birth

I am broody

Many friends of mine tell me that I should have a fourth.

Baby, that is.

Another one?

Nope.

I'm done.

In fact, when I was preggers with my third child (who just turned six, by the way), I had a very direct and concrete feeling that I did NOT want to have another.

I was crystal clear DONE at three.

BUT.

There's an ongoing problem.

In my line of work, seeing many newborns regularly, holding them, adjusting them - it really messes with my head. 

And heart.

And my ovaries.

But again, when I think about having another newborn, I quickly snap out of it (most of the time) and land back on the ground.

Reality.

This really tested me though over the summer holidays.

I took a lot of time off to be with my family, driving out to France, frolicking on the beach and ocean in the Atlantic, drinking lots of wine, and eating lots of cheese and French baguettes. 

What more could a girl want?

Yum.

Anyway, my last trip wasn't REALLY a holiday. Well, it was, but the main purpose was to help my sister.

I was her birth partner.

For those of you who have had a baby, you know that the last couple weeks of pregnancy, especially if you have a two-year-old running around, it's so exhausting. 

Just take my word for it.

So I was there to help out my sister at the end of her pregnancy while we waited for her to go into labour.

And just as I predicated, she went into labour in the middle of my stay with her. 

Very convenient.

And she went into labour at a very sensible hour right after we all woke up in the morning.

Labour was quick, easy-peasy, and she gave birth to healthy hefty baby boy.

Then I finally got to hold him.

After all that time waiting!

And then the broodiness kicked in.

Oh boy.

He was so delicious to hold and snuggle with. 

Newborns are magical.

One of the most common things we think about when holding a brand new baby, just a couple hours old, is trying to comprehend that this baby was JUST inside another human being living and growing.

That never ceases to amaze me.

And these newborns hold so much purity and potential inside of them.  

That's what they smell like!

I had about nine more days with my sister to help her with her new baby, and I really savoured every minute with them.

(Her husband threatened to kidnap me because I was such a huge help in keeping the baby from crying.)

As the days went by being around my sister's family that went from three to four, I also missed my crazy gang back home.

My kids are much older than my sister's and it's like a whole other stage that I'm in with them.

Yet, it's bittersweet.

Each time I held my sister's baby (or played with her two-year-old), a new feeling came over me stronger and stronger, realising something.

It's the concept that we parents get told by our elders all the time:

"They grow too fast."

Of course, conceptually, it's easy to understand.

And I see it before my eyes with my own children.

But it never hit me the way it did while being away from my kids for over two weeks.

I knew that each day my children were growing and changing, just like all kids, and I was missing those moments.

I wasn't there to do all the things that I normally take for granted.

As mothers, we feel like we're running on a hamster wheel just pushing along trying to keep everyone happy, managing schedules, dinner, laundry, friends, our partners, our relationships.

And it goes on and on, every day.

Being away from my children for 16 days, AND being with my sister's family gave me the opportunity to see things from a completely different perspective. One that made me feel nostalgic knowing what my sister was going through with two children and adapting to everything, as well as another perspective making me see how every single minute of our babies' lives are opportunities to make them feel loved, appreciated, and secure.

When I came home last week, I was able to hug my kids with that new perspective, cherishing so much more how grateful I am that I have them, and that they are who they are, happy and healthy.

NOW I get the concept fully in a renewed way, so much so that I've taken more time to be with them, rather than constantly try to find some of my own free time.

One day I'll be 85, and I definitely don't want to find myself sitting there alone, in my favourite comfortable chair feeling regret about my children, wishing that I had spent more time with them.

I'll never get these days back.

Even now my memory is skittish, not remembering certain moments of my children's lives. Those little detailed things I did like how I potty trained my daughter, or when did they first sleep through the night.

Now I know that I don't want to miss anything.

My eyes have opened.

Which is why I've changed my time and schedule in my practice to fewer hours in order to put my family fully as a priority.

(Don't worry, I'm still adjusting and I can't wait to adjust you all!)

I know at times when the kids are driving me crazy I'll think, "What was I thinking?" I'll want to get away and escape.

But, the difference is that I'll realise that this moment, right now, I get to hug my children more and anytime I want when I spend more time with them.

And when I'm 85, I'll think back and say to myself, "It was alllll worth it."

(Be sure to keep checking my schedule to book yourself in for your next adjustment.)

— Dr MaryAnne

Poop in the water

Lately my practice has been crawling with pregnant women.

Well, they're actually not literally crawling around (although it would probably be good for them and the baby since it helps with baby positioning!).

They're comfortably laying down on my special pregnancy table where they relax, breathe, and get their spines and pelvis adjusted.

(They sometimes fall asleep and snore too!)

I love it!

When I adjust a pregnant woman, I'm connecting with her energy focused on her stress levels, tension in her spine and around her pelvis, as well as the tension in the uterus.

One amazing thing that happens is that I inevitably get so connected and somehow bonded with her baby.

It's fun adjusting pregnant women because I can tell that the babies love the adjustment too.

They move, kick, and seem to go through the motions as I adjust their mother.

It's fascinating.

One time I had a pregnant woman that I started adjusting in her 2nd trimester, and she came in every week until the birth.

Towards the end of the pregnancy, around the 38th week, I just sensed how happy, safe, and secure he was inside his little sac in the uterus.

And I just told the mother that I had a feeling that he would be 'born in his bag'.

(Please understand that this, my 'feeling' and my senses about this woman's birth outcome was unscientific, and also completely unrelated to my skill in chiropractic adjusting of the pregnant spine and pelvis.)

A few weeks later when her baby was born, she texted me,

"My baby boy was born yesterday. You were right - he was born in the sac!"

Babies born in the sac or caul happens infrequently, so I was surprised that my senses were right!

The most amazing and gratifying part of adjusting women is when I receive the text informing me that they had their baby and it was a wonderful and straight forward birth with little or no interventions.

And then, of course, I get to meet the baby and check and adjust them too!

I get very emotional when my pregnant mums achieve the birth they always envisioned to have.

It's how it's supposed to be!

(One time a mother texted me sharing that her birth was wonderful, in the birthing pool. Then she scared me because she said that there was one thing she wishes didn't happen - she pooped in the water when she was pushing! Shit happens!)


Women's bodies were made to do this, and I'm certain that chiropractic care helps their bodies to be in their optimal state and position to enjoy a comfortable and manageable pregnancy, as well as a successful birth experience.

Chiropractic care can start for women BEFORE they get pregnant, and continue throughout their pregnancy from the moment they discover they are pregnant!

Please help me share this with more women.

See you soon!

— Dr MaryAnne



 

The most important thing they miss

I had my first child in a birthing centre which was located on the 11th floor of the hospital on the Upper West Side in New York City.

I chose it because it was a great birthing centre, and it happened to be only twenty blocks away from our flat.

Convenience and practicality are pretty high on the list of a labouring woman.

I had a midwife, a doula, and my husband helping me through the labour.

And after 3 hours of active labour (making it a total of 23 hours from the very first contraction I felt), my little baby girl was born at 3:00 in the morning.

I remember how insanely overwhelming the whole experience was. 

Giving birth, pushing a 4kg baby out of me in the middle of the night, being up moving around labouring all day, feeling intense pain, thinking how my Ironman was easier than this ... then not to mention how do I do this mommy thing ... 

It's all a lot to process.

Don't ya think?

After everything settled (and I had a huge breakfast with coffee and pancakes and eggs that amounted to probably 10,000 calories), I was ready to bring my baby home.

But, I was told, the pediatrician has to sign you off.

What does that mean, I ask?

I had no idea how these things worked.

(It was my first baby.)

The nurse explained to me that the doctor had to look my baby over to make sure everything was healthy.

Ok.

Fair enough.

That's important.

I could already tell she was fine.

But it's important to make sure everything really is doing fine.

So, the doctor finally arrived and did her thing.

With stethoscope in hand, she poked and prodded.

Heart: check.

Lungs: check.

Hips: check.

Reflexes: check.

Strength: check.

Spine?

Skull?

Alignment?

Nope. 

Nada.

Zilch.

The doc didn't check those last three things.

I thought, "Doesn't matter, I'll check her. Just let me go home."

It wasn't until years later that it dawned on me that pediatric medical doctors don't do what I would do.

To be fair, they have their specific skills, and it's essential for them to do their job.

I'm grateful for that.

What's missing is the newborn's spinal check.

That's one of the most important bits!

All newborns need to get checked after they are born.

It needs to be a standard normal procedure done by a skilled trained paediatric chiropractor. 

Or even an osteopath.

The point is, so many babies are born every day, every where, and it's usually not until the mother thinks something 'is wrong' with her baby that she takes them to see a chiropractor.

That just doesn't make any sense to me.

Why, at the hospital within 24 hours of birth, does the doctor have everything checked except for the integrity of the nervous system and spine?

Babies also undergo hearing tests too. 

But where's the assessment for the baby's spine?

Please, can someone explain that to me?

In any case, if you have a baby, or children, and they haven't had their spines checked, go NOW.

Take them to a chiropractor and have their spines assessed and adjusted.

Because it's MUCH easier to keep children healthy than to deal with grumpy difficult contorted adults.

See you at your next adjustment!

— Dr MaryAnne