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JulianArts - Justine Julian, Doula: My Notebook
38 Weeks
Belly Painting, Warming Up, & Under Pressure

Oh my. What a week! Let me start with Saturday. David finished painting the final wall of the baby's room (the term "baby's room" is kind of a misnomer...the room belongs to our 4 yr old, but we needed someplace to store the baby's clothes, blankets, and other accoutrement's--we are planning on sleep-sharing with the use of a co-sleeper, Amby hammock or bassinet-- basically, we wanted an excuse to decorate. We meaning me, of course.

So anyway, the final wall is completed at around 3 pm Saturday. Add i feel a great lightness...an unburdening, if you will. The last big project is now off the list. We have the room done, the birthing pool is good to go, we have just about everything we wanted/felt we needed to be prepared for our birth. So now, just wait for baby, right? On our midwives advice, I hang affirmations of my trust in the birthing process and my body up around the house. Lovely little reminders about how perfectly designed my body is for birth--reminders to breathe and relax. Seeing them makes me...well, happy. So I feel happy on this Saturday afternoon. Happy, fulfilled, relaxed, prepared.

39 Weeks

What Makes It All Worth It

How many of us have touched a pregnant woman's belly...other than our own? Do you have memories of being able to explore your mom's belly when she was pregnant with a sibling? Did you have an older sister who granted access to this joy? An Aunt? Friend? How humbling and healing it is for those of us who do not have those memories from childhood to be able to provide that human connection for our daughters. I adore the fact that my girls, ages 13 and 4 are, so trusting, so interested, so in awe of this process that they seek out my company to ask questions, to explore the awareness of the life within me, to question the impact of growing life on my emotions, my well-being, my sanity. They have come to accept a newfound vulnerability in me which makes me somehow more human and this has lead to the ability to shrug off the notion that I am some sort of Mommy-Bot who is programmed to fulfill every request for juice or homework assistance with blind, automaton devotion. Click the Read More link to continue

40 Weeks

Yes. I am still pregnant! This is the most commonly heard question around our house these days.

We all know that due dates are just guidelines, but this time around I suppose I really believed everyone when they proclaimed that I would "go early with baby #4" Oh the power of suggestion!

Actually I was reading this article on due date calculation and it looks like many American women should really be expecting their babies around the 42nd week rather than 40 weeks. As a doula, I have not seen a 40 week pregnancy that is managed by OB's at all. Most women who plan to birth in a hospital setting are induced by week 39. And let me tell you how tempting that thought has been these past few days. Instead of being up all night tossing and turning with crampy contractions for hours and hours, I could be up all night nursing my new baby. I could simply show up at the hospital at 3am with my regular contractions, they would assess me, determine that I wasn't progressing very well, offer to induce and all I would have to say is YES. The cost would be that I'd have to give up freedom of movement, privacy, comfort, and my dignity. I would be heavily monitored, hooked up to an IV, have multiple cervical checks which would increase my risk of infection and antibiotic use. I would be offered pain medication often and told that I wouldn't earn a medal for doing it the hard way. I would increase my risk of a cesarean section. I would increase the likelihood that my baby would be separated from me after the birth to be cleaned up and assessed by the staff. I might possibly expose myself and my baby to MRSA. Click on the Read More link to continue


March 15th: Happy Birthday, Mathilda!

Born 10:13pm, 8lbs 6 oz, 22 inches long.

I am enjoying our peaceful babymoon and spending all of my time nursing and marveling. I will say this---homebirth was the BEST decision we have ever made. Momma & bebe could not be healthier, happier or more peaceful. Our little Miss Tillie Tobin has yet to even cry...she is alert and turns her head towards all the voices she knows and loves without having to tune out invasive hospital noises. She has not had one single thing poked into her skin, or eyes, or nose or bottom. She makes sounds like a kitten. We are crazy in love with her. more soon...

Insurance WILL Cover Home Birth

Here is my letter to my insurance company concerning my home birth coverage. Feel free to copy, paste, and change the names to write a letter to your own insurance company...and don't give up. I got an approval the first time, but many other families have had to write two or three letters before they were approved. Just be sure to message me to let me know how it goes for you!

** Update! Our home birth midwife just got approval to be an In-Network Provider for BCBS! Awesome.

Our Homebirth Story
Visit the Birth Stories page to read about our beautiful homebirth. Want to share your birth story with my readers? All types of birth stories are welcome. Visit the Contact Me page to send your story!

Parenting Group

JulianArts Attachment Parenting Support Group Meets October 19th @2pm

Come join us to discuss pregnancy, childbirthing options, breastfeeding, sleep-sharing, babywearing, health, nutriton, positive discipline, and much more! Send me an email to get the location details and join the mailing list.

Update: Baby on the Way!

UPDATE: Guess Who's Knocked Up?? That's right, we are expecting Baby #4 early in 2008!

Luckily I have all of my accumulated birth knowledge to help lead the way in making educated birthing decisions. We are planning a water birth here at our home in Allegany, NY. I understand that homebirth may not be the right choice for all families, but that does not mean that it should not be presented as an option to be considered! With all of the new VBAC bans going on in hospitals, more and more mothers are choosing to birth at home rather than undergo unnecessary repeat surgery.

I sucessfully had VBAC's with my last two babies (check out the Birth Stories page to read about all three of my births so far), and because of a change of policy (not a change in maternal or infant birth outcomes!) the traditional medical model insisted that I would be required to have a c-section this time! If this is the choice that you or someone you care about is facing, please contact me or check out the resources on the ICAN website.


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Childbirth in the News

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