My Life as a Mom

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With 6 happy kids, life can be really fun around here! This blog is dedicated to the joys and sometimes chaos of having a large family. Okay, so it's always chaos around here, but fortunately, it's almost always fun, too!

Saturday, January 07, 2006


I have had 7 children, and birthing, to me, is one of the most powerful, amazing, life-affirming experience. It is hard to describe the power of birth to anyone who hasn't experienced it as a mother, father, or birth attendant. Those of you who have witnessed a birth, or given birth, will understand what I'm trying to say, though.

I have had one birth that was virtually pain-free - naturally. This was my 6th baby. I had contractions - easy, smooth ones - for a dozen hours. Then I went into labor and went from 4 cm dilation to his birth in just 3 contractions. I didn't even push! My body just did what it was supposed to do, and it was soooo easy.

Other babies have been harder. My last baby - #7 - born this past October, was surprisingly difficult to push out. He was larger than the rest, and had a very big, round head at birth. I moaned, groaned, cried, and even screamed at one point.

His was the only home birth I had (the other 6 were in the hospital.) I don't usually use pain killers for birth anyway, so that wasn't why this birth was more difficult. But besides the additional physical pain of birthing him, the BONDING with this baby was an incredible experience. I believe it's because he was born at home.

The other children were there - 3 witnessed his birth, 3 came to the room within 5 minutes of his birth. My oldest daughter (13 yo), was a labor coach. She was amazing and held in there with me for 30 hours of labor. The baby's first examination was done while he was held in his older brother's arms.

I think some of the incredible bonding was due to being at home - in our own environment - not being disturbed by various nurses, doctors, photographers, etc. It was just us, our midwife, and childbirth assistant, and THEY were careful to not be too intrusive upon our privacy.

This birthing experience was so phenomenal. If you have thought about having a home birth, and you are low-risk, I can't recommend it enough.

baby pictures and birth story

Thursday, January 05, 2006

I am thinking about unsubscribing from the Libertarian newsletter that I get every now and then. Not that I don't find it interesting - but it's driving me crazy to read about such assinine things that are going on in our country.

Manassas, Virginia, for instance, has now made it ILLEGAL for people to live with extended family members. That's right. Manassas residents are allowed to only live with one person from their extended family. You can live with your spouse and kids - and ONE aunt. Or ONE uncle.

The government officials are now questioning residents about who lives in their household and what their relationships are. It's utterly ridiculous.

As a stay-at-home mother, there have been plenty of times that I'd cursed our system of living with just our nuclear families. When I've given birth and had several toddlers at home to take care of - while my husband is off at work all day - I have bemoaned our current system which is, in my opinion, very cruel to women. I could have used a sister's help. Or a mother's help. Or an aunt's.

When I am not recovering from childbirth myself, I am perfectly capable of helping another mother who is - or an elderly relative, or someone who is sick.

In kinder cultures, families help one another a great deal more than we do in the United States. We shunt our disabled and elderly off to nursing homes. Stay-at-home mothers miss adult interaction quite often. It's not the most ideal living situation.

Now Manassas has dictated that people must live like this, or get out.

I understand that the reasoning behind it is racism, pure and simple - get the hispanics, who are more likely to live with extended family, out of town. And that is pretty sickening in itself. But this new law also punishes stay-at-home mothers. It punishes people who choose to care for their elderly or sick relatives at home. It punishes people who "think outside the box" and who choose to live a little differently than "white America" tends to think everyone ought to live.

I don't live with extended family members myself - but I am still very glad I don't live in Manassas. It sounds entirely too white bread for me!!