Saturday, August 23, 2008

A close up look at your cervix

I am continually amazed that many women talk about a cervix, but don't know what it is. Some think that the perineum is the cervix. They talk about their cervix dilating from 0 to 10, yet they are not sure exactly where that part is - just "somewhere down there."

I will admit, I read about the cervix all the time once I started studying midwifery as a teenager, but I really had no idea what it looked like. People described it looking "like a donut," feeling "like the end of your nose..."

I was intrigued, but really I didn't have a good idea of what a normal, non-pregnant/laboring cervix was like until I watched a PAP smear being done. The Certified Nurse Midwife who I was working with at the time was more than happy to let me see and do everything she was doing, and the woman was extremely happy to let a student examine her cervix (I'm so grateful that some people like her don't mind!).

I hope that these pictures won't gross you out.... (okay, they are no worse than this picture below, except that they are in color!)

If you don't know what your cervix looks like, check out this daily "diary" of a cervix


You'll see the changes with the menstrual cycle and how different a cervix looks during menstruation vs. ovulation time.

On Birth Plans

Sometimes I don't have to be original and write my own posts. Someone else has already written a great one.
This time it's Rebecca from Becca's Baby Blog.

Check out her excellent post on birth plans


"Just don't think about it, Honey, and you'll be okay!"

I recently attended one of my doula client's prenatal visits with her obstetrician.

She had been telling me about her obstetrician for several months. "I like her," she would say. "She seems open-minded and willing to work with me and respect my wishes... but I'm just not sure if she's just stringing me along or not...."

Over all, most of the reports about her doctor sounded pretty good. She did say a couple things about her that concerned me. For one, the doctor couldn't really remember exactly what her c-section rate was, but she assured the patient that it was "pretty low" and definitely not higher than the other obstetricians in the practice because she only does them "when necessary."

I agreed to come along to a routine prenatal visit and meet her doctor. My client wanted me to tell her what my impression of her doc was afterwards.

I was liking her doctor a lot.
She was saying lots of good things, answering questions openly and took plenty of time to discuss anything my client brought up.

And then my client again brought up c-sections. "You know, Dr. Smith," she said earnestly. "I just don't want a c-section with this baby. I'm counting on you to do everything you can to make sure that doesn't happen to me. Surgery just freaks me out and I don't want end up there... I'm trying to get myself educated so that I know about the risks and benefits of various things and can know what is most likely to make a c-section happen. Is there anything I can do to help prevent myself from becoming a c-section statistic?"

Dr. Smith smiled. "Oh, honey! Don't worry yourself about having a c-section! There's only one good way to deal with that fear of becoming a c-section statistic -- Just don't think about it!
You probably won't have one, and if you end up with a c-section, you can just know that it was necessary and you can be happy that you and your baby are healthy!"

Dr. Smith turned back to charting, but my mind was spinning.

Her best advice on avoiding a cesarean section? Just don't think about it!

I wonder how many other docs give this advice to nervous couples expecting their first baby?

Back.... after a long absence

It's been a long, long time since I've posted here. I've felt bad about it for months, especially since I've had a lot of posts rolling around in my head, and even a few in half-finished draft form.

I could give you a whole list of reasons why my living my life has seemed more important than posting to my blog... but I won't bore you.

Suffice to say, I can't promise to post really frequently, but I'll try to keep it regular and a few times a month.

Oh, and one last thing. In my last post, I talked about how Certified Professional Midwives are felons in Missouri. You probably heard back in June when it was news, but I still have to say it again.... Certified Professional Midwives are now LEGAL and free to practice midwifery in the state of Missouri!! Its been a couple of months since the Missouri Supreme Court made that ruling, but I still can hardly believe it's true. One of these days, I realize that it really IS for real!