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Archive for September 10th, 2011

 

Hazel Rae Selah Walton 

 

was born on August 30, 2011 at 9:07 am. She weighed 6 pounds and 11.8 ounces, and has already gained 8+ ounces a mere 10 days later!!

We labored for 31 hours, half at home and half at Group Health. I was tired, to say the least. But little Hazel’s heart rate stayed strong and consistent even through the tail end of labor. I realized then that she was going to lead me through difficult times with grace and strength. We called her ‘champ’ all the way through the labor, and joked that should be her name.

I also realized something amazing about the human body and the attitude of naturopathic medicine. When I first got to Group Health, I was hemming and hawing about getting an epidural and pitocin drip even though that is why we were there (to lengthen the contraction). I kept remembering how the procedure and subsequent necessary monitoring was portreyed in my Normal Maternity class at Bastyr. I would be immobile, hooked up to a heartrate and contraction monitors for baby, BP cuff for me, catheterized, on an IV drip, etc. I would most likely need pitocin at some point because my labor would likely stop. And then…. the cascade of interventions most often resulting in a C-section.

Now I was born via C-section so its obviously not the worst way to be born 🙂 But, it was not part of The Plan. This is where the attitude of naturopathic medicine comes in. The goal isn’t to follow The Plan, it is to be attuned and responsive to what is happening in the moment, always with an eye to the goal (a healthy baby!) and not only the current state of affairs (symptoms). In the moment, NO I did not want to be hooked up to machines, but if that was the way to help my baby girl enter the world, than that is what I would do. Once my brain got there, I felt incredibly blessed to be in the hands of such a competent healthcare team, who were each truly dedicated to the process of natural birth. Contrary to what I was taught, I didn’t even notice the tubes and monitors, etc. In fact, it was quite reassuring to look over and see little Hazel’s hear staying strong and stable throughout each contraction. I felt bonded with her- if such a tiny person could weather this situation, then certainly I could too. My little champ.

Hazel was born after 3 hours of pushing. She did the “breast crawl” where she shimmied up to the breast found a latch and started eating within minutes of being born. Everyone in the room loved her and cheered her on. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to look back at those moments without an overwhelming sense of joy and gratitude- for amazing little Hazel, for my incredible birth team, and for the inherent strength we all have within us.

I want to thank each of you who have offered your support as I have been on maternity leave. Hazel is loving the gifts you have given her, and is looking forward to meeting you in the last quarter of this year!

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