Thursday, April 28, 2011

Natural Parenting Blog Party--Meeting Littlemama Midwife

"The same goes for female elders too. They are to be suitably holy as is fitting for their appointment, not slanderers, not enslaved by wine, teachers who provide instruction in what is right. Then they can
bring the new women to their senses to love their husbands, to love their children, to be clear headed, holy, the mistress of the house, supportive of their own husbands, so that the Word of God won’t be blasphemed."  Titus 2:3-5 The Source

I still remember the sense of amazement and awe.  I chattered about it non-stop to my husband on the way home.  "You won't believe this!  I met a mom at church who doesn't babywise!"  I'm not sure if my dearly beloved quite grasped how earth-shaking this was.  I had never met a mom in real life who didn't schedule feedings, spank or make her babies cry it out, and it was revolutionary to me.

I have been a social misfit, um, independent thinker for as long as I can remember.  Most of my life I didn't quite fit with the majority of my peers.  I didn't talk like them, dress like them or think like them, whether I wanted to or not.  Yet I shared with them the heart desire for being accepted and understood.  And always, God has brought special, amazing friends into my life.

But the loneliness hit hard when I became a parent and rejected mainstream practices like spanking, cry-it-out, and so on.  I didn't know of anyone who believed like I did.  Thankfully, I had some MMMs--Message board Mama Mentors--who patiently shared with me, encouraged me and answered my myriad questions.  However, as dear as these ladies were to my heart, most of them were agnostics, atheists, or pagan.  I hadn't yet joined GCM, and although we shared many beliefs, not being able to share my heart for God with them made me a little lonely.  Even worse were the occasional doubts that would flicker through my mind.  Was I somehow missing God?  If every believer I knew was convinced that God wanted them to hit their babies and refuse to comfort them, was I somehow mistaken in believing that He was calling me to treat mine with compassion?

I believe that God understands more than we could imagine what it is to be misunderstood and to not fit in with those around us.  The deep desire for fellowship, intimacy and relationship is something that He placed within us.  And I believe that He meets those needs, both through His Spirit and through the people He brings into our lives.

That Sunday morning in the Nursing Moms room where I met Littlemama Midwife was a turning point for me.  I didn't want her to feel like she was going through some kind of inquisition, but with every guarded question (", is there a particular approach you use regarding discipline?) I felt more and more relief.  Finally, someone who was passionate about Jesus and about parenting the way I felt He was leading me to parent!

I needed a mentor, and Littlemama Midwife is an amazing teacher.  She taught me to babywear and made me a wrap.  She answered all my questions on vaccinations and encouraged and helped me as we navigated our way through the overwhelming amount of info after ds' reaction.  She didn't think I was weird for tandem nursing.  She was never shocked by preschoolers who still wanted leche.  She had several years of homeschooling experience and was always happy to answer questions on curriculum.

She understood the disappointment and sadness I felt when our pastor encouraged spanking, and prayed with us and encouraged us to write our letter.  On days when I secretly feared that all the spankers were right about my kids turning into brats if I didn't spank, I could look at her four beautifully behaved kids and see the future I was hoping for.

However, there was one area where I was sure we diverged.  I totally respected her beliefs regarding birth.  I was just sure that they didn't apply to me.  I'll take that epidural as soon as contractions are fifteen minutes apart, thankyouverymuch.  I'm only dilated to a three, you say?  Oh, well, bring on the pit...  I was pathetically uninformed, and it is only through amazing mercy that my births were not C-sections.  

But as soon as I became pregnant with our third child, I felt that the Holy Spirit was telling me not to have an epidural this time around.  I tried to ignore it.  I really, really did.  I couldn't, though.  The voice inside me kept growing more insistent.  Dh, bless him, thought I was nuts.  He didn't want to see me in pain and he was afraid that I would not be able to take it and then have to deal with the emotional fallout of changing my mind.  Littlemama was my one voice of encouragement, telling me that I could do it.  She shared resources, information, books, red raspberry leaf tea and hugs.

She came over early in my labor, and tenderly supported me through the whole thing.  I can't even imagine how tired her arms must have been after applying pressure, helping me find comfortable positions and constantly being exactly what I needed.  When we got to the hospital and one of the worst of the Planet of the Apes sequels was on, she understood my loathing and helped me laugh.

When my water broke and the OB turned white as a sheet and began yelling at me to push, she saw that I was tuning out and spoke quietly right into my ear what I needed to do.  The cord was prolapsed.  Thankfully, she was out in just a few pushes.  If I had had pitocin, if I had had an epidural and been unable to push like I needed to...I wouldn't have the little warrior princess I have now.

Heather, dd and me just a couple of days after the birth.

When I became pregnant again, she understood my desire for a homebirth.  When I thought that there was no way we could afford a homebirth, she was incredibly generous.  Once again she supported me all through labor, and when my 9lb 6oz sweetling whose hand was tucked up next to her ginormous cheeks finally popped out, she was able to catch her.

My internet friends are amazing and real.  But having someone who is there with us in the daily walk-it-out of parenting is something we all desperately need.  Since meeting Littlemama, God has brought some more awesome moms into my life--GentleMomof4, my SIL, my dear friend Becki and others, (soon to include the Peaceful Housewife!).

I think God has a tender spot for moms who need encouragement, love, support and guidance.  Although Littlemama is not older than I, she has fulfilled the role of the Titus 2 lady in my life in many ways, and I am so very, very grateful.  If you are needing a real-life friend, keep praying and looking.  I hope that you can find a sister of the heart like I did.  :)


Virginia Is For Mothers said...

It's amazing how God protects us during childbirth in so many different ways. That's awesome that God laid it on your heart to deliver your babies the way you did...200 years ago I might have been one of those women who died in childbirth. When my first son was born, I made it to 9cm and then went backwards to 6-7cm. After 40 hrs of labor, I wound up with a c-section. When Ethan came out, he had the cord wrapped around his neck and shoulder and the dr told my husband that had I pushed him into the birth canal, he might have had to "make a decision" about which one of us should be saved. I'm very very thankful for medical technology!

dulce de leche said...

Wow--I am so thankful that things turned out well for you both! <3 I have come to believe with all my heart that we need to pay attention to the little voices inside of us during pregnancy and labor. I have had a close friend who felt that something was wrong and changed from a homebirth to a hospital and it turned out that her c-section was completely necessary and saved her baby. I have known other moms who needed to give birth at home to prevent an unnecessary surgery. I suspect that if I had been under the care of an OB or planning a hospital birth that they would have wanted to section me for Amaya's birth. For me, the moral is to always trust and follow what God is speaking to you. <3

Heather said...

*Blushing* Aww...thank you so much! Your post was a nice surprise this morning when I was at a tough birth.

Yes, we are always thankful for hospitals and doctors....when they are needed. :)

dulce de leche said...

(((Hugs))) I am sorry that the birth this morning was rough, but I am sure that you made it better than it would have been otherwise. <3