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Reason #1 The Due Date is Crap

Does anybody even know how due dates are come up with? (and I love how the mac keeps wanting to auto correct to DUDE DATE ahahahha) Lets Review: According to Wikipedia (and personal knowledge corroborates this)

The rule estimates the expected date of delivery (EDD) by adding one year, subtracting three months, and adding seven days to the first day of a woman’s last menstrual period (LMP). The result is approximately 280 days (40 weeks) from the start of the last menstrual period. Another method is by adding 9 months and 7 days to the first day of the last menstrual period.

And then look around at you Target or something and see if all the people with a uterus standing around you are wearing the same shoe size. Hmm, no. But they all are (probably) wearing shoes. Same sitch for due dates, all typically within the range of 37 -42 weeks, but its not like boom, have a box of contractions on your due date. Not even close.

blue present with Bow

Box of contractions for a magically short and awesome labor!

All pregnancies come to full term at times, and it can vary from pregnancy to pregnancy for the same person.  And I’m not even falling for the “Well, my mother did this, so I’ll probably do xyz.”

Preggers please, my mother birthed at an Army hospital in El Paso in the 70’s, I’m fairly certain that nothing flows the same. 

So its super important to realize that you are not broken, defective, or otherwise forked up if you aren’t in labor and sail way past your due date. Cause guess what? That can stop a labor, the anxiety and feelings of “I cant even go into labor right,” will keep the labor train form leaving the station. Need help getting people off your dress? Give ’em the bird. ‘Cause most people outside of birth workers have zero idea about the entire process. Make sure and tag your bird pic with #LaborWhispering so me and the Secret Society of Labor Whisperers can hard core troll the peeps giving you the Vag TV. xoxoxo my loves, Rowan Ps Local gal Cole gets all up in your dates right here.

Reason #2 It’s all in Your Head

 

Reason #2 It’s all in Your Head*

Welllllll heck, reason number two that labor doesn’t start is that there is an emotional or mental block that is keeping your baby from getting in synch with your natural “going into labor” rhythm. What’s that you say “I didn’t know that I could mind block my labor?!” Well sure you could, just like if your hang out up in your head to much you can stop (or significantly slow) other things, you know, that use that same general area. Just think about that for a minute. Ever tried to get dowwwwwnnnnn but your mind wouldn’t let you? Same thing with birth, but now instead it looks like anxiety  about birth, or the postpartum period or work stuff, or “Can you wait to have the baby? Today is not a good day.” Anxiety will stop a labor in its tracks, so  when control type A peeps get wound up because birth and labor aren’t carrying on according to their time lines, that in surging adrenaline stops oxytocin cold. Think Ice Ice Baby…. If we hop over to the emotional side of things, getting emotionally wound up is also a labor block. Ever been so upset you couldn’t think straight? Or so over the top pissed off your voice shook and hands were unsteady? In my family we call this having a red hair moment. This will stop your labor. So what if its more subtle than that? A nagging worry, or something that just keeps you emotionally off kilter? Like, I dunno, you hate your doctor, or the hospital, or some other person or place where you are birthing. Like a key factor, those types of emotional unease or trigger will keep you from feeling safe and ready to go into labor. So lets start here, get out a journal or the back of an envelope or a smart phone with Evernote or whatever and brain dump all the shiznit thats bothering you.

Here is my horrible attempt, but I think you get the idea.

list on enveloope

Out of your Head, Onto the Paper

So just to lay it all out there, when it comes to birth emotions and/or things we mentally chew over and over again, its either part of the solution or part of the problem. So if you have a list working (and most folks do), its time to address the points one by one and create a plan  or workarounds or boundaries, or whatever, but the goal here is too have a mother trucking list of solutions in your hand. Alert: your action plan most probably needs to include the thinning of peeps attending your birth. So make your list, sling it on some social media, and tag it with #LaborWhispering so that way we can clap and cheer and give you our two cents (or not) for getting your head and heart clean and ready for a new baby in your arms. And thats how you Labor Whisper yourself through reason #2. xo my loves, Rowan *Let’s be clear here, “It’s all in your head,” is valid all freaking day long. Its not any less real or legit than an obvious physical challenge, like lets say if you had rickets when you were a kid and have a deformed pelvis or some shiz. Which you probably don’t, but I think you get me.

Reason #3 Its Physical

Lets get Physical!

Meggan with a be

Belly Map Belly Art by Gail Tully, creator of Spinning Babies.

Fetal Positioning~ Here is the deal, optimal fetal positioning is an actual physical thing, and not a bunch of horse hockey. (You like that? It’s cause I’m trying not to cuss.) Anywhoo, sitting, driving, computering etc all contribute to stiff and underutilized muscles, and in general keep our bodies not especially labor ready. Some type of prenatal fitness is helpful, with of course WALKING being awesome, along with yoga or whatever else you were into prepregnancy. And don’t hate me when I say chasing a toddler doesn’t count.

  1. One thing that I’ve seen work super well is this daily deal from Spinning Babies,  seriously loves, if you had any idea how positively this would affect your labor it would be THE EVENT of the day, top of the self care list. A mal~positioned baby creates a funky labor pattern, most times within a hospital setting that is not luxury a laboring person gets. I especially love that their site has an entire section dedicated to if you are in LABOR RIGHT NOW the best ways to get labor unstalled. This is gold y’all.
  2. 2nd up is the Dancing for Birth peeps. This is some legit moooooves here, and I use these all the time. Think about the pelvis, the more fluid and asymmetrical the hip moves are, the more the baby has an opportunity to reposition and settle down. So instead of clenching up and working against the contraction, how about moving with the body? To see Dancing For Birth in action, check out Instructor and trainer Heather Gream  showing her moves here, about an hour before baby was born. Pretty sure Christina Aguilera would hop up and dance right with her!
  3. Lastly, if you are unsure if your belly and uterus could use more support booking a session with an Arvigo Therapy Maya Abdominal Massage practitioner is a great idea!
  4. Need more help? Schedule a session with a Labor Whisperer, either in person or virtually. Not sure who fits you best? Give a shout in our FB group, and we will do our best to fix you up.

xoxoxo Rowan brainstorming up my next way to support your labor!

How to Improve Your Odds for a Successful VBAC

Well poop. For whatever reason your previous birth ended up in a surgical birth, otherwise known as a C section. And that may or may not have sucked for you. Some people are wrecked, and some are like “Whateves, I’m good.”  For those of you taking it in stride, you gotta start massaging your scar, like ASAP, before you get pregnant. LOOK,  I found a video for you, and that would be one I did BEFORE I took Share Ross’s Rockstar Video course. so its less, um, polished, but the general gist of what can happen if you don’t work on your scars is covered. And by work I  mean just “Get all up in there,” to quote one my client Angela. And get all up in there gently, like I demo~ed in this (low volume) video using silly putty. For those still reeling and processing, you might need more support. There might be more to it than searching around for a youtube video on scar work. Sometimes healing is a rougher road, a labyrinth, which I think is eloquently described in this post.  Healing is intense and winding, but its important work my loves. Let’s really think about this through, its crazy important to do whatever you can to increase the odds for a successful VBAC.  Local Houston doctor Christina Davidson was asked what’s the biggest downfall  of VBACS, and she said ADHESIONS. That’s right loves, scar tissue and connective tissue thats gotten bananas. That scar tissue can pull your uterus out of allignment, and tuck it to your bladder, or stick it to something (like an organ) so that it isn’t allowed to perform its function. Go outside and step on the hose, and now turn the water on. That would be a uterus with adhesions. Decreased capacity for getting the job done.

Try and do your job now you contorted and adhered uterus!

Try and do your job now you contorted and adhered uterus!

Massage can loosen them up, so there is less crimping, more flow. And for sure much adhesions get remediated by the subsequent pregnant belly, but for reals maybe some proactive massage might 1) not give you the ripping adhesion sensation during pregnancy and 2) prevent or clear some of that up before baby is on board. So to clarify, more massage and scar reduction now equals less pain and tenderness in pregnancy, and increases odds for a successful VBAC. So what to do if you aren’t feeling all good about a DIY? I created this incredibly tender hearted step by step scar reduction course. Its hosted on Udemy for now, and soon to be moved over to here. I’d love it if you gave it a try. Remember, IMO the first step to a VBAC is scar massage. Ready to give it a go? Got a question for me? Leave a comment and I’ll tell you want I think. xoxoxo, Rowan ps thank you to my foot model Sam!

Vag Tv

“Vag Tv is sneaky, often well intentioned, and can totally slow your labor roll. Come to this group prenatal class to get the 411 on how you too can prevent Vag Tv, sidestep its dire consequences, and spot it a mile away. Presented by Rowan TwoSisters and the Secret Society of Labor Whisperers.” This is the intro on a FaceBook event for a group prenatal class  for Sacred Journey Midwifery that I’m presenting with my other Labor Whisperers in Jan. And it occurs to me that Shannon Stellhorn’s living room isn’t going to hold all of us. All of you. All of the women who need to know that the hyper-scrutiny and all the “Have you had that baby yet?” are actually labor stoppers. STOPPERS. As in do not pass go. Like I know I’ve totally written before about going into labor , but let’s just look at it again.  Review. There are four kinda general reasons that people don’t go into labor,

  1. The due date is crap ~Arbitrary, a guestimate. And people get MARRIED to that shiz. Calm down people, its just a a shot in the dark. Every woman, every pregnancy, every weather pattern is different.
  2. Its all in your head ~  Something emotional/mental/energetically is slowing the roll. EX? Vag TV!
  3. Let’s Get Physical! So maybe fetal malposition (due to a number of things), tight pelvic floor, broken and now stuck pointing inward  coccyx.
  4. We don’t actually know, but somethings up. ~And this is where we do everything we can to get a preggers person as ready as can be with our protocol, so that if you need a little help from our (medical) friends, that we’ve cleared the way for any medical intervention needed to be as effective as possible. Collaborative not combative.

Vag Tv is a shining example of getting so much hassle that your body doesn’t feel safe enough to do its job, like kick into labor. Vag Tv is when you are no longer a person, but a giant belly/crotch combo, and everybody has their 2cents on your birth, your belly size, your birth plan, your partners involvement. It can look like the constant social media posts asking about the baby, or text messages, or unsolicited comments, especially those involving crap birth stories. The solution to Vag Tv is boundaries. No joke. Because if your body doesn’t know you are going to keep it safe and taken care of, the Oxytocin may decide hide and not come out and play. So I came up with a plan.

  1. Take you one of these, this is my girl Angela Andrea, she bakes cakes.

Andrea Selfie2. Then go back and take a sticky note, or a piece of printer paper and stick it up right where your phone would be.Oh, you can write on it too, something clever or witty or, I know, a picture of a bird!

Bird pic

I think we can all see why I didn’t pursue a career in art.

3. ok, take the pregnant selfie again.Beth & BirdBoom, there you are. The perfect profile pic for all your social media posts. Genius, eh? Don’t forget to include the hashtag #laborwhispering, then maybe all your social media peeps can come tell me what a B I am for coaching you on having good labor boundaries. Whatevs, I have friends. When to take it down? When you have one of these!

Baby Violet

Baby Violet. She’s looking right into our souls.

Xoxoxoxoo, Rowan