!  Regardless of your religion or belief in a higher power, believe in YOU!  Find a proposal that delivers an inner peace and follow through!  Remember Teresa’s discovery, the “body is an amazing miracle that is complex and intertwined!  I have learned that if I treat the whole body….including the mind, spirit and emotion….then healing can begin.”

In Loving Service,

Dr. Taryn

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CLOTH dIaPeR 101

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Interested in the Cloth Diaper craze!!??  We will be hosting an evening of what-for and how-to just for you!

Tiffany Carra with Simple Baby is going to be teaching us the ropes on Monday, May 20th here at Peace of Life Chiropractic.  Please plan about an hour plus questions.

Her website is www.simplebaby.com.  You can use coupon code POLC5 when you order ONLINE to get 5% off 🙂

Please feel free to send questions here on the event or you can email us at Peaceoflifechiropractic@live.com.

If at all possible, please limit your guests to friends/family and lap babies 🙂

We will soon be adding a diaper consignment date as well!!

From the Womb to the Tomb

We love all variations of patients at Peace of Life Chiropractic!  Our chiropractic table sees 2-legged & 4-legged friends, newborn babies & 96-year old ladies, farmers & CPAs, not to mention the taboo big and little.  Therefore, Dr. Joey loosely says, “we treat patients from the womb to the tomb.” 

THE TRULY IMPORTANT THINGS

Each patient receives the benefits of chiropractic care uniquely.  In regards to Pablo Casals words, “The truly important things in life — love, beauty, and one’s own uniqueness — are constantly being overlooked.”  In experiencing this phenomenon as consumers and patients ourselves, we do our very best to avoid overlooking ANYONE’S love, beauty or uniqueness, not only in the office but in our daily lives.

For every unique need that is brought to the office, we meet it with the corresponding care to genuinely meet that need.  Often times that need is a loving adjustment, every now and then the appropriate referral, every time it is patience & understanding.  Assuming that I am speaking the truth, and we do indeed recognize the needs of our patients upon arrival and address those needs in their entirety, you can understand why I am sharing this compassion of mine…………..

COMPASSION

My compassion to serve BABIES is stronger than my compulsion to survive.  I can’t take credit for the catchy way that came out.  Dr. Jim Parker that founded Parker College of Chiropractic (now Parker University in Dallas, TX) had “33 Parker Principles” by which he founded his push in our profession.  My favorite of which was, develop a compassion to serve that is stronger than your compulsion to survive.  I have an undying compassion for babies, particularly the spine and nervous system of those babies!! 

What is compassion?  According to dictionary.com, compassion is a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.  That may not sound like the typical description of a baby, but in terms of spine and nervous system, it just might.  How do you know??   

SURELY NOT MY CHILD

Consider the research done by the published researcher, G. Gutmann.  He documented a study of more than one thousand infants. He found that approximately 80 percent of all newborns had some form of nerve dysfunction. Gutmann concluded that many health problems can arise from misalignment of the first vertebrae in the neck, resulting in a lowered resistance to infections in the ears, nose and throat. He also noted, however, that even an adjustment using the lightest pressure of the index finger could normalize an infant’s clinical picture.

PROVEN

What’s the harm in having YOUR baby checked?  There is none.  Chiropractic care is one of the safest forms of healthcare, including that for pediatrics.  An exerpt from Issue #24 of Pathways to Family Wellness Magazine:

Recently the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association published the preliminary results of its study in Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing, in an article entitled, “The Safety and Effectiveness of Pediatric Chiropractic: A Survey of Chiropractors and Parents in a Practice- Based Research Network.” The preliminary data confirms what chiropractors have known for over 100 years: Chiropractic care for children is safe and effective.

On the issue of safety, out of 5,438 office visits, there were only three adverse events reported from the adjustments—a .00055 percent chance of negative reaction. Demonstrating a risk factor well below 1 percent, this study shows that children have a greater than 99 percent chance of suffering no problems when receiving chiropractic care. Furthermore, the three adverse events reported in the study were minor discomfort following the adjustment. Each was readily resolved with continued adjustments.

In the study, over 90 percent of the chiropractors and parents reported an adjustment-related improvement with respect to the children’s presenting complaints. Even more interesting is the discovery of benefits unrelated to the initial problems. Both parents and doctors reported better sleeping patterns, improved behavior and more robust immune system function while under chiropractic care.

Increasingly, scientific research is supporting the clinical experience of chiropractors. Chiropractic care is growing in acceptance as a viable necessity for newborns.

As much as we appreciate the variety of concerns and questions that our patients bring to their visit, I personally can’t help be partial to the certain needs of the BABIES!!  This is where the compassion comes in to play because, just like animals, these babies are without a voice.  Their communication is so limited.  In terms of discomfort and dis-ease, they speak through a cry, colic, ear infections, skin outbreaks, etc.  So many imbalances begin in the beginning.  Give your child the gift of balance and allow their spine to be restored!!

CHIRO – BABY

Have you ever seen a “chiro baby?”  Our profession lovingly terms children who receive chiropractic care routinely along with other “crunchy” parenting tricks as a chiro-baby. Since becoming parents to our little princess, we have heard the difference that we, as chiropractors, have seen all along.  The most common comment, aside from “what a cutie” (LOL!  proud mama!), is she is so ALERT!

That’s mine to own.  We are so blessed to have our own little eating, breathing, almost-crawling testimony.  Our little lady is knocking on the door of 7 months and is vibrant and thriving.  She is healthy and has a superstar immune system!  She received her first adjustment at 24 hours old and receives regular check-ups each month.  Here is her 12 week check-up 🙂

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoMr8hnNl0Q

WHAT’S THE SKIVY

Adjustments help alleviate spinal subluxations (misalignments of the vertebrae) caused by intrauterine constraint, abnormal positioning in the uterus, and spinal distress from the journey through the birth canal or during the delivery process itself. Ideally, babies should be checked and adjusted as soon as possible after birth.

In Loving Service,

Dr. Taryn Lowery

Our Unforgettable Birth – Mattie Elizabeth’s Story

I spent a few hours with a “crunchy” mom yesterday.  Her philosophy and strength inspired me!  She reminded me that a woman’s strength is unsurpassed!  She shed light on the emotions that I experienced surrounding Mattie’s birth, and allowed me to put those emotions into words….9 weeks later.

Joey and I discussed our preferences for pregnancy and labor/delivery in depth!  With the blessing of EXPOSURE, we knew we had a lot of CHOICES to make.  Let me elaborate; it seems to be the “norm” to discover your pregnancy…basque in the joy, then immediately consult your obstetritian….everyone knows all the things that COULD go wrong!!  Our thinking is a little different than that.  The journey that our chiropractic lifestyle has led us on, has illuminated many alternatives to this thought pattern.  Not that one is right or wrong, they are just different, and we are advocates of EVERY family being informed of their choices 🙂

After confessing our hearts desires, we chose to consult with a midwife (you can read more about that in my blog about our pregnancy).  After we decided on our midwife, our birth plan began to take shape.  The birthing center is in Marshall, TX (approximately 2 hours from our home in Calhoun, LA).  The basic plan was to drive west when we were sure it was the real deal.  Yes, we had many eyebrows raised at our decision, but we were confident that our birth was in God’s hands and that His will would be done regardless of our plans!

My guess date was July 16th.  The week prior to that Saturday, I began to have contractions….maybe Braxton-Hicks??  They were not very intense and had no regularity to them, but I began to get excited.  Then the guess date came and went; I then began to get frustrated.  As I commonly admit I am a control freak & I like to have my expectations met!  This was not part of the plan!!  HAHA!  Anyhow, the following week I did not have any signs of labor.  Monday morning, the 25th of July, I lost my mucous plug.  I began to closely monitor my cervix.  All day Monday, no signs of labor.  We went to bed with the myriad of pillows.  At 11:15pm I woke up with a very intense contraction, nothing like any of the ones before.  I immediately felt the need to use the restroom.  After I had done my business, I stood up and felt a trickle down my leg.  The small puddle on the floor had a little bit of blood in it.  By this time I decided to wake Joey up…I think this is it!  After Joey came out of his sleep coma, he put his game face on!!!  We waited to see if there was another contraction.  Sure enough at 11:30 we had another intense contraction.  We decided that we should head that way so that we could make the trip before it got “serious.”  We loaded the car, headed that way and began waking everyone up!!

Jen, our midwife, suggested checking into a hotel once we got to Marshall to allow us to labor in privacy until it got “serious.”  We agreed and proceeded at 90mph with much excitement!!  Once we got to Shreveport, we had to stop for me to use the restroom & grab a few snacks.  Once back on the road, contractions bumped up to every 6 minutes and the intensity increased.  With Jen’s advice, we decided to get checked at the birth center before we made any other plans…..then we passed Jen on the highway 🙂 

Once at the birth center (1:20 am), Jen determined I was dilated to a 6 and contractions were around 5 minutes apart.  I was still fairly comfortable at this point and decided to get my swim suit on (in case I wanted in the birthing tub later), but I wanted to lay in the bed.  I was already pretty tired!  I quickly decided that was uncomfortable and got in the tub.  During contractions I would lean over the side of the tub while sitting on my knees.  In between contractions I would lean back in exhaustion.  Sooner than later contractions were coming every 2 minutes (about 3:30 am).  Now I’m really tired!!  As I was told later, I began pushing about 4:00 am.  Jen & Charlotte (midwives) encouraged me to change positions, but I resisted. 

In preparation for our birth, I read A LOT about natural pain management techniques, midwife recommendations, Hypnobirthing, successful birth stories, etc.  In the midst of my reading, I stumbled on an article that accredited successful, natural, drug-free births to the mother’s support system.  I thought it was an interesting angle.  Joey and I had discussed how we anticipated to communicate during labor.  For example, we had invited our whole family (well immediate family) to the birth, so I had asked him to be the regulator of any stinkin’ thinkin’.  If he heard anybody verbally expressing concern, worry or doubt – he had to ask them to go outside.  I also asked him to be my cheerleader and encourage me while gently coaching me.  Never would I have dreamed of just how supportive and encouraging he would be!!!  Joey kneeled beside the tub the entire labor.  He whispered sweet motivational words to me and constantly reassured me of how great I was doing.  He would  share positive points about our progress and again remind me that he was proud of me.  He got me cold water, he knows room temperature water is not my favorite!  He held the straw for me to sip the water.  He dabbed my forehead with cool rags until my mom got there and helped him support me.  He would ask if I needed anything at just the right moment.  He went home with bruises on his arms from where he let me grip and pull as he supported me during the contractions.  He probably is a little shy of his full auditory potential from the level of noise that I put in his ear!!!  The list goes on….Joey is responsible for the calm and strength that empowered me to deliver our baby girl without the influence of drugs or surgery, not to mention in a little less than 7 hours!

So, Mattie Elizabeth was born at 5:55 am on Tuesday, July 26th; the same day as her Aunt Shelby only 15 years prior 🙂  The moment was magical!!  Seriously, the most amazing emotion-filled time of my entire life!  As I mentioned, I began to push about 4:00 am.  It seemed like every contraction brought her a little closer to my arms!  After pushing for a while, and me declining the midwives recommendations to change positions, they sternly but sweetly encouraged me that I really needed to change positions.  I went from leaning over the tub on my knees to a more supine position with my back against the tub.  The next contraction Charlotte asked me to push really hard.  Contraction came, I pushed and Mattie came flying out!!  Charlotte immediately put her on my chest.  It all happened so quick I was still waiting for the next contraction when I realized our litle miracle was in my arms!!  Tears filled my eyes and the sensation of Joey’s touch on my shoulders became more apparent.  When I looked up, entering the “real world,” leaving the contraction – to – contraction world, I saw the most beautiful sight!  Our entire family GLOWING at us!!  Each person had the most amazing smile on their face.  There were tears, flashes from cameras, crying, laughing, but most of all the feeling of love was simply palpable!  I truely feel like each person that shared that wonderful moment with us made an imprint of love on Mattie that will never fade!

A few minutes later, Jen & Charlotte wanted me to move to the bed so they could help me deliver the placenta.  I carried my PERFECT bundle of love to the bed.  They continued to care for me while I began soaking up Mattie’s every little inch!  Within about 15 minutes of her delivery, Mattie began to nurse and did so for the following 45 minutes.  I was filled with pride and amazement of her God-given ability to know exactly what to do and the perfection with which she did it.  After Mattie was satisfied, Joey put her in his arms and my heart filled with love yet again!  The sight of him holding her and the fresh emotions of how awesome he is combined to flood my heart with undescribeable joy!

I was given an herbal bath to help begin the healing my body needed.  Shortly afterwards, Mattie had her newborn exam.  She passed with flying colors of course 🙂  She weighed 8 lbs 12 oz and measured 22.25 inches long.  We covered her precious little body with her first touch of clothing and then began to share her.  While the family stared at her and passed her around, I grabbed a bite to eat and then we started to load the car.  It was so heart-warming to see all the men being so careful with her as they buckled her in her seat.  After I fixed the buckle-job that they did (shoulder straps around her waist!!), we headed home at 9:30 am.  Mattie and I both slept the whole way home.  We made it safely home and then continued to sleep.  All has been wonderfully blissful ever since!

Everyone asks how bad it hurt, so I’ll try to put that into words.  It was painful, really painful, BUT I was also amazed at how comfortable I was.  That doesn’t make any sense, I know….I am just in awe of how my body had this wonderful plan and knew exactly what to do.  I remember a lot of noises; as the men would report, very loud noises.  I am convinced that those noises somehow evacuated the pain from my mind.   In my experience, I think the pain was worse than I expected, but I handled it better than I expected.  With all that said, once I held her in my arms, any pain that I had was gone.  Overall, I would say it is something that any woman who is willing to COMMIT to a drug-free, surgery-free deliver in their MIND can accomplish. 

Today I read an article in Pathways Magazine where Ima May Gaskin, the godmother of midwifery, quoted a Japanese obstetrician.  He said, a woman is in her full power while giving birth; it is a “mystic beauty.”  I have often looked at birth photography, during labor or following delivery, and appreciated the glow and beauty in the mother’s eyes.  I now have felt that “mystic beauty.”  It is a feeling I will always cherish!

I would like to conclude with a THANK YOU to our birth team, especially Joey; our photographer, Awesome Aunt Amy; and all of our family for supporting us during our pregnancy, labor and delivery!  Mattie and I could not have done it without each of you!

With love and appreciation,

Dr. Taryn Lowery

CHOICES – 21st Century Motherhood

I have spent many moments of my pregnancy wondering WHY!  I have asked myself, friends, family, colleagues and a bajillion books about every component of this new endeavor that we have been on for the last 40 weeks.  Most of you moms and dads know what I’m talking about, Pampers or Huggies, breastmilk or formula, episiotomy or no episiotomy, is the heartburn because he/she has so much hair or is it hormones??  You need a life-line just to complete your Baby Registry, much less have a healthy pregnancy!

Well I hope I don’t dance around too much as I try to put my thoughts into words, but I’m going to put my best foot forward (Just keep in mind I can blame any confusion on the hormones!).  We have had so many questions….and lets be honest, doubts…..about the choices that we have made surrounding our pregnancy, labor/delivery and newborn care.  These questions have led me to believe two things 1) People (including strangers) feel very comfortable talking to a pregnant woman 2) There are a dozen choices for every decision that involves pregnancy, labor/delivery and newborn care.  Well, the first thing just needed to be said 🙂 

So, about these decisions and choices.  I think we would all agree that a choice is a decision that has to be made when given two or more possibilities.  The first component of a choice would be to recognize that you have two or more possibilities, and then of course the second component would be to make a decision, choosing which possibility you would like to pursue.  CHOICE is the CORE of everything that follows in this blog.  No matter my choice or your choice, we all have one!  Evident in any given news cast, our freedoms allow us all to have a choice.  It is simply our responsibility to recognize our possibilities, and then act responsibly based on our morals, experience, knowledge, etc by making the correct choice for us at that time and place.  Sometimes we strike gold and sometimes we have regrets, but we always end up on the other side of the choice.  With all of that said, I would love the opportunity to elaborate on some of the choices that we chose for our family.

MIDWIFE

Probably the most popular topic by far, what is a midwife and why are you using one?  As Wikipedia explains, Midwives are autonomous practitioners who are specialists in low-risk pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum. They generally strive to help women to have a healthy pregnancy and natural birth experience. Midwives are trained to recognize and deal with deviations from the normal. Obstetricians, in contrast, are specialists in illness related to childbearing and in surgery. The two professions can be complementary, but often are at odds because obstetricians are taught to “actively manage” labor, while midwives are taught not to intervene unless necessary.  Not only do midwives give the option for a natural birth, they offer lower maternity care cost, reduced mortality and morbidity related to cesarean and other interventions, lower intervention rates, and fewer recovery complications. 

The definition of natural childbirth varies.  Some define “natural” as a vaginal birth vs. cesarian.  My definition is the process as I feel God designed it, free of drugs, inductions and interventions of any kind.  There are a LOT of factors that determine if a woman is a candidate for a natural childbirth, and of course there can be complications that arise along the journey.  In the event of a high-risk pregnancy or some unforseen obstacle, we are all very thankful for those said drugs and interventions!!  I’m not sure what percentage of pregnancies are in fact low-risk, but I think it is safe to assume that it is the majority by far.  Some women elect to have a cesarian, again everyone has a choice.  On the other hand, there is also a large population of women who WANT a natural birth AND are low-risk who are led down the road of interventions based on recommendations from their obstetrician or the nurse/doctor on call when they are admitted.  This article in Consumer Reports, among many others from various resources, elaborates a little more:

http://www.consumerreports.org/health/conditions-and-treatments/pregnancy-childbirth/maternity-care/overview/maternity-care.htm

Our reasons for choosing a midwife-assisted birth at a birth center are numerous!  The decision began in 2009 (obviously well before Mattie was a thought in our head) while I practiced as an intern at Lifetime Family Wellness Center in Hurst, TX under Dr. Jim Bob Haggerton (a genius and revolutionist in my eyes).  This chiropractic center was adjacent to a birth center.  Almost all of the women at the birth center received chiropractic care throughout their pregnancy and often during labor.  Exposed to this dynamic, I began to learn a lot more about midwifery and birthing centers.  I was most strongly drawn to their labor philosophy!  I like the way our midwife explains it, “I think of it as a job similar to a lifeguard. I make sure everything’s going as safely and smoothly as possible.”  They recently had an article published in the Shreveport Times about the alternative to a hospital birth:

http://www.shreveporttimes.com/article/20110702/LIVING02/107010340/Birthing-center-offers-alternative-hospital?odyssey=tab%7Ctopnews%7Ctext%7CFRONTPAGE

Other than philosophy, which I can’t say enough about, here are some other reasons we chose a birth center:

  • INFORMED consent – At the hospital you sign an informed consent for several “things” that MAY arrise during your stay in labor and delivery.  Has anyone ever asked what exactly it is that you are signing!!!??  I won’t elaborate because you can do your own investigating, but I will say at the birth center we have a very supportive team that helps us to understand what each test is done for and what is involved.  At any time we can decline the service, test, intervention, etc or we can accept something that we have previously declined.  There is a line for each individual “thing” that may come up so that you can make an informed choice for each one separately.  It’s not a “sure you can do whatever you ‘need’ to do to me based on your best judgement” form. 
  • Comfort – We chose EdenWay Birth Center in Marshall, TX.  It is a two hour drive and well worth every trip!  The environment is clean, warm, friendly and most of all designed for MOM’S comfort, not necessarily the midwife’s.  This is important to us, because we want to be comfortable during the potentially long journey of labor.  While laboring at the birth center, we are free to move around as we like.  We can walk, get in the birth tub, sit on the birth ball, lay on the bed or dance in the kitchen while we labor.  You can go to the bathroom when you need to – you can labor on the toilet if you like.  Since the midwife is less “hands-on” than the hospital staff, there are not monitors, cords and machines that keep you confined to the bed in the most non-conducive labor position possible (positioning is very important to me as well – my biomechanical, chiropractor brain kicks in).
  • Price – From that article that I referenced earlier, you may have noticed that home birth and birth center deliveries range from $2,500 to $4,500 around the United States, compared to an uncomplicated hospital birth, which runs $9,000 to $17,000.  I’m one of those people that believe in paying the price for what you believe in; it just so happens in this case it’s cheaper than what most American families pay.
  • Delayed Cord Clamping – They allow us to leave the umbilical cord attached and pulsing until the placenta is delivered and the cord’s job is done!  There is a really great family on Facebook that has a ton of research on this topic – search “Leaving A Baby’s Umbilical Cord To Stop Pulsating (Delayed Cord Clamping)”
  • Monitoring – Our midwife takes a very “hands off” approach.  They abide by all state requirements for fetal and maternal safety, but they practice conservatively where they have the choice.  For instance, they do not do continuous external fetal monitoring.  Since it is not any more effective than intermittent fetal monitoring, we are thankful that we do not have the limitations that continuous monitoring mandates.  In addition, they do not practice routine vaginal exams.  You can choose to know or not know your progression.
  • Food – They encourage you to eat and drink to sustain energy during labor.  This is also hugely important to us!  I really think that it is short of crazy that the typical hospital policy is fasting during labor and delivery.  I understand the possibility of a cesarian dictates this, but even in the event of a cesarian, in today’s procedures they almost always do some kind of local anesthetic (not general), leaving the mom coherent and able to recognize if she is going to vomit.  I definitely think that the benefits of sustained nutrients out-weigh the risk of aspirating stomach contents.  If you are a statistics & research person like me, here are some more facts on eating/drinking during labor: http://pregnancy.about.com/cs/laborbasics/a/eatinginlabor.htm
  • Birth Class – The birth class we attended was held at the birth center.  It was conducted by the Sr. Midwife Apprentice, Jen Courtney.  She did an amazing job at presenting the facts about labor, pain management, common interventions, informed consent, anatomy, positioning, etc.  The coolest parts were the non-academic parts 🙂  She provided us with pastels and art paper to draw our version of the “Landscape of Labor.”  We got to share our thoughts afterwards.  We also had a bead ceremony…well that’s what I’m calling it…where we exchanged beads and positive thoughts for each of the expecting moms.  Jen made my beads into a keychain that I treasure!  The equally cool part was that it was a weekend class so Joey and I got to spend the weekend at a bed & breakfast and invest all of our thoughts and energy into the preparation of having our little girl!  It was a unique bonding experience that I will never forget!
  • Family – The team at the birth center encourages you to invite who you want to attend your labor.  The thing that we like about this is that WE get to decide who is in the room with us and when.  I had the opportunity (thanks to an awesome mom) to watch my little sister come into this world when I was 16 years old.  It was an unforgettable experience and I truely believe that moment initiated the unbreakable bond that we have today.  Not to say that we want an audience for the indecent parts of labor, but the fact remains that I get to choose who is there and how involved they are. 
  • Husband – We LOVE the fact that Joey gets to be a part of this labor just as much as I do…well, almost as much!  On one of our first prenatal visits, the Sr. Midwife Apprentice, Jen said, “we want Dad to be a part of HIS birth.”  They coached us on ways for Joey to be involved and prepared us for OUR event.  They described it just like that, “this is your event.”  Since we first elected to work with the team at EdenWay Birth Center, they have openly encouraged us to take ownership of this journey and make it ours!  Joey is considering catching Miss Mattie if the opportunity presents itself!  I think that would be the coolest!

Here’s a few pictures of the birth center for those of you that have never been to one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHIROPRACTIC CARE

You CAN get adjusted when you are pregnant!  In fact, research shows that not only can you have a more comfortable pregnancy, but chiropractic care throughout pregnancy consistently decreases labor time in all moms! 

This site does a good job of explaining WHICH chiropractors are the best qualified to care for a pregnant woman and some of the rationale behind chiropractic care during pregnancy: http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancyhealth/chiropracticcare.html

For me, staying well adjusted helped in so many ways.  I worked 5 days a week through my 38th week of pregnancy.  I only stopped then so I could focus on getting plenty of rest, well-balanced meals and plenty of stretching in before “game day.”  If you have been to a chiropractor, you may know that we can get in some crazy positions to assist the patient, especially when they are in very acute pain or the doctor:patient size ration is off.  I never realized how many squats I do in a day before pregnancy…HA HA!  I imagine most women can say they worked through their pregnancy, and probably some with much more physically demanding jobs than mine.  My claim to fame is Idid so without any discomfort.  Don’t get me wrong, the discomforts arose, but I was able to manage each one with an adjustment, soft tissue release, massage or BEST.  

I don’t know that I could prove the scientific coorelation, but I also thank chiropractic care for the absence of morning sickness!  I am very confident that it helped my indigestion.  Especially week 30 – 36, the indigestion got really bad!  I would get adjusted and try to eat every 3-4 hours and it would go away!  Some may not care to know, but my bowels have stayed healthy and active throughout my entire pregnancy & again, I know this is a testament to my chiropractic care.  I can’t say that I have met a single patient that walked into our office that was aware of the influence an adjustment had on the organic functions of our body!  I would love to connect those dots for people!!  Please know that your nervous system is the master system; the nervous sytem dictates the function of all other systems in the body!  Chiropractic care can change your life no matter how complex your symptoms may be!

EXTRAS

In addition to chiropractic care, as often as weekly, I also received a monthly massage.  I have had 3 BEST (BioEnergetic Synchronization Technique) sessions during my pregnancy.  What is BEST?  This link can explain much better than I can:  http://www.morter.com/what_is_best.php.  I tried to do as much yoga and stretching as possible.  It is always important to maintain flexibility and circulation!

I used NutriWest pre/post natal vitamins and minerals in addition to Innate Choice Omega Sufficiency and Innate Choice Probiotic Sufficiency.  I supplemented Vitamin C as well.  I used coconut oil topically on my growing belly.  As far as diet, I put a strong emphasis on protein.  I tried to eat some source of protein 3 – 4 times per day. 

I hope you can tell, I ACTIVELY chose to participate in my pregnancy and did proactive things to help my body keep up with the daily changing demands.  I know that I have not done everything perfectly or that my choices are the best for every pregnancy.  I do know that these choices have led to a very HAPPY pregnancy for ME and my family!  It has also been healthy.  All of my measurements and bloodwork demonstrate a very “boring” pregnancy as one friend puts it….that is everything checks out fine.

As Mattie’s “guess date” approaches we get closer and closer to our very own birth story!!  We are very excited and thankful that we have wonderful friends and family like you to share this journey with!  Hopefully it won’t be long and I will be posting the story of how it all turned out!  Looking forward to sharing the next chapter!

In Loving Service,

Drs. Joey & Taryn Lowery