Saturday, February 26, 2011

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth

by Ina May Gaskin

First, NO, I'm not pregnant.

I am, however, really trying to think through some things and where my path is leading and one of the options I have before me is to become a certified doula through DONA. It is something I've wanted to do since college but I've never taken the time, or budgeted for that matter, to make it happen. You don't have to be certified to be a doula but I love to have the appropriate credentials behind anything I do so it just makes sense to me.

Since I feel like I want to sit and think on following through on this path, I decided to go ahead and read some of the required reading for the certification. I am passionate and interested in natural labor and childbirth anyways so I was hoping to learn more about the process and techniques for coping for my future labor(s).

The first half of the book is a compilation of natural birth stories. Ina May is a midwife and she lives on a kind of hippie compound in Tennessee called The Farm. These people are, um, different. I have to admit, I didn't really enjoy the first half of the book. Although I am more natural minded than most in my area, some of these stories had components that totally made me think these people are part of a cult. Seriously. I am still wondering.

The second half of the book, I really enjoyed. It was about the mechanics of birth and how and why things happen when birth is left in a natural, organic state. I won't step onto my soapbox about medically managed pregnancies, births & labors, but I would encourage every woman to read, research and decide on her own and to never have blind faith in the medical community. Doing so is irresponsible, regardless of condition or disease (pregnancy is not a disease, by the way, and shouldn't be treated as such). Doctors are not gods and they do not know all.

After reading the book, I was no closer to making a decision on becoming a certified doula so I'm going to let the thought marinate a bit longer. I have another idea I am considering too that I will post about soon!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years

by Donald Miller.

One of my (many) resolutions is to read one book per month this year. I am not a reader, I don't particularly enjoy it, but I recognize its importance so I am making an effort.

I first heard of this book on one of my favorite blogs (Enjoying the Small Things by Kelle Hampton). I am so glad I decided to start with this book, the chapters are very short, from a page and a half to three pages. James Patterson does the same thing and I think it's a trick that entices you to keep reading "just one more chapter." The book was an easy read, and I chuckled quite a few times.

The whole premise is that we should all view our lives as a screenplay and we should write the characters we wish to become, and write the stories that are worth living. So many of us get caught up in the daily grind and more often than not, we are just going through the motions without anything interesting or exciting happening to us. If you were to ask yourself if an audience would be bored with your story, what would the answer be? My audience would be asleep in five minutes, or out at the ticket office asking for a refund!

Some of my character flaws that I need to challenge this year?
1) I am not adventurous at.all. Period. I am a creature of habit and the unknown makes me super uncomfortable.
2) I am shy, which I just recently discovered during my RAK challenge and in Target the other day when a simple conversation with another mom in the baby aisle gave me sweaty palms.
3) I have been told by many, many people that their first impression of me is that I was intimidating. I think that stems from me being shy, coupled with the fact that I don't smile a lot. Damn braces in my teen years made me paranoid to smile and it became a habit.
4) In high school, I was voted two things my senior year: Best Sense of Humor and Most Inspiring. Over the years since high school, I feel like I have lost touch with those two qualities. I need to find a way for those attributes to rise to the top.
5) I need to lose weight. I am well on my way (down 36 lbs. so far, woot!), and I know myself. Once I am back to my PR (pre-Ryan) weight, I know that my confidence will increase which will take care of smiling more and being less shy.

I am going to work on making a list of things that I want to do this year in order to develop my character and write a different story for myself. Exciting thing just don't happen, you have to make them happen.