Louisiana Statutes for Midwife Practitioners

(From email sent to husband and mother)
Dear Miner & Mom...

LA State Statutes and Regulations for Midwife Practitioners

The first part of the document covers details about board members and certification requirements.  Not necessary to read.

What you may want to look at begins with "Chapter 53. Licensed Midwives."  Scroll about halfway down the page, and you'll see the bold heading there.

From this section on, you can read about midwives standards of care, like what tests they're required to do on their patients/clients, what situations require them to consult with the supporting physician, etc.  You can see there's not much guesswork involved in what they do.  Their steps are pretty cut and dried.

It's a lot of reading, but very interesting if you have the time.  It really clarifies what we'll be looking at for a home birth and what we can expect from the midwife in most situations we can think of.

Love you!

Why some women would like to give birth at home

Some women choose to birth at home because home is where they're most comfortable.  They may want to feel free to roam about in a skirt, in a favorite bathrobe, or in nothing at all!  They may want people with them who can be present without being intrusive. They may want to fix their own snacks, move back and forth from the birthing tub to the outside garden as the mood moves them, and even read or nap if that's what they feel like doing.  In other words, they want to be free to do what they want to do, when they want to do it, and how they want to do it -- without time, protocols, liability, and other external factors defining their choices.

-- Jennifer L. West, LM, CPM, HBCE, and Deborah S. Romaine, Complete Idiot's Guide to Natural Childbirth

I was surprised to see this concept worded just so as it reflects all the intrinsic desires I've wanted since I gave birth to Squeak seven years ago.  I'd already decided what and how I wanted to do things before I ever began researching "home birth."  Reading about my preferences as written by someone I've never met, all nicely summed up in one paragraph, not only gives me confidence in what my instincts have told me, but thrills me to no end there are people and practitioners who are supportive and willing to accommodate me!

Nesting or Prenatal OCD

  • Cleaned out my half of the closet.
  • Boxed up non-maternity clothes for attic.
  • Filled large bag with clothes and shoes for donation.
  • Sorted all hangers.
  • Washed, dried, folded, and hung three loads of laundry.
  • Archived last three months' homeschooling.
  • Updated lesson plans and assignment cards.
  • Organized homeschooling desk (surface).

Nesting has always been a crazed frenzy.  I clearly recall using Q-tips to dig out dust from nooks and crannies in the wooden furniture.  Once upon a time, I alphabetized the books in the bookshelf and sorted the clothes hanging in the closet according to color.  When I get it, I get it bad.

I had no plans whatsoever to tear apart the closet tonight.  It began with the stuff hanging on the racks. I figured I'd get rid of the clothes I'll never, ever fit into again.  That led to the shelves. Then the shoes. Then the upper shelves of things I haven't touch since 2003.  Before I knew it, my side of the closet was practically bare except for the few new maternity clothes I've collected.  And I can actually walk around in there without stepping on something.

I killed a good four hours cleaning and sorting and sifting and trashing.  Still, there's no end in sight.  In this bedroom alone, I've got two bookshelves filled to capacity, books crammed together so tightly you couldn't slip a bookmark between them.

I've got two baskets full of sewing notions, a trunk stuffed with bolts and bolts of fabric and remnants. And I haven't even begun to touch the contents of the file cabinet, or the pile of papers that should be in the file cabinet.

Just writing about it, I'm getting an unbearable itch to keep going.  I could easily pull an all-nighter and double both the trash pile and the donation pile.  I could storm though the rest of the laundry, start dusting and disinfecting all the surfaces.  I could revert back to my past nesting form and take a Q-tip to the cracks and corners of the furniture.  I could create and implement my own library organization system according to alphabet AND color.

I could do it. And the itch would go away for a while.  But when it comes back, what will I do then???

Month Two: Mission Complete

Today marks the end of the second month.  The evidence is "growing," but sometimes, I find I'm still in disbelief.

Physically, I'm hanging in there. This pregnancy is turning out to be a lot more challenging than any of the ones before.  I might attribute that to age, but that's just a theory.

I've never been plagued by true morning sickness before, but this time, I consistently wake up queasy.  Vomiting is not an issue (thank God), but there's no other feeling in the world worse for me than nausea.  I know I'm supposed to eat bread or crackers or what-not, but the last thing I feel like doing when I'm feeling that way is eating.  So, I muscle through it until I can tolerate putting something in my stomach.

I can tell my face is filling out.  Cheeks are a little rounder.  Eyes aren't as sunken as they usually are, even though I'm just as tired.  I'm not afraid of gaining too much weight.  I just hope I can handle the weight I do gain.  Usually, the lower back and groin muscles take the biggest toll.

The biggest problem right now is a heavy sense of anxiety.  And it scares me.  Naturally, I'm feeling much more vulnerable, so that leads to feelings of inadequacy.  Now is NOT the time to feel inadequate.

Trying to view this realistically...of course my moods are going to fluctuate with the raging storm of hormones.  My body is causing this, and not something I've done or haven't done.  There is no impending doom, no unpleasant consequences I'm about to face.

The fact of the matter is that I'm psychologically unprepared.  I know I'm more than capable of preparing, and I take great joy in summoning those skills I've learned over the years.  It's just the sheer hard work of talking myself up, getting out the tools I need, putting my plans into practice.  I'm so tired!  What if I don't do the job all the way?  What if I don't do the job the way I want to do it?  What if I fail???

I think the thing I need is a small victory.  A little reminder of what I'm made of.  I need to face a modest challenge and overcome it.

Like laundry.  For every load I do, another two take its place.  Usually, it takes a whole day to get through it all (because I can't do what a normal person does and do a little every day).  The thought of spending another dawn-to-dusk kicking my way through these piles has me shaking in my boots.  I'll be completely exhausted by the time I'm done with it all.

Yes, one can be so utterly exhausted she can't relax or sleep.  As Miner's buddies say offshore, "That's bad juju."

So what will I do now? Throw in a load of laundry before I go to sleep?

No. I'm going to take a scalding shower and hope it stings away every bit of tension in my body.  Then I'm going to sleep and try to follow through with laundry tomorrow morning.  I hope I hope I hope I'll be able to write that I did that.

Don't tell me what I NEED: On baby "stuff"

Pregnancy Migraines

I'm beginning to wonder if this pregnancy is going to be more intolerable than the other ones.  Or maybe the others were equally intolerable, but I was just too busy to notice?

Struggling with awful, awful headaches for the past three days.  The kind that wake you up in the night and won't let you go back to sleep.  I've been going through all the usual combat techniques I usually use to fight migraines:

  • coffee (which is tough, because I can't even stomach a cup at the normal intervals)
  • food
  • rest/sleep in a dark, silent room.  

They all help for temporary relief, but the headache hasn't gone away entirely.  It lingers and lingers....

No Stomach for Food

The healthy food cravings have passed, too.  I don't crave anything now.  As a matter of fact, the last thing I feel like doing is eating, which I know is in no wise healthy.  Especially these first couple months when nutrition is crucial to early development.

I slacked off on taking my prenatal vitamins, because they'll make me sick if I don't take them with food, but eating's upset my stomach, too....  A "catch-22" of sorts.  I think I'm just gonna have to "woman-up" and eat and swallow those stinkin' vitamins whether they make me feel like hurling or not.  It's not trial by fire.

Don't tell me what I NEED:  On baby "stuff"

Bought a pregnancy magazine on impulse the other day, just to see what society (or the media representatives thereof) are saying about it these days.  I knew that wasn't a good idea, but I did it anyway.

Every. single. page. shows some company shoving "stuff" at me.  All sorts of gadgets and helping-tools that promise to make pregnancy and newborn care easier and more pleasant.

Maybe it's me -- I acknowledge this ahead of time -- but reading all those articles and ads telling me what I "need" really upsets me!  I don't know if it's anger or irritation or some bitterness of unknown origin or what, but it makes me cringe and eye-roll and grit my teeth.

First of all, every one of those gadgets cost a fortune.  Secondly, they go from being "nice-to-have's" to being "must-have's," so when moms get their hands on them, they think they're better off.

This really gets my goat, because I just don't think it's necessary to buy or have all these "things" that promise to make mothers better at their jobs!  And if a mother thinks she's better at her job for buying or having these things, then it makes sense a collective of buyer-havers begin to think the buy-not-have-nots are somehow worse off because they buy-not-have-not!

Yes, maybe there's a flaw in my thinking here, but the only way my thoughts could be proven or disproved would be through scientific research.  Even then, interviewees may not even be aware of their own motivations, just as I'm not 100% certain of mine.

But practically speaking (about money), gadgets COST, and I've done just fine through all the other pregnancies without some tool to help me through every step of the pregnancy-to-delivery-to-raising process.  I have my own two hands, and those hands are "handy" (pun pun) for arranging things the way I need them, or making things I feel I'm in need of.

Maternity clothes arrived today!

Maternity clothes from Gap arrived today.  I had no idea what was in the package because Miner shops for my clothes now (because he's the one with the superb taste in style, and I'm not too proud to admit my areas of weakness).

Two pairs of jeans fit perfectly.  Good thing, too, because I'm NOT going to do the rubber band thing anymore.

"Candy cane" sleep set was waaaaaaaay too big.  I mean, "square pants" way-too-big. Don't know what the deal is with that, but it's going back right away.

Velour hoodie (though I swore I'd stop wearing velour two years ago) is to-die-for comfy, and the gathers just under the bust are extra-flattering.  Good call.

Three long-sleeved tees were Mediums and too big. Gotta send those back, too. (And I bet I can find a better deal than $16.50 each.)

I think I'm definitely showing, which is no surprise to me.  Once I start sporting the maternity wear, it'll be obvious. Not that I'm itchin' to start sporting the maternity wear -- it's know with new clothes and all.  And I am sick to death of feeling like a sausage with a string tied around it.

Spotting in the 1st Trimester?

Just about shocked me to death last night when I saw red streaks where there should have been none.

I'm 35. This is the 6th time around. I think that somehow increases our chances of a miscarriage, but I haven't allowed myself to dwell on that.  "Cross that bridge when/IF we come to it" -- that's the policy.

However, the spotting was not spontaneous.  During the course of "rigorous activity," we noticed the darker shade.  And it wasn't profuse.  The small amount I saw on the fabric was all there was, and no more.

So that tells me the source closed on its own.  If it were a miscarriage, the spotting would not have stopped, and it would've been accompanied by pain of some sort.  Neither happened.

Today, I feel fine.  No more spotting, no pain at all.  I'm chalking it up to "rigorous activity" and leaving it at that.

I did read that if a woman is prone to spotting in the 1st trimester, she might abstain from "rigorous activity" at least until the 12th week, when the probability of miscarriage decreases dramatically.

So, despite our protests and complaints, that is what we'll do.

The Wedding, Maternity Jeans, & Knitted "Soakers"

The Wedding

...was everything I imagined it to be and more.  The people who love us most -- our parents, our kids, and of course my very best friend in the whole wide world -- made the long drive to our house to witness Miner and I exchange our vows and finally become husband and wife after 14 very long years of "engagement."  It was beautiful.

The Justice of the Peace was a dear little Cajun man not much taller than me.  He had the softest, kindest eyes, and he seemed genuinely happy to be there doing what he was sworn to do for the City of Lafayette.  He knew what the occasion meant to us, and even if he's conducted hundreds and hundreds of ceremonies before ours, he led us through our vows and commitments as if it we were the only couple who have ever been in love in his district.  I couldn't have hand-picked a finer person to marry us.

Our rings are taking some getting used to.  Neither of us is accustomed to having anything on our fingers, but it's a delightful little habit.  Every time I glance down at my finger and see the shiny band there, I think to myself, "Mrs. Refiner...."

Shopping for Maternity Jeans

...has proven to be a lot more difficult than I'd anticipated.  Old Navy's having a great maternity sale right now, but unfortunately, their jeans are just not up to par.  The size I tried on -- which should fit me, according to the size chart -- just swallows me up!  Granted, I'm not even two months along yet, but still...I'd think at least the hips and thighs would fit.  Nope.

Instead, Miner ordered a few things from Gap, including jeans.  I hope at least the jeans fit, because my regular ones have gotten too uncomfortable.  I can barely snap them closed, and I really don't like the feeling of walking around with the fly undone.  Makes me feel like slob.

Knitted "Soakers"?

Thumbing through the latest issue of People magazine, I came across one of those "Got Milk?" ads.  Those ads are usually pretty unremarkable, but what caught my eye was what the infant in the photo had on over his diaper:  a knitted "soaker."

I'd never heard of a soaker until I came across the term while looking for baby bloomers knitting patterns.  Apparently, soakers have been around for quite some time.

I've already decided I'll have a nice supply of these by the time the baby's born.  They look so comfortable, and there's just something so wonderfully pure about natural fibers on a baby's skin.

Keen Nose, Current Cravings, & Now the Kids Know

The Smells! The Smells!

This heightened sense of smell is just about to do me in.  Anything deviating from the default fragrance of nothing either makes my stomach lurch, my throat clench, or gives me one heck of a migraine.

For instance, today, I gagged at the smell of...

  • Ramen noodles
  • the cat box
  • the cat food
  • Comet cleaner
  • baking clay
  • too many different kinds of candles in the candle aisle at Walmart

Strange thing about it all is that I've never exhibited this prenatal symptom before, not with any of the five pregnancies before.  Guess that just goes to show that every pregnancy is special, and one can never be surprised.

Current Cravings

  • tommy toes (still)
  • cottage cheese
  • Babybel cheese wheels
  • sharp cheddar cheese
  • olives
  • V-8 tomato juice
  • 1/2 water, 1/2 lemon juice
  • cucumber

I already have a difficult enough time with milk products, but now that I'm consuming them in larger quantities, I'm afraid my digestive system is going to completely freeze up.  Then where will I be?

To compensate, I bought a big jug of that good ol' standby, prune juice.  I don't mind the taste of prune juice at all.  Or the texture.  I actually like it every now and then.  (This is all coming from a woman who loves buttermilk.)  And that's a good thing, because prune juice is going to be my only saving grace.

Now the Kids Know

After dinner last night, we finally sat down all the kids in the living room and put it like this:

"On Saturday, we're getting married."

Stunned silence, wide eyes, some skeptical squints.

"Are you joking?" Priss asked.  She was entirely serious.

Moe threw her head back and stared at the ceiling.

"What's wrong?" I said.

"Nothing, I just think you're kidding."

"No, it's really going to happen this time.  We're having a wedding here at the house."

Then, squeals and lots of hugs and kisses.

Rocky was the only one who kept his seat and his calm.  He had one thing to say: "Yay, health insurance."

Disclosure, Kid-made Cake, & Rings

Telling the Kids

Okay, so Saturday's "The Day."  It's all set.  Both sets of parents are privy, but the kids are still in the dark.  Just one of those things when there's so much going on, a person can't get a word in edge-wise.

But tonight, perhaps over dinner or after dinner, Miner and I will sit down all five of them and say something like, "Well kids...we've all been waiting for this for a long time, and the time has finally arrived.  We're getting married this Saturday."

I foresee many giggles and gasps; the older ones will probably say something like, "It's about time!" or "Gee! I thought it'd NEVER happen!"

Then there will be lots of questions, and surely, Priss will run away with all the girly details like the dress and the cake.

And then we'll have to establish the fact this is a small affair without all the conventional bells and whistles, which we'll save for the "Big Wedding" down the road.  That will probably be disappointing for Priss, but there are plenty other details she can tend to.

Kid-made Cake

For instance...the cake.  Mom offered to buy us a wedding cake made to my specifications, but honestly?  What I really want is for the kids to be in charge of that.  They can work together to bake a cake here at home, ice it themselves, and even decorate it.

They'll even make the cake toppers.  Sculpy clay is the perfect medium for a little cake topper sculpture, and the kids sculpt so well.  They got clay and paints for Christmas, so whatever they come up with will not only serve as a centerpiece of the day, but also, a wonderful keepsake for all of us.  I giggle myself when I think of how happy they'll be to see their creation in the middle of the table instead of something store-bought.


No rings yet.  We know exactly what we want, but there's no way the rings will be resized in time for the ceremony on Saturday.  Instead, we're just going to get the closest appropriate sizes, bring them home for the ceremony, and then have them resized afterward.   Yeah, it's a slacker, rush-job kinda thing, but it doesn't bother me a bit!  I just want to have something on my finger.  We can worry about perfection later.

Mother-in-Law still doesn't have the 4-1-1

No, he didn't tell his mother about the baby, yet.  "There just wasn't a good time to do it."  (smile)  That very well may be, but I know he's just shaking in his boots and would rather she come upon that information through the power of clairvoyance or some such.  Perhaps seeing a sign in the crust of a bagel.
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