Monday, January 24, 2005


Since I've been interested in being a midwife or a doula for as long as I can remember, I decided to check with a few organizations to see about certification. Of course, since I'm doing doula work right now I thought I'd look into that one first. Well, it turns out you need three births. I've got that. It doesn't say anywhere that it can't be done through webcam. No, I'm not born yesterday..of course I realize that they have probably never heard of this through webcam. So I decided to write to them, let them know my situation and see if there was any way I could use these births towards my certification.

What I got back was almost what I expected. They both said "No, you can't use webcam births." Alright, I can handle that. Everyone has rules they have to follow. I can respect that. Though my suggestion is that people ought to start including a clause about whether webcam is acceptable or not. This will not be the last time someone asks, trust me.

What I was most concerned about however, was that it wasn't simply a "no" email I got back. Here's the one I got back from DONA. (Doulas of North America)

"Although unique and helpful, your lack of physical presence will not allow us to count these births for certification. There has been no research that this type of support is beneficial and in fact, much research to support that the doulas physical presence is what makes the difference."

And the other from CAPPA. (Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association)

"I'm sorry, but unless you are at a real live birth, these will not be able to count towards certification. Being there in person adds a whole dimension, hands on touching, physical presence, which is one of the three areas of being a Labor Doula. This is what all of the doula studies were based on, a large part of what we do, and part of what makes us an evidence-based program."

Okay. I have a big problem with this. Obviously the research is not correct. Sure, there are definite advantages to being there physically, but they cannot say that what I'm doing isn't beneficial. I have two midwives, six mothers, and six brand new babies that will attest to that. Some of those women had other support systems in place as well. In fact, the last one had a Labor Doula physically there with her. She had relatives there with her. She had the midwife there with her. And they still requested my help. To me, that says a lot. It tells me that while being there physically is an added benefit and of course should be strived for whenever possible, it isn't necessarily what makes a good doula. For me, its possible to be a good doula and not be there physically.

I did not plan to become an "internet Doula", its one of those things that just happened. A blessedly wonderful opportunity to help other women fell into my lap, and I'm damn well going to work with it as much as I possibly can. Certification means nothing to me. I was looking into it to see if I could better myself, but I see now that even the organizations don't really care about that. It was disappointing really.

I think perhaps I had judged them, albeit positively; but still judged. I lumped those agencies in a category of people that really cared about women. To me, midwives and doulas have always seemed to be a group of people who want to help other women. Down to earth people. And I guess, like all people... you can't really put them in a category fairly. They are still just people after all. And obviously, what's beneficial to laboring women isn't the first thing on their minds. At least not in the administration department...LOL

Sunday, January 23, 2005

My Exhole

This weekend my daughter cried almost every single day. She wasn't crying because I told her no TV. She wasn't crying because I wouldn't let her have another brownie. Nope. She was crying because her father was making fun of her.

Turns out that my exhole, that I so lovingly call him.. has been harassing my daughter. He's been talking about me in front of her. Insulting me. When she's tried sharing with him what we did over the weekend, any mention of anything remotely "Pagan" or "Wiccan" and he makes it known that he doesn't like it. He gestures behind her back, only she can see him. He makes comments to his wife about it, whispering loud enough for her to hear. All of these things are causing her to be very upset.

She said, "When he makes fun of you being Wiccan, he's not just making fun of you.. he's making fun of me too. And its not just making fun that hurts me, its that he's my father. Why is he being so mean?"

So she is finally seeing him for who he is after all. I hate to say it, but as much as I want to be happy that she sees him that way. Happy that she sees the truth! .... I'm not. I'm sad that she has to find out that her father, the one she holds so high, is really like that. I tried not too, but I ended up crying right along beside her.

She wants to live with me, and she doesn't want to live with him. She wants to spend more time with me. "Mama I love it when you spend time with me because you teach me things that I need to know. You help me learn." Now if that isn't proof that I'm doing my job...

apparently he has been living with his mother in law, in her house. This is different from how I thought it to be. He told the court and the guardian et litem two years ago, that they owned the house. The obviously made him out to be more financially stable than I am. Ah, but... it turns out that it was a lie. I asked him about it tonight on the phone, before he came to pick my daughter up. He admitted that he lied to everyone. "Why?! Why?!" I asked him. And he said he didn't know why. He of course tried to tell me that my state of mind wasn't the best back then. (As if he was doing everyone a favor by taking my daughter from me) I told him there was no reason to lie. No reason at all. He won the custody case based on a lie.

I told him that I could go back and let them know what he did. He started yelling at me, "What do you want? You want to go back to court?! You want her all the time?! You want me to have her on weekends instead?!" He just totally went off the deep end. I said that at the very least I deserved an apology. So he gave me one of those, "Well I'm soooorrrry." I'm sure that he's not in the least bit sorry, but that doesn't matter. What matters is, I've got him. And he knows it. I simply cannot believe that he lied to everyone. With something as important as our daughter. I played by the rules, and he cheated. It sounds like our marriage all over again. Every day is a healthy reminder of why I left him to begin with, I suppose!

During the conversation he tried to flip everything around on me. He started telling me that the one time I let my daughter walk down the road to the playground to check to see if there was any "clean" snow on the ground (hey, we live in the city..) that she could have been kidnapped or run over, or shot. *laugh* Sorry, but we don't live in a city that big.

1. The playground was 3 houses down from ours.
2. I stood on the porch the whole time
3. I can see the playground from the porch
4. She walked up and came right back
5. She was gone but still in my sight for all of 3 minutes
6. She's almost 7 years old.

I don't know about any of you parents out there... but my grandmother (who raised me) let me start to do things a little bit on my own. I was a very sheltered child, but she let me learn how to do things in baby steps. Its okay to watch over your child, its okay to be concerned.. but to hover over them and not let them learn and grow is wrong! She asked to walk down by herself. I said yes for a few reasons. I wanted to see if she could follow directions that were important. I wanted to see if she could do it and be trusted. I also wanted to instill some pride that she could do it by herself. I think that's important. And even though it was successful (she went right there and came right back, no problems) we haven't done it again since. Why? Because its baby steps. Little bit here, little bit there. That was over there months ago that this happened, and it will probably be another 6 months to a year before it happens again.

Anyway, it was a diversion tactic on his part to try and get me all riled up and on the defensive while I was talking to him. It didn't work. I know I'm a good mother. I know I care about my child and that I make the right decisions. I'm not always sure in the moment if the decisions are right or not... but they always have been. That's part of being a parent. Learning from your mistakes and moving on. Doing the best you can. And I know that I am.

I doubt he'd be able to spot a "bad mother" if one came along and smacked him in the face. Goddess knows I know of plenty.... perhaps I should introduce them to him.

He also told my daughter that I live on state aid, and said "Why are you hiding that from her?" Uh, okay. I'm on Social Security Disability. My daughter is 6 1/2 years old. Since when do I have to talk to her about our financial status?! In fact, shouldn't you not talk about that sort of thing around your children?! Isn't that putting adult problems in little kids heads?!

I told my daughter where my check comes from, and I even explained to her why. We talked about Agoraphobia and what it is and how it makes someone feel. I told her that I was telling her all of this because I thought she was old enough to understand better, and that I don't ever lie to her. (I guess he was on a "what your mother says is a lie" kick too) To emphasize the "no lying"..I told her exactly why I get a check. Though I still do not agree with my exhold who says, "I thought she ought to know how you really live your life." Uh, okay. Whatever.

I asked him, "Are you happy with your life? Are you really happy? Because usually people who talk about others and gossip and start trouble, do it because they are unhappy with something in their own life. Are you sure you're happy?"

He said he was very happy with his life, over there. Umm.. I wasn't aware that part of his life was over here, perhaps I ought to look into getting new locks put on the doors? I wasn't aware he was spending any time over here... I told him, "Super. Then live your life and be happy. Stay out of mine. How I live my life is none of your business. I don't talk about you, don't talk about me."

His final words were, "Fine. I'll stop bad mouthing you in front of her. I'm sooooorrrry."

Whatever man. Mark my words... you are digging your own hole. Your daughter is starting to realize that you are not the person that she thought. You are a mean, self righteous, prideful, ego maniac who derives joy from hurting other people. Get a life, and grow up please... before its too late. Your daughter is getting older and you are running out of time to change the path you're on.

Change. Before she grows to hate you.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Life Happens

It was really late last night when I got an IM from the midwife. Apparently she was bragging about me to some of her midwife friends and one of them asked to borrow her " internet doula." I guess she had a really young client that could benefit from some support. I told her if she wanted to pass my contact info out she could.

Turns out the girl was in labor right then and they wanted me to help her.
I wanted to. Goddess knows I did. It was almost 3am, the baby was crying, I was still exhausted, and there was no way my husband was feeling well enough to deal with the baby at that hour on his own. To add to the chaos, the DSL kept going out because of the storm we were having.

So I told her I couldn't do it. She assured me it was okay, and that life happens.

Never before have I felt that guilty for not being able to help someone else. I wanted to be able to help that girl have a better birth experience than she most likely got. I'm still not sure I made the right choice a day later. The problem with this is, there's simply not enough of me to go around.

I love this job. Don't get me wrong. It's just been so many years since I've had a job where I'm not just "Mama." I've been having trouble keeping up with the housework, because I've been so tired. Part of the issue I think is that I'm on call instead of having a 9-5 job. And lately there has been no warning whatsoever. The other day I got up, didn't even have a chance to get dressed and *BUZZ!* When it was all over it was just about time to go to bed again. I didn't even have a moment to get something to eat the whole day.

So obviously I need to get some things organized. I need to eat. I need to shower. I need to pee occasionally. Lately there hasn't been a time where I'm noton call. That's also hard to deal with. Its been 3 babies this week alone! Thats a lot of time spent in front of the computer committed to helping. The women though... they are so grateful! I would never willingly just give this up. Its too special and too important. I've just got to prioritize and streamline. That's all. I can do this. I want to make a difference in other peoples lives.

Tell me I don't sound like a cheap self-help book? Please? lol

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Doula Gone Wild!

And baby number 5 is a ...GIRL!

I got up yesterday thinking that I really needed to rest today. The flu that Ivy has finally got to the rest of us. dh feels like crap. I feel like crap..and go figure.. Ivy is feeling better. I'm not sure if that's better or worse! lol

So I sit down at the computer like I do every morning with my coffee (cause I have no life) and one of the moms IM's me. She's not due for another 3 weeks but she's been having pains she says. This girl is 16 years old and stubborn as hell. It was hard to talk with her because she has this shell she puts up so people think she's tough. She would have sat there all night on the IM telling me she's fine when she wasn't. So I had to do a little detective work. Asking her how she was, and then reading into her responses. She was having contractions, but the thing is.. we were trying to tell whether they were Braxton Hicks or if they were early labor contractions. She can't tell. I'm not there. The midwife is over an hour away. Finally I email the midwife and tell her that my gut says this girl is in early labor. Her contractions were in her lower back and not so much in the front. That to me says "labor!".

The midwife writes back for me to find out if she's in pain or not. This is not an easy thing, for reasons I've already stated. First I decide to breathe with the girl through a contraction. I acted how I thought she would be acting really, not how she *says* the pain is. She maintained that the pain was only a 2 on a scale of 1-10.. but that my breathing with her did help. (clue) I told her that I thought the pain was more a 3 or 4. She said, "Okay." (clue) As more time passed she got more quiet in her messages to me. They came more infrequent, and never during a contraction. First 7 minutes apart, and now down to 3 minutes apart. This was defiantly the real thing. I emailed the midwife and told her to head on over. About an hour 1/2 later the girls water broke, just minutes before the midwife showed up. Shortly afterwards she was pushing. It was a long 2 hours of pushing. (for both of us) My husband also had a long day because he had to take Ivy into the other room to play. (over the gate) because she was being an attention hog. Its hard to push and breathe when a baby is climbing in your lap.

Finally the baby's head was born. We pushed together for about 15 minutes. Way too long for just the body to come out. The midwife said the shoulders were stuck. Things started getting frantic, and they were trying to get the mom to put her fingers in her vagina at the bottom and pull down while she was pushing. The students (in training) would push on the moms belly, and the midwife would try to corkscrew the baby around so the shoulder would get unstuck. The mom wasn't doing it, so I had to show her how. Quick second thinking in a moment of an emergency, and I didn't have to think twice. Now my boobs have been on the camera before, showing new moms how to breastfeed, but never anything else...ya know? I do my "birthing" in a long tee-shirt and undies. But I whipped the undies to the side and showed the mom how to put her fingers there and push at the same time. Luckily the baby was out in one long push! I was a bit worried, because I know it needed medical attention just to be sure.

The midwife wrote me this morning and told me the baby is absolutely fine and it was a great job. That's boys=1 and girls=4 Girls in the lead! ;-)

Now, I am totally feeling like shit. The flu has hit me hard and I'm hoping I'll have a few days to get better before the next one. I cannot believe I've helped deliver 3 babies in less than a week! THREE!! That just blows me away. If this keeps up I'm going to need an office with a birthing bed in it! Hahah! That would look kinda funny. lol

Saturday, January 15, 2005


Yes, thats what it looks like! I'm redoing my blog. As it turns out the wonderful bamboo template I was using isn't going to be compatible with Foxfire anytime soon. Looked great in IE, but alas... I wasn't willing to switch back just for the sake of a pretty looking blog. Nope!
So for awhile things are going to look pretty messy here. I wanted to get it fixed today and ahh...actually fill in those links over there ------>
But my daughter said she'd like to eat something today and can I please cook for her?
So I'm off for now. Don't get lost in all this mess while I'm gone! ;-)

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Witches Weekly Questions for Jan 1st

January 1st, 2005 Witches Weekly Questions:

Do you have any Winter Solstice traditions?

For so many years it was just myself practicing, and I did whatever felt right to me at the time. I've always done a private ritual at night that includes a whole lot of candles flickering in my home. Now that I have two children and two cats (one who is fascinated with batting flames) I've had to cut it down to just one candle. I'm still working on incorporating my rituals into ones my kids can participate in as well. I'm sure it will be years before I settle on one particular way, if ever. None of us are morning people, so we don't rise with the dawn to welcome the day. Instead we take some time enjoying the sun when we do get up and thinking of all the ways the sun helps us and the earth.

How do you feel about the more secular form of the holiday, with presents and Santa Claus?

This is a tricky question for me. If things were the way that I really wanted them, my children wouldn't celebrate with "Santa" the way many others do.

I have taught my oldest about the stories behind "Santa." I think the original thoughts behind it are wonderful. Teaching her about caring, loving, and giving is something I try to do all the time. I don't agree with how commercialism the whole season has become though. It actually makes me sick to my stomach to hear all the "Santa" talk and presents this and presents that. I think it definitely takes away from the spirit of the season if you aren't careful.

All that being said, my oldest daughter spends half of her time with her biological father. They do celebrate their christmas with the "Santa" figure. My oldest believes in "Santa" and I can't just dispel her beliefs in one single sentence. "No such thing as Santa hun, sorry. Pass me the salt please." I need to wait until she is ready to hear the truth, and then I will be more than happy to tell her. Right now she still expects "Santa" to leave presents at this house too, so reluctantly I'll admit, he does. But he doesn't leave more than a present or two. The rest of them come from her step-father, me, and her sister. I don't like some guy in a red and white suit taking credit for all that I've done. ;-)

So, my youngest will have some "Santa" influence in her life. Even though I'd rather not have it that way it's difficult to say, "Santa only comes for you Sierra, not for your sister." She just wouldn't understand.

I guess you could say that we got sucked into participating in the whole thing. I would rather just have him be a guy that was really nice and good a long time ago. The spirit of him lives on.

The whole reindeer, sleigh, and coming down chimneys? Nah. I don't encourage those myths any. I find them rather silly. I also don't take my children to get pictures with "Santa."

People have argued with me that children need to have some "magic" in their lives. I think my kids have plenty of that. ;-)

What is one thing that is etched into your memory about this recent holiday season?

Only a week or so before Yule I experienced my second miscarriage. I was 12 weeks along and we were going to include the good news in our Yule cards. Finally we could share it. Finding out that our baby had died already, waiting it out, and in the end having a D&C done only a week before the holidays... it was very hard. I had to force myself to be happy for the kids and to find the good in the season. Fake it til you make it! Eventually the cloud did lift, and I was able to enjoy myself. Some days are still hard, but it does get easier every day. When I think back to December 2004 I will always remember the little dream that I was forced to give up.

There are happy things though. The look on my youngest daughters face when she opened a few gifts that were about "Teletubbies". (her absolute favorite) She kept smiling and babbling, "Ubbies ubbies ubbies". My oldest had to get used to not "helping" her sister unwrap presents. And I think she was just as excited to watch her sister unwrap them as she was to unwrap her own. That sisterly love bond melts my heart every time.

Witches Weekly Answers from the past

This previously was posted on the side of my blog, but I wanted it to have a more permanant home here in the middle. If you haven't read it yet, it might help you get to know me better. :-) I will be posting my answers to the January 1st questions soon!

Witches Weekly: Which book has influenced your path the most and why?

I'd have to say "Circle Round" by Starhawk, Diane Baker and Anne Hill. When I was focusing mostly on myself and my spiritualism I read a lot of books that were helpful and wonderful, but when I decided I wanted to involve my children in the path of the Goddess I found it much harder to find information. "Circle Round" has been the best book for that job! It's helped me to weave Wicca into everything we do as a family and made it so much fun for my kids.

What person has influenced your path the most and why?

My grandmother. Without a doubt she was the most loving, earthy, understanding witch that I've ever known. I'm glad I was blessed with her nurturing for 15 years. I am who I am today because of her.

Why are you pagan?

It just feels right for me! When I am separated from the earth, plants, water, growing things, I experience depression and unhappiness. I grew up on a farm where we were thankful for everything the earth gave us. I've been pagan all my life. Though I spent time in a Christian school and walked that path for quite a few years, it was never *me*. This feels like home to me. I am proud to be Pagan and proud to be Wiccan.

Monday, January 10, 2005

It's 2005 for the whole year!

Happy New Year! (a tad late but you can't say I didn't wish you one) Our family stayed up really late watching movies and eating complete and utter junk food. My oldest looked really funny at 12:30 in the morning with bags under her eyes. I'm not sure she even got to close them before she fell asleep, she was that tired. Hey, she's the one who wanted to stay up so badly for new years. So I thought, "Why not?" We all had a good time anyway.

I found this while surfing around tonight and thought it was very interesting.

20 Year Archive on Google Groups: "Google has fully integrated the past 20 years of Usenet archives into Google Groups, which now offers access to more than 800 million messages dating back to 1981. This is by far the most complete collection of Usenet articles ever assembled and a fascinating first-hand historical account."

It's hard for me to imagine that the internet and Usenet aren't really that old. It seems like they've been around forever. When my ISP shut me off last year (come on, cable is damn expensive!) I almost had a heart attack. I simply cannot remember a time when computers and the www was not here. And what do I do without them! Now don't get me wrong.. I'm a pagan and I love the simple life. As long as that includes a computer with internet access. ;-)

On the homefront, today was a good day! I had a nice chat with the local Spiral Scouts leader and it looks like Sierra will be starting with the local circle in a few weeks! She'll be so happy to hear that. We were supposed to go to the meet and greet last weekend, but with the storm we got that day it just wasn't possible to drive up there. The roads were horrible, and we were already plowed in anyway. So I sent her an email and she was nice enough to call me and tell me how everything works. She sounds very nice and I'm looking forward to getting together with them!

Being a pagan parent its really hard to find groups or circles that accept kids in them. This is a major issue I have with the pagan community as a whole. I want my children to be involved. I want them to learn all they can and participate in spirituality and life. My children want this as well and indeed my oldest asks all the time if we can go to a circle or learn something new about pagans. She's interested and willing and yet the community doesn't accept children like they do adults. That's why I'm thrilled that Sierra will get this chance to be around other kids who are pagan like herself.

Well, its time for me to go throw a load of towels in the washer. Ya, its late..but hey, its fun to annoy the downstairs neighbors.