For the first time since August 1, I feel awesome.  I feel “alive” and empowered.  I am hopeful.  I am excited.  Answering “The Call” can do that for you.

On August 1 I began miscarrying my second pregnancy.  There was nothing to be done, and we were gung ho to conceive again as soon as possible.  Once my menses returned we went for it and got pregnant again.  I guess I have no trouble becoming pregnant.  Unfortunately I began bleeding from an early first trimester subchorionic hematoma [level III research article] on October 7.  I was misdiagnosed with a blighted ovum and treated as though my body was not miscarrying correctly.  By the time I learned about the misdiagnosis, I had lost too much blood to save the pregnancy.  I lost the baby at about 7 weeks on October 14.

So how can I possibly be saying that I feel AWESOME less than a week following my miscarriage?  Let me count the ways:

  1. Officially started a local chapter (the first in Montana) of the International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN)
  2. Scheduled a benefit screening of The Business of Being Born (BOBB) for December 8 at the Roxy Theater in Missoula, MT
  3. Was put in contact with some terrific natural birth advocates and caregivers thanks to the BOBB production team (thanks to them for facilitating awesomeness)
  4. Continue to receive excellent holistic care from my chiropractor
  5. Received a free half-hour massage with my amazing massage therapist thanks to my chiropractor and a few enthusiastic students
  6. Was able to space out my schedule a bit better and alleviate some work distress
  7. Receive regular positive feedback about my maternal-child heath advocacy efforts
  8. Had an AWESOME time at the Farmers Market hanging out with my new friends and meeting other people passionate about childbirth issues

I’d like to describe my day to you.  First, let me say that I have never done anything like this before in my life.  Generally speaking, I am a selfish and protective person; I can be quite stingy with my time.  I like “me me me” time a whole lot. 

I’ve logged a number of late nights lately.  I’ve been collecting information and putting together materials for today’s event.  I started working with a new to me program called Scribus, an open source program that aspires to “compete” with Adobe Pagemaker.  It’s a bit quirky, but it’s not like I read any “how to” for using it.  Getting ready to advertise takes a lot of time and effort.  And it made me very nervous . . .

Yesterday (not a moment too soon) I was ready to print my materials.  I created a bookmark that people could take away.  (It’ll also make a good book-stuffing library project.)  I quickly made a chapter pamphlet geared towards explaining who ICAN of Greater Missoula is and what services we will provide.  I also created the 1/4 page flyer about the movie that we handed out at the market.  I went to bed around 1am this morning.

Today I woke up around 7am, worrying about what time to arrive at the market.  I was afraid of getting there much past 8am, but since it is cold and sprinkly, I decided to stay home until my friends planned to arrive at the market to help.  By about 8:45am I was set up and already (nervously) handing out flyers.  One of our city council candidates set his stuff up across the sidewalk from me, and it was good to talk to him about public issues in Missoula.

My friends arrived with all kinds of fancy materials from the Birth Center.  I was glad to have a couple of people there to boost my confidence.  (Those people who are pushy with flyers around town really annoy me, so I wasn’t sure how to approach the whole flyer distribution technique!)  The Birth Center representative brought out these really cool “Jelly Babies” (wish I could find a link to a picture), but I think they were scaring “the straights”, so we had her put them away.  Interesting how suspicious people can be.  Some people were afraid we were some pro-choice group or some pro-life group when actually we’re a pro-“life choice” group of sorts.  Plus, come on, who’s right to life are we fighting for here – not only the baby but also the MOTHER.  Oh yeah, her.

I found that I had better success with the flyers when I was over at the food area getting coffee and after I took the table down and was shopping at the market myself.  (I hope that’s a helpful bit of info for anyone planning to advertize on foot.)  I ran into a few University colleagues, and those interactions were good for me, I do believe.  One of the men I talked with works with my Dean.  (Score!)  Another guy I talked to is the MOST popular instructor on campus, it seems.  He’s going to hook me up with another professor and see how BOBB can fit into the context of a current human sexuality course.  I met other doulas, a CNM from out of town, other moms and dads, other people connected with naturopathy (is that even a word or did I just invent it?).  I was invited to speak about birth complications and cesarean awareness at a Birth Center class on Monday night.

I feel like this is just the tip of the iceberg.  Missoula is primed to gather around this issue – I just know it.  I feel confident that the Missoula Independent will support us somehow.  I have a former student who works for a local TV station so maybe I can get the story out through her.  So many ideas.  So many opportunities in the making.  So much to be done.

Still haven’t figured out why I feel awesome?  Well then you need “a lesson in awesomeness”.  (I love that saying.)

Business of Being Born Buzz

I was thrilled to read Navelgazing Midwife’s thoughts on The Business of Being Born.  I’m just getting so excited about bringing this to Missoula!

I’d like to pull a couple of points out of her post and subsequent article to pique your interest (if that’s even necessary)!

When someone goes in as a natural birth advocate, they come out a natural birth fanatic. I am not kidding. We’ve watched as pregnant woman after pregnant woman walked into the movie a hospital patient and walk out with a list of midwives in their hand or Dr. Wonderful’s card if they are still unsure about birthing outside of the hospital.

And families who were initially hesitant to support a midwifery-attended birth have become ardent supporters intent on converting their misunderstanding friends.

This is unfortunate:

I’m finding it challenging to get the press to either view the movie or to cover the importance of it in our community. It seems some people find natural birth not newsworthy… a big ol’ yawn.


Together, we can bring more people to know what we’ve known for far too long.


Completed Miscarriage

My ultrasound this afternoon confirmed what I already knew: that I lost the pregnancy yesterday and that I have a fibroid.  The ultrasound technician confirmed what I recently learned – that I was misdiagnosed last week with a blighted ovum.  Not only was it too early to diagnose a blighted ovum, but the presence of the yolk sac means that it was NOT a blighted ovum.  Likely the large subchorionic hematoma lead to the eventual miscarriage.

It’s been a rollercoaster ride of a week: threatened miscarriage, started a new chapter of ICAN, stayed in bed and hid from the world, put off all responsibilities onto other people’s shoulders, posted, researched, prayed, cried, hope, despair, loneliness, overwhelmed, frustrated, angry, confused, trusting, untrusting, and the list goes on and on.

So what’s next for me?  A make-over?  I dunno.  I’ve consented to having the OB monitor my pregnancy hormone levels down to 0.  Then I will have more bloodwork done to see if there’s anything more serious wrong with me.  The fetal tissue will be sent for pathology analysis.  I’ll keep teaching.  I’ll get back to singing.  No choices there.

I’m putting a lot of time and energy into ICAN.  I feel good about that.  I’m in the process of planning a sneak preview of The Business of Being Born.  I’ve been getting a lot of great support from ICAN leaders for both the preview and the start of this new chapter.  And Barranca Productions put me in touch with a woman here in town who was looking to schedule a screening of The Business of Being Born.  Now she’s working with me to help me make it happen.  I’m so thankful to have connected with her and can’t wait to meet her!

What else?  Well, I have a big Halloween Party to attend next weekend.  I may also attend a public discourse conference in Bozeman.  This weekend we were invited to a brunch hosted by the President of the University and to the game, but instead I plan to be at the Farmers’ Market promoting ICAN of Greater Missoula and our inaugural event!