It’s not that often that I feel silenced and unable to speak up, but lately, I have been. I have been reticent with my excitement about giving birth, going into labour, and for all of the experiences that are to arise as a result.
“Do you know if it’s a boy or a girl?” An obvious question these days to most people who are curious about the child I am incubating. The curiosity is appreciated on my part, in fact. I like to talk about being pregnant and generally enjoy talking about human experiences, mine or yours! But the question itself is somewhat flawed with the belief that I would in anyway be able to tell what the gender of our baby is without having even met the child first.
I’m not one who typically rides the fence. I like to take a stance and then argue adamantly for my point. However, today, I’m not here to promote vaccinations or anti-vaccines. Sorry to those for whom that is an interest. I’m writing to raise an issue regarding the ability and tolerance around thinking critically about vaccines. Vaccines is not a black and white issue and yet there are not enough meaningful conversations happening around the topic when there should be.
Instead of meaningful conversations with people seeking to understand the nature of vaccines and vaccination choices, there are emotional opinions on both sides, which, from what I have witnessed, often leads to name calling and silencing of critical thinking.
Home births are a controversial topic among many people who care about birth. Personally, I have had conversations about this with all sorts of people including obstetricians, midwives, doulas, women who have had home births, women who have had hospital births, (no women who have had birth centre births yet), fathers and other partners prepping for an upcoming birth, fathers and other partners who have been at their baby’s birth and some who have not, and parents, friends, siblings, and cousins of moms and moms-to-be. What strikes me most interesting in all of these conversations is the attitudes that persist and, even more interesting, is where everyone gets their attitude from. What I have noticed throughout these conversations is that attitudes vary significantly and can, at times, be predicted based on a person’s background, education, and experience. This is not that surprising given how much our attitudes formed are, in general, influenced by the environment in which we live, work, and educate ourselves.
1 part baking soda
3 parts water
1 part apple cider vinegar
3 parts water
(for long hair use 75 ml (i.e., 5 Tbsp) of baking soda/vinegar with 225 ml of water)
- for conditioner I used 2 drops of an essential oil of jasmine to get rid of the vinegar smell. Choose something you want to be smelling frequently!
- I also added some black walnut powder, which you can get it at a loose tea emporium, for a darker tone. Not sure if it helps yet but I like my hair dark… especially where there are greys!
- I plan to play with the shine a bit. I might add some avocado or beer (see below)… stay tuned!
Starting with Infrequent Washings
I’ve been toying with the idea of doing this with my hair for awhile. I have used apple cider vinegar on occasion and liked the results, but always followed it up with a real (by real I actually mean the fake, commercially available kind) conditioner. But until last night, I had not yet ventured into the baking soda. But it was December 29th and I had a few days of writing planned before a quiet new year’s of game playing with friends. My hair didn’t really matter for the next 5 days at least.
After 2 months of experiencing nausea 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, it finally broke, just like a fever does. I was standing in the kitchen and all of a sudden I felt it lift and float away. Then, I felt something so familiar and comforting that I just wanted to cry. I felt “me” again.
The feeling, as comforting as it was, didn’t last because, of course, I’m not exactly me again. “Me” is carrying another “me” inside of this body. Me is pregnant, 15 weeks as of December 15th.
This new me has already experienced many changes.
The idea of a water birth to me sounds somewhat luxurious… the idea of being immersed in warm water and a comfortable entry of the baby into this world… The only thing missing would be the warm sun shining down and a mojito at my side for when it’s all over. :)
But for some reason a water birth doesn’t quite sit well with me (yet?). Excluding the fact that I worry about my shoulders being cold or somehow getting chilled if I was in there too long, there are other factors that raise concern for me. The first of which, is that it just doesn’t seem natural to me. I haven’t heard of many women of the past intuitively running to the stream to give birth, but do correct me if I’m wrong! I seriously just haven’t heard of it (except for the first documented case of a woman in France in 1803 who, after a long exhausting birth, got into a tub of warm water (http://www.babycentre.co.uk/a542003/the-history-of-water-birth).
In November of 2012 I told my family doctor that we were starting to try to get pregnant. She immediately referred me to a local fertility clinic because of my age. I had just turned 37. My family doctor did not believe in waiting the typical 1-year trial period for someone my age. Time was of the essence. We agreed to take the referral and thought it would be a good opportunity to see if everything was working ok. I had my doubts because, well… I had been sexually active since I was 14 years old and had never gotten pregnant, EVER! I couldn’t help but wonder if I was just really smart or infertile that whole time.