Apr 082013

This is a great birth story told by one of our clients, CarolAnn. Her way of recounting the story is hilarious, and the pictures help to add more humor to a beautiful birth.

When I got pregnant with my third baby I wanted to try something completely different from my prior two hospital births. I had had some bad experiences with my second birth, but it was a first trimester miscarriage the year prior to having Ava that sealed the deal for me. My experience at Andaluz was everything I had wanted and more! The appointments were longer and more intimate. My midwife paid attention to all the details and made me feel very welcome and comfortable. We had so much more than a doctor/patient relationship. We would end up talking about all kinds of stuff at my appointments. Like my awkwardly uncomfortable sex life or my horrible toilet phobia. I jokingly asked my midwife if she would stand in the parking lot and hum with her fingers in her ears if I had to use the restroom during my labor, which she immediately agreed to without hesitation. I knew she was willing to do anything to make my birthing experience go well. And that felt great.
Laboring like a champ!

Laboring like a champ!

It was that kind of service that I needed eight days after my due date, when I was still very much pregnant. Day eight was full-blown meltdown day. I was more than a week over-due and I could not stop crying. I called my midwife on her cell phone sobbing. She had gotten to know my personality so well, that she knew exactly what to say to make me feel better. (It was some joke about a medical oddity in India that I won't go into details about because I wouldn't want to put that image into the minds of any first-time mommies). She knew that it wouldn't scare me, but that I would find it funny and ridiculous. After two weeks of being in labor all night, only to have it come to a screeching halt when the sun came up, I was finally in real labor! Hooray! But I refused to believe it. I told my husband that we weren't going to the birth center until I saw a head crowning. I was tired of getting my hopes up. When we got there I was at seven centimeters. As my midwife put it, I was "laboring like a champ!"
Ava's dad was definitely ready for the waterbirth!

Ava's dad was definitely ready for the waterbirth!

My husband, Ben, had initially refused to get in the tub with me because he assumed he would be stewing in a giant vat of placenta and entrails, or something. But after much nagging on my part, we compromised. He said he would be in the tub if he could wear a tie. I agreed. In fact, I encouraged it. Especially when he chose a super dork-tastic tie that has wolves on it. There was also a point during my birth when he was wearing floaties and a snorkel. I was in full support of this as well. Later, my Mother-in-law would incorporate that terrible wolf tie into Ava's baby blanket.
Yes, Ben took off the goggles and water wings to catch his daughter!

Yes, Ben took off the goggles and water wings to catch his daughter!

As Ava descended, I felt like I had hot molten metal running through the veins in my legs. My water had not yet broken. Right as Ava's head came out, GOOSH! I'm pretty sure that I stood up and ran across the surface of the water like Captain Hook running from the crocodile in Peter Pan. (I may be exaggerating a little). I had never experienced this before, having had epidurals with my last two babies. My midwife remained by my side the whole time. With one more push, Ava came shooting out like a torpedo. (I am NOT exaggerating this time). My husband, Ben juggles her under the water like he was tossed a botched snap before the kicker tries for the extra point after a touchdown at the Super Bowl. All in all, it was an amazing experience! I'm so happy that I decided to have Ava at Andaluz. And I'm especially pleased with how my family was included during the whole experience. My older two daughters, Kylie and Bailey got to sit on the side of the tub and watch their Daddy catch their new baby sister. A memory I'm sure they will cherish forever. I know I will.
Mar 062013
biopic2In recent years, the word "transparency" has been thrown around in political arenas, bureaucratic agencies, and business model practices. From Wikipedia: Transparency, as used in science, engineering, business, the humanities and in a social context more generally, implies openness, communication, and accountability. Transparency is operating in such a way that it is easy for others to see what actions are performed. Andaluz Waterbirth Center collectively has done extensive reflection on the type of resource and assets that we wish to bring to the world we all live in and has undergone policy, practice, and professional changes to improve client care. Part of our movement forward professionally includes transparency, but providing more than lip service. Andaluz seeks to provide an exemplary model of care that is fair, open, and honest about our professional goals and practices. Statistics are an often-asked inquiry from prospective clients. "What is your cesarean rate?""How many mothers typically have to transfer to the hospital in labor?"; etc. Andaluz has complied with the State of Oregon requirement that all Licensed Direct-Entry Midwives (LDEMs) complete information-gathering statistics about their practice. These statistics are collected by Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA) and offer a valuable insight into the safety of midwifery care. Andaluz began collecting statistics in June 2011 and are committed to continue this practice. We are excited to share these numbers with you, to offer an honest insight into our midwifery practice and birth centers. This will enable consumers to make more informed choices about their care. Andaluz statistics are posted on our website, under our Resources page. We will add statistics every March for the prior year. Should you have any questions about these statistics, or about our practice, please feel free to contact us via email or phone. Andaluz is excited to work towards providing the best maternity care for Oregon families.      
Aug 092012
The Bite of Oregon is an annual event in Portland that benefits Special Olympics Oregon. This year marks the 40th anniversary of this amazing charity that serves to bring training and competitive events for those with intellectual disabilities - over 10,000 participants at this year's event last month! What happens at the Bite of Oregon?  It's a collection of some of the best Oregon restaurants, wineries, breweries and live entertainment at Portland's Waterfront Park. Tickets are $5, children are free. There is a great kid's area, with face painting and an amazing lineup of family-geared shows. For these reasons alone, you should really consider attending. The reason you should definitely come to this event is to see our Andaluz Breastaurant booth! We have created a cozy semi-private space, complete with comfortable seating and a fan for cool air, to feed your baby in.

If you have older kids, just come to have fun and say hello! We'd love to see you. You'll find the Andaluz Breastaurant  in the middle aisle of booths by the kids area. We'll be posting pictures on our Facebook Page tomorrow of our booth - we're proud to have created a relatively private, cozy oasis for mothers to take a moment to peacefully and comfortably feed their babies.

Hours for the Bite of Oregon are as follows:
  • Friday, August 10th:  11am - 10pm
  • Saturday, August 11th: 11am - 10pm
  • Sunday, August 12th: 11am - 8pm
Looking forward to an awesome weekend of amazing food and people, The Andaluz Midwives