Thursday, May 22, 2014


noun \pər-ˈmi-shən\
the right or ability to do something that is given by someone who has the power to decide if it will be allowed or permitted

As a midwife, mother and general birth junkie I have been a part of many online and in real life discussions between women about their prenatal care, labor, birth and child rearing. Most of the time these discussions are among mothers, but often they include various birth related professionals, midwives, doulas, childbirth educators etc... Regardless of who is taking part in the conversation there is one word I hear far too often: "let". "Ask your doctor if they'll let you...." "They let me....." The latter being said usually with some excitement as she received special treatment and privilege for whatever reason.
So why are women being encouraged to seek the permission of anybody on how their's or their child's medical care will proceed? Women talk about wanting better birth options, wanting more respect, but they have given away their power. They've accepted the idea that they are not in authority over their own body. They've accepted that the doctor has the right to decide what will be allowed or what won't.

I asked my facebook friends "As grown adults whom do you have to ask permission of and for what?"
The general consensus was that as adults we don't generally ask permission for things that don't impose on others. We ask those we're in contract with to alter that contract (that does impose on another). We do ask the government's permission to drive, although I would say that we don't so much ask permission as much as meet a certain requirement for the ability. Some ask their spouse for permission, but I have to assume that is mutually agreed upon as most people would say that's abuse, most of my friends would say they discuss things with their spouse and come to a decision. One friend, a midwife, said she asks permission of her clients to serve them. Why is this not the general expectation? 

One friend said "Women aren't respected during the most vulnerable and influential point in our lives by health care professionals, and even other peers. You hear countless stories about how a doctors appointment is different when the male partner is present versus when they aren't. It is sad that we have such a need for advocates just because we are women." my response was "I think half the problem is that women have accepted it." Why have we accepted it? Why do I see women telling other women to seek permission? Why aren't we instead saying "This is your body, you pay that doctors paycheck, you decided how things are going to go!" Women simply need to stand up and demand it! We did not get the right to vote by making facebook memes and sitting around complaining to each other. Black Americans didn't get the right to sit at the same lunch counter by sitting by and quietly asking for permission.

"Birth Trauma" should not be common terminology. Women should not be getting PTSD from their birth experience. Women should not be shamed, threatened or coerced into  or out of any procedure they feel necessary. This will not change until women make it happen. We need to demand that our doctors do what we want them to do. We need to take back our authority they've taken, and stand tall, stand strong and most importantly stand together. It doesn't matter if your neighbor decided she wanted a fully drugged c-section, or a completely unassisted homebirth. It's her choice and she needs to make it and you need to tell her "Well done!"

I've started a campaign, t-shirts that say "I don't need your Permission" and on the back it says "nor was I seeking it" Buy one for yourself and one for a friend, pass the link around to women everywhere, encourage them to stop asking permission and make their own decision.

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Friday, September 23, 2011

What's in a name?

Today I legally changed my name to Camarell. I'm sure most of you are saying "I thought your name was Camie" well let me try to explain...

I grew up as Camie, this is the name my father gave me. My father also gave me a black eye, whiplash, numerous bruises, and emotional trauma. Life with him was never easy, he was angry, abusive and nothing was ever good enough for him. I have spent my life believing the lies he's told me, that I'm worthless and stupid. I've finally replaced those lies with the Truth. I've worked hard to quiet his voice, to stop letting the hurt dictate who I am. That hurt directed me in many ways. I spent too many years trying to prove, in all the wrong ways, that I was worth something. I did things I'm not proud of, I hurt people in ways I'll likely never know. I perpetuated what I was taught...

I'm not that person anymore. I've learned so much, changed so much. God has worked a wonder in me and I needed a tangible representation of that change, so I stopped using Camie. This was a symbol of sloughing off the past, of uprooting the weeds that had grown in my heart. It was a way to remove myself from the person who gave me the name and was the source of so much of the pain.

When I first heard this song I thought they said "you have been renamed" and it resonated with me. I was in tears, God had given this song to me! I was a little deflated when I found the lyrics but either way it is my life song and I still feel God gave this song to me. I am more, I have been remade and now I have been renamed.

My birth certificate reads Carmerall. My mother left when I was young so I never knew how she intended my name to be pronounced, my grandmother always pronounced it Camarell, with the accent on Cam and a slight draw on rell. I like it, I think it's beautiful.

I'm still growing, I'm still struggling, but I'm hanging on to the truth that I am MORE and I have been remade. My "new" name is a triumph in my life. I got to the top of the mountain, I faced my demons and with the strength of Christ I came out on the other side a new creation.

I know some of you struggle with the "new" name and for that I'm sorry. I hope you can try to understand why it's important to me. It's part of leaving the past behind me and moving forward. It's becoming the person I want to be and leaving behind the person I was.

2 Corinthians 17-21
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, she is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Wordle: BabyLady
Have you seen wordle yet?

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Jeremiah Earl Moses Anderson
July 13 2011
9lbs 2oz
21.25” long
14.24” head
14.50” chest

Jeremiah means the Lord with lift up (or exalt)
Earl means nobleman
Moses means Born of God
The Lord will lift up a Nobleman, born of God

Wednesday the 13th was my due date. I had never been that pregnant before. In the days leading up to my due date I was anxious and unsettled. I wanted to have a baby but at the same time I didn't feel ready, but I also felt “over due” (remember I was expecting him about two weeks ago). The evening of the 12th I finally broke down, cried and tried to figure out what was going on in my head. That's when it hit me, I was scared, I was scared of loosing my baby.

Last October I attended a lovely a couple, who dearly wanted a baby. They were cautious throughout their pregnancy, tried hard to do “all the right things” and had the perfect labor. The little boy was born beautiful and perfect, but he didn't take a breathe, my preceptor and I worked for what seemed like an eternity on him, he didn't take a breathe, we called on Jesus, the father commanded the boy to breathe, he didn't take a breathe, he never took a breathe. All the professionals involved assured us there was nothing that could have been done to change the outcome, it was a cord accident. In that moment it gave me a little relief, it wasn't my fault, I couldn't have done anything differently to save that precious baby. In this moment though I realize that means there is nothing I can do to save my own baby.

I looked up verses on fear and felt drawn to Isaiah 41:13 and put it on post-it notes on my wall

I spent most of the day the 13th praying, thinking, remembering, crying, and praying some more. I kept getting tripped up with the idea of “letting go” of the fear. How does one really let go?? I came to the conclusion that I can't let go. I can trust Christ, know that He will help me, that regardless of the outcome He is there. I know that His will is the best for me, even when it hurts, even when I don't understand. That doesn't make it hurt any less and that doesn't make it any less scary. I don't have to let go of the fear, I just have to know that I'm not walking in the dark alone, I'm holding my Saviours hand and I can trust Him. By late afternoon on the 13th I felt peace. I know the life of my child is out of my hands but I trust God to hold my hand through anything that may happen. I still had a niggling of fear, just because I know what could happen, but over all I felt peaceful and prepared.

I had a few sporadic contractions between six and seven that evening, by seven they seemed to be developing a pattern by eight I was beginning to think this might truly be labor. I had laid down about seven, I was tired and thought I'd get some rest, if it's labor it'll keep going, if not, no big deal. I'm not used to early labor, I usually sleep through that! Occasionally a contraction would be strong enough I needed to breathe through it but I got a good bit of rest between seven and nine. About 9:30 I felt a “pop” well, it was kind of a pop and a thud. I thought it was probably my water, but nothing came out, and it hurt just a tad, or rather felt like something had hit my pubic bone from the inside. I got up and went to the bathroom and then the water came out. I guess I was so paranoid about ruining my new floors I held it in. There was a moderate amount of meconium in the water, but very little water. I listened to heart rate which was strong 150's. Nathan pulled the mat out at the end of the bed and put down pads. I didn't feel scared, I felt determined. That seems a strange emotion, but I felt like I had a job to do and I was going to get it done.

I knelt on the mat on the floor at the end of my bed and told my baby we had to work together, but I was ready to get this done. I then quoted the last line in the verse on my wall “Fear not I will help” and said “Okay God, I need your help”. I'm not sure about time, but I had about 5 contractions before I started pushing. I felt like I was pushing early, normally I don't push until the head is well into the birth canal, this time I was pushing and I couldn't even touch the head myself, but I couldn't stop pushing. The contractions came right on top of each other and I just kept pushing. It was probably the hardest pushing phase I've ever had. I kept feeling like I couldn't get my hips open enough. It felt like he was scraping across my pubic bone and pushing my hips apart at the same time. I did start to worry, that he was going to get stuck, it didn't make sense to me that it would hurt so much and I could just barely touch his head. I couldn't stop pushing though, so I pushed, I was starting to worry I would tear something awful, but I had to push. Finally his head was born, Nathan said there was a loop of cord along his back, he pushed it back in. I had a moments rest before another contraction came and I was pushing for all I was worth again. I tried listening to my body to see if I needed to change positions or anything but nothing was there. I kept saying “Fear not for I will help” over in my head and pushing, pushing with all the power I could muster, finally I felt his shoulders break free. “Sweet Jesus, relief!” He cried before I could even get turned around “Thank you Lord”. He sputtered and protested to the change in environment and I was pleased to hear the complaining. I thanked Jesus several more times and snuggled with my baby.

There was little water, not quite enough to soak a chux, and lots of terminal mec. He had a thin layer of mec on him and his very long fingernails where barely stained. He scored 42wks on the Ballard/Dubowitz scale, so I guess I am supposed to have my babies around 38wks! He had an obvious tongue which I clipped right away, but we're still having some latch issues and he's not terribly interested in nursing.

Gavin couldn't possibly love him more, he's constantly trying to share toys, is very interested that he's nursing and wants to kiss him all over. He's fascinated that he has body parts smaller than his and if he doesn't see him when he walks into the room or wakes from a nap he ask "where da baby go?" It's sweet to see him love on him like that.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Pregnant Still

So it's officially my due date. Seven previous pregnancies and I've never gotten here. This has me in a tail spin. I don't know what to do, what to think.

*Why am I not going into labor? Am I just old and my body isn't producing the hormones it needs to get things going?

*How big will this baby be? If I have 8.5lbers at 38wks what happens when I get to 40?

*I've had two "sticky" babies before, will this one be able to navigate it's way out okay, especially if he's bigger?

I found myself looking through the archives looking at induction methods! I had some pre-eclampsia symptoms Monday, but seem to have it under control now. Still I feel like I need to get this baby out! The midwife in my head says to be patient and let my body do what it needs to do. The crazy lady says my body doesn't know how to do it anymore. There is another part that is apprehensive about going through labor again. I'm worried about being able to handle it, about pushing out a baby that's on the bigger side, about having a healthy baby. I want to hold and cuddle my baby, I want to nurse and lay in bed smelling him all day. But I'm scared to get there, I'm scared he might not last. I caught a goregous, perfectly healthy baby last year that never took a breath. I don't know what happened, cord accident is the official cause of death. It pressed on me just how delicate the balance between life and death really is. I'm scared to take that chance... is that why I'm still pregnant?

Sunday, August 01, 2010

My Diatribe on Forumla

Today on Facebook Crunchy Mommas International which is a profile for Dr.Momma or Peaceful Parenting Blog linked to an anglefire article
Is Formula Really All
That Harmful?

I am trying to decide whether or not I really want to wean my three month old baby to formula. Although breastfeeding is going well and my baby is thriving, I am wanting to get my body back, and I wonder if it really makes a difference?

Now the article it's self goes into great reasons why you should breastfed and that is not why I'm writing today. There is a ton of information on the web about the benefits of breastfeeding, I don't think I really need to rehash them all here.

Today's thoughts were provoked by comments left on Crunchy Mommas facebook post.
Some specific comments:
but no mother should make another feel bad about how she raises her child, unless it is harmful to the child
Yes, breast feeding might be 'best' for baby but it's a very, very personal decision
Women and mothers need to stick together and support each other

First off, let me say that as a mother who has chosen very non-traditional childraising methods and choices, I fully support the idea that we aren't all going to do things the same way and we need to support each other in those choices whether we agree with them or not.
However, I feel that somethings should simply not be a choice. Circumcision is top of my list, breastfeeding is next. Other things on that list would include not putting your infant in a car-seat, giving your minor children alcohol... etc... most of these things on my list are already laws, though I don't know that they should be, but that's another post (look for Nanny State Diatribe in the future)

Breastfeeding costs the US approximately $13 billion every year, that's not counting what we spend in tax dollars through WIC for formula, no that's just the medical expenses estimated for the health effects of not breastfeeding. Breastmilk is a free resource, that has time and again proven to be far superior to it's man made counterparts. Formula has been recalled countless times, frequently putting babies in the hospital and even causing a handful of deaths. I would say that formula borderlines being harmful to your child, in light of the alternative. It's like comparing water to Coke. No, coke won't kill you (at least not today)but who would recommend it as a viable consistent drinking alternative? If there was absolutely nothing but Coke available, yeah, it's better than dieing of dehydration, but it's obviously not the best. Formula is much the same way. Yes there is a handful of women who truly can not nurse for whatever reason and for them formula will have to do, but it should be the exception and I don't believe it should be a readily available, easy to make choice.
Which brings me to the next comment
Women and mothers need to stick together and support each other

Amen sister!! I know that many people think that us lactivists can be a little harsh and that mothers who have to formula feed shouldn't be looked down upon. Well I agree, that is if they really have to formula feed. I also think that if we knew that formula wasn't as easy as walking down to the local grocer and picking up a can that when we seen a woman in public bottle feeding her baby we would make one of 3 assumptions:
1. She's not the baby's mother but another caretaker with breastmilk in the bottle.
2. She has difficulty nursing in public, so brings breastmilk in a bottle
3. She can't nurse for some reason

If it's reason #3 all the lactivits that I know would nearly break down crying. We would certainly support and lift up this mother who would obviously want to nurse (because that's what is expected and known to be the best) and would be hurting because she couldn't. In fact most of us would rally around her and pump for her baby (I've seen it many times)so her baby could get the awesome benefits of breastmilk.
On Facebook one of the comments said this:
When I feed my son in public, I get glares because he eats from a bottle.
I feel for this woman who also professed to being a lactivist and trying hard to nurse. I don't think she would have this reaction if society knew that for a mother to formula feed she had to go through all the effort of trying to nurse first. Yes, I'm advocating that formula be by prescription only. This is the case is several countries, like Sweden, where their overall health is also better than ours. Now I know a lot of things would have to happen first for that to come to fruition and I'm not saying it should or could happen tomorrow. The overall attitude of our society would have to shift to breastmilk being the expectation. But if it did, and my dreams came true then we wouldn't have as the quote above says "glares" for formula feeding. The assumption would be there was a problem and the baby had to have formula. Rather than glare, women would cry, love and support.
So might I suggest that when you see a mother bottle feeding you ask her why she couldn't nurse. Start making the assumption that she tried and failed, perhaps if we put that idea out there, the expectation that every mother at least tried to nurse and didn't simply choose to give her baby formula, we can get closer to the breastfeeding utopia of 90% of mothers breastfeeding until at least 6months.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Recovering from Gallbladder Surgery

Well I got the surgeon consult moved up to the 21st. The surgeon did a good job of going over all the risks, and possible complications of surgery. After discussing my symptoms and the fact that I was taking percocet or loritab several times a day he squeezed me into his Friday schedule. This was both relief and anxiety. Relief that I may finally be out of pain but anxiety that I would likely miss a birth or possibly two (I did miss one) and less time for us to gather the necessary funds to pay for the procedure.
So blood work and nothing by mouth after midnight and we headed to the hospital early Friday morning, much earlier than I'm used to getting up! Nathan dropped me off so I could get prepped then he took the kids up to Anna's. I tell ya' that girl is a life saver. We are so greatful she agreed to take the kids. I really needed Nathan after the surgery even in the hospital.
I still haven't talked to the surgeon, though Nathan did while I was still under. Everything went fine, the stones are huge and they had to enlarge one incision just to get them out.
Recovery has been harder than expected. Today is day 8 since the surgery and I'm still struggling. My abdominal muscles don't ache any longer and I can sit up on my own again, but I'm still weak and tired. I've nearly passed out twice, both times when I was on my feet for more than 5 mins. I struggle with anemia most of the time and I've chaulked it up to that, but in looking around the web it seems that a good deal of people have that drugged out, worn down, ran over feeling for several weeks to months after the surgery. None the less, I'm still working on building up my blood through floradix, grape juice, spinach and dark chocolate. I also had some fluid build up around the navel incision, it's gone down, though not all the way. It's also hard and where I have the most pain. All the incision sites itch now and I can't wait to remove the surgi strips.
Here is an interesting computer generated video of a Cholecystectomy

I still haven't had a cheeseburger, but I've had lots of cheese :)