The New (More Important) Role of Exercise

 Was 2011 a stressful year for you?  Join the club!  Over the years, my clientele have gradually changed their goals.  Early in my training career, most everyone’s goal was to lose weight, tone up, and improve general health, but the last two years I have seen a huge shift.  Nearly everyone I train now uses exercise for one primary reason:  stress relief.  Many of them still have complicated issues, some of them severe, but they are in need of an outlet right now, and exercise helps in that department.

Physical exertion provides a healthy avenue for pent up frustration.  It releases endorphins, gets your adrenaline pumping, and allows your focus to change, even for just an hour.  It’s one hour to not think about your troubles, concerns, or all the things you have to do.  It’s one hour to vent and to clear your head.  As a matter of fact, I get my best ideas during a hard workout, and I always feel better afterward.  More and more people are realizing the stress-reducing benefits of exercise, so that is becoming their primary focus.

Let’s look at just a few of my favorite clients who have made this shift.  Mr. B is a nursing student with a 5 year old.  He originally hired me for weight loss, bone issues, and a bad heart.  Now, he keeps me because it’s the only outlet he has.  Between the commute to school, constant homework, lack of sleep, and his son, he’s going out of his mind.  The exercise makes him feel sane and human.

Mrs. S originally hired me years ago for weight loss.  It worked–she had a wonderful body within months.  Now she is a new mom.  She has no schedule, poor sleep, and is in desperate need of some personal time.  She’s unhappy with her body, but could care less about the scale.  She just wants to feel good.

I have two workaholics who both originally hired me for weight loss.  I have worked with them for years and have watched them slowly get busier and busier.  2011 was a horrible year for them.  From excessive traveling to overbooked clients, these two women are stretched beyond belief, and they need escape.  If we miss a few sessions, these ladies are going nuts.  They have to have the outlet exercise provides them.  I train them now for two reasons:  stress relief and so they can hike on their personal trips.  One enjoys Europe and the other enjoys the West, but they both like to hike and need the strength to do so.

I could go on and on with similar cases.  Don’t misunderstand the need for a healthy body weight, lean muscle, aerobic capacity, and strength, but stress can be lethal.  More and more people are seeing the negative effects of stress in today’s age.  With a crappy economy comes many other crappy situations, and my clients are feeling it.  Their original goals are still important and we do address them, but sometimes it’s more important to step back and assess what you really need at the current time.  These people need to feel better and to stop thinking.  There’s no better way to do that than with a physical challenge.

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You are Woman, Find Your Roar

I admit I have an addiction…..to physical challenges. But here’s the kicker: you should too! When is the last time you felt strong, powerful, invincible, overly confident? If you aren’t feeling these things on a regular basis, it’s time to kick things up a notch.
I will tell you a secret….I have been suffering greatly from post-partum depression. Actually, I have the severe kind that probably a therapist would put me on meds for, but, of course, you know how I feel about that! Instead of meds, I prefer to roar–it helps me more. I know this will pass–the crazy thing is for as low as I get sometimes, I get just as high other times. Most of the time, I’m my usual exuberant self and happy as can be with my daughter, but then there’s those other times….and they are nasty, nasty. However, I will go with what works for me…..and it’s always to find my roar. It will get me through whatever comes my way.
I see way too many people who have no roar. They are mundane, almost dead inside, and everyday is the same. Many of them do nothing physical, and it shows both in their bodies and in their emotions. They have no goals—serious strength goals, ones that are tough, tough, tough to accomplish. A physical goal is crucial to confidence building–it does something different to you than a mental achievement, something we need as animals.
I’ve done several things in the past that I consider major physical accomplishments, but I will be honest with you, the more you achieve, the hungrier you get. It’s almost like a drug. My first accomplishment was several years ago. I lost a ton of weight after having been on antidepressants. I vowed to get off them myself and get in shape. I did. Then I became a personal trainer. The second goal I achieved was competing in a figure competition. That was a serious one! The last one I did was birthing my daughter naturally, no drugs, using a squatting bar. Remarkable! That one really did it for me. If I can do that, I can beat a pesky little depression thing. I am strong! I am woman, hear me roar!
I challenge you today to find something that makes you want to yell out from the shock and awe of your own greatness. Make it hard, something you consider impossible for you to do. It is just the thing you need. Find something to make yourself roar! My next thing is the Warrior Dash in January. Then in Oct., I just may compete again with some bodybuilding 🙂

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Learning to Eat on the Run

The statement “I don’t have time to eat” can be true–I’ve heard it from countless clients.   Unfortunately, it’s usually accompanied by poor food choices when the opportunity to eat arises.  Either circumstance is unacceptable for a healthy body.  I dealt with both of these issues for the first two weeks after my daughter was born, but I’ve learned how to tackle these beasts appropriately.  Whether you’re juggling a demanding job, playing taxi for your family, responding to incessant I-Phone messages, or caring for a newborn, here are some strategies for learning to eat while on the run.

1)  Set a timer and don’t turn it off until you’ve eaten.  You CANNOT skip meals, so you simply must take time to eat, but when everything is demanding your immediate attention it’s easy to forget.  Frankly, with all the adrenaline pumping through your body from high stress levels, your stomach probably won’t even remind you.  I lost my appetite for about 5 days after my daughter’s birth, then when I was getting hungry, I found myself so stretched for time that eating took a back seat.  This can be a huge problem for functionality and metabolism.  So, set the timer, and when it goes off, grab something!

2)  Stock the house with clean, pure, healthy, fresh foods.  In the strategy above, I told you to grab something, but you can’t simply grab anything and expect your stomach to be happy and your body to work at its optimum.  When you’re demanding a lot from your mind and body, you must fuel it.  Keep the house stocked with healthy foods.  Here are some of my staples that are always in my house:  a ton of pre-cut fresh fruits and veges, lean meats, cold cuts, peanut butter, nuts, protein powder, eggs, oatmeal.  If you let the pantry or fridge start to get bare, you’re setting yourself up for failure.

3)  When you have extra time, cook, cook, cook.  I have found that my most hectic time of day is first thing in the morning–eating breakfast was getting difficult, and I soon found myself going from 6pm to 9am the next morning without food–bad, bad, bad!  To remedy my breakfast problem, I made 2 different casseroles that were easy to heat in the microwave.   These will last me about 10 days, and they’re healthy, balanced, and hot and ready in 2 minutes.

4)  Make extra food for dinner….because leftovers for lunch are a lifesaver.  Keep it balanced and healthy, so a microwave is all you need.

5)  Keep cold drinks refrigerated in serving sized containers.  Don’t forget hydration–it’s crucial!  I’m always a jugger (one who carries a jug of water), but I found myself those first 2 weeks really lagging in the hydration department, and I could tell my lethargy immediately.  So, I took my pitchers and filled them all up with water and green tea.  I also keep several grab-and-go cups in the fridge.  Drink BEFORE you feel thirsty!

It is very true that eating sometimes gets the shaft when it comes to hectic lives, but with just a little planning and organization, you’ll soon find yourself just as successful at providing for your body the way you provide for everyone else who is demanding your time.  It is OK to eat something before you answer that call or get the kids in the car or respond to that message or pick up your crying daughter.  Never forget:  YOU have to be a priority too.  What good are you to others if you’re not functioning?  The only one who will take care of you is you!

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Rachel’s Pure, Joyful Birth Story **Warning: Graphic and Long**

Phenomenal!  Empowered!  Like a Million Bucks!  Euphoric!  Energized!  These are not your typical words to described how I’ve felt this past week after giving birth to my daughter, but they are exactly what I had expected and what I had trained for.  You see, there is a huge difference in planning and preparing.  Although labor was August 17th, my real “labor” began in January.  So, please sit back, because I’d love to share with you Rachel’s birth story in its entirety. 

Those of you who know me well, know my philosophies on natural health, clean eating, exercise, and alternative therapies.  Pregnancy is not a disease or a medical condition–it’s the most natural thing in the world.  The intervention of modern medicine, despite good intentions to prevent pain, has made women afraid and overly cautious; but most importantly, it has taken away their confidence in their own bodies.  We’ve been convinced we don’t have what it takes.  How wrong!  Our bodies are STRONG–we are not made of shoddy goods in need of assistance.  We ARE the stronger sex!  I took this philosophy and ran with it from every dimension possible.  There is no other way to say it:  I worked my ass off during my pregnancy and it paid off in huge ways!  Here were my focus areas:

1)  Faith.  God is where you should always begin!  I have a very close relationship with God–he is my savior, my protector, and my friend.  I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt he would help and guard me….and he did.  My daughter was an unexpected gift from him, and I knew a positive birth would be as well.  I prayed and prayed and prayed! 

2) Exercise.  I did it all:  yoga, swimming, walking, stretching, aqua therapy, physical therapy, strength training (until my 3rd trimester).  I averaged between 2-3 hours of activity every single day, and although the intensity was nil near the end, it still happened even on days where I just wasn’t feeling it.  It also helped me sleep great to the end.  As a matter of fact, the morning of my labor, I had walked for an hour, did aqua therapy for an hour, and cleaned house for over an hour 🙂

3)  Knowledge.  Preparation includes research–it’s powerful and it builds confidence.  I read 11 books about natural birth during my pregnancy and I am a frequent Bible reader anyway.  I made flashcards of motivational, spiritual, and visual reminders.  I did hypno-therapy and relaxation techniques. 

4)  Positivity.  I avoided all the drama!!!  Too many people focus on the negative, and it’s a shame.  I kept my motivation high and avoided or laughed at those who thought I couldn’t do it!  One of my flashcards even said “They think you can’t do it–YOU CAN!”

5)  Diet.  Good nutrition and clean eating is crucial.  Your baby will take everything you’ve got and leave you with the junk, so eat right.  I ate every 2 1/2 hours and I never said to myself “I’m pregnant, I can have whatever I want.”  Clean eating gave me the energy I needed to keep exercising.  I also incorporated an organic herbal pregnancy tea at 37 weeks to efface my cervix and tone my uterus–it worked like a charm!  My doctor had been expecting me to go for 3 weeks before I was due because of my progress.

Now that you’re primed, let me tell you about my awesome birth experience.  It’s rather short, but you won’t believe it!   On August 17th, two days before my due date, at 2:45pm I lost my mucus plug and began having bloody show.  I called Jonathan and told him not to rush home because it would probably be a bit before contractions began.  At 3:15 I had my first contraction that lasted 40 seconds.  7 minutes later I had another one.  I called Jonathan and told him I thought he should come home.  At this point, things began getting interesting.  I wrote down my contractions to note the start times.  After about 3 contractions at 7 minutes apart, they jumped to 5 minutes apart, and I had to lay down.  I started looking at my flashcards and doing focused breathing–I was already shocked at how quickly they seemed to be progressing.  By the time Jonathan got home (about 40 minutes later), they were 4 minutes apart.  He looked at the paper and said “We need to go to the hospital.  The doctor said if they were five minutes apart.”  I said “No.  I don’t want to go yet.  This can’t be right–they’re coming too fast too soon.  Take a shower and we’ll see what’s happening then.”

I should have listened to my husband!  I kept second guessing myself–something I rarely do, and it almost led to a birth in my truck!  I couldn’t believe how close my contractions were.  I also couldn’t believe how painless they were for me….another reason for my delay.  There was pressure but not pain.  But they got stronger and closer, and by the time he was out of the shower I was regularly at 2 1/2 to 3 minutes apart and lasting about 90 seconds.  Jonathan and my mom began packing up frantically and he helped me to my truck where I laid down in the back.  I pulled out my I-Pod and began listening to my hypo birthing tracks.  They focused me, but after 3 contractions in the truck, I felt uncontrollable urges to push…..hard!  From that point on, I was pushing and moaning loudly with each contraction and that got fairly intense and a little painful.  I knew she was already in my birth canal, and this scared me a little!  I didn’t want to have her on the side of the road.

Just before Jonathan pulled into the hospital parking lot I yelled “You have to get me there!  She’s coming!”  He got me out of the car and I saw a lady coming out with a wheel chair.  I politely told her I’d walk and I saw the thought on her face:  Oh, she’s way early.  She said we’d have to register and Jonathan said “We’re preregistered.”  Another woman, upon seeing my bent over frame, came immediately and took us up to labor and delivery–I walked the whole way.

As soon as the head nurse got me to the bed I began pushing with another contraction.  She told another nurse “She’s pushing–get her doctor here now!”  She asked me why I had waited so long to come to the hospital.  I answered that it wasn’t my intention, it had just happened so fast.  I laid on my left side and she checked me.  I heard her tell another nurse I was fully dilated plus 2–Rachel was already in my birth canal.  I was not surprised, but the relief I felt for making it to the hospital bed was immense.  She told me “I hope you didn’t plan on having an epidural.”  I said “No.  I’ve prepared for a natural delivery.”  There wasn’t even time for an IV or saline lock, and I was thankful for that–it took away any temptation for drugs.  She asked me empathetically “Can you stop pushing? I need to get your doctor here just in case there are any complications.”  I told her I’d do my best, but I couldn’t promise anything.  As soon as I finished answering her, my doc walked through the door, took one look at me, shook his head and rolled his eyes with amusement.  He said “I broke several traffic laws getting here.” 

For the next 20 minutes or so, I labored on my side; however, I knew I’d never get her out that way without severe tears.  So I rolled over into a squatting position with my knees on the bed.  That wasn’t working either–my legs and feet were feeling the strain.  I heard my doctor say “That’s a tough position–let’s get her a squatting bar.”  I was thrilled to hear him say it, because he remembered what I wanted. 

The bar was the perfect choice.  The front of the bed dropped and I stepped down onto the mattress, holding the bar for dear life.  With each contraction, I squatted as low as I could and pushed with everything I had–just as I had practiced with my physical therapy.  After doing this about 3 times, my legs were shaking so badly, I couldn’t get back up.  Jonathan supported me and lifted me up from the squats.  I could see my legs trembling in a glare from a picture frame in front of me.  Just to see myself was motivating.  I heard my doctor remark to my mother “She is so strong.  I’ve never seen a woman this strong.”  It was exactly what I needed to hear.  I looked around the room and noticed how full it was–every nurse on duty must have been there and they all stared at me with wide eyes and open mouths.  I looked down at one of the nurse’s shoes and said “Cute shoes.”  I heard a gasp in the room–they were shocked at how cognizant I was.

With each squat I could feel her moving more and more out.  One time when I was down, I saw the doctor take lubricant and rub me around her head.  I said to him “Yes, lube me up, I don’t want to tear.”  Everyone in the room was shocked I was still talking in the middle of a contraction.  It was incredible to reach down with my hands and feel her head.  Feeling her hair and the softness of her head was wonderful motivation.  I kept thinking to myself “You’re doing it….just like you wanted…..according to plan…..you’re doing it…..this is it…..this is your moment!”  With one of the squats I felt my upper pubic bones moving, but it wasn’t too painful.  She was so close to coming, but I just didn’t have the strength to keep pushing for long–I’d have to stand up with Jonathan’s help.  It was an oddly wonderful sensation feeling my bones around her when I stood up. 

Before my last squat, Jonathan kissed me and said “This is it, baby.  This is the one.  Push, baby.  I love you!”  I said “Yes, this is it, this is it.”  The most painful part was the very end, just getting her head out all the way.  I was grunting and yelling, and just when I thought I had nothing left, I felt her head nudge its way out.  Unfortunately, as soon as I got her head out there was only a little relief because my doctor firmly said “I need it now.  Push now!  I need it now!”  I didn’t think I had anything left, but I did, and I felt each shoulder slowly being pulled out with his hands.  Then the rest of her body quickly arrived and she was screaming.  I was screaming uncontrollably too and then I fell back onto the bed.  That is one thing I will NEVER forget:  after she was out, I couldn’t stop screaming.  It was pure joy, pain, shock, and honor!  I saw Jonathan cut the cord and then she was on me.  My precious baby was on me!

As I lay there looking at her and her gorgeous head of hair, the relief was incredible and so was the love.  She looked at me as if she was saying “Thank you.”  More relief was to come, though, as the doctor delivered my placenta.  I barely pushed and it slid slowly out.  Delivering the placenta and ensuing fluid was the most spectacular sensation.  I said to my doctor “Oh, my God, that was incredible.”  He responded with “I thought you’d like that.”  He checked me out and said “I don’t see anything major here.  No tears, just a few minor scratches.  No stitches necessary.”  I was beyond thrilled–all that vaginal stretching and perineal massage from physical therapy really paid off.  I looked up at the one nurse left in the room and asked her to leave so we could say a prayer.  My Mom and Jonathan surrounded Rachel and me and I said a prayer thanking God for such a wonderful delivery.  She was born at 7:30pm, a mere 4 hours and 15 minutes after labor began.

Please don’t stop reading, because I have some very important things to tell you.  I want to share with you what I would have missed or been unable to do had I been drugged up.  Rachel was a very calm baby inside my womb throughout my entire pregnancy, but when I was pushing on my side in the hospital, my little girl was kicking the daylights out of me trying to get out of my birth canal.  That is how I knew this position would not work.  Her ferocity reminded me that she was my true birthing partner.  I would have missed all the shocked faces, and all the words my doctor spoke about my strength.  I would have missed being able to reach between my legs and feel my daughter.  I would have missed being completely cognizant of my own power and in control of my thoughts and wants.

Had I been drugged, I would not have been able to tell my doc to lube me up.  I would not have been able to tell Jonathan to tell everyone to get out of the room.  I would not have been able to tell my nurse she had cute shoes or to give my Mom a thumbs up as she encouraged me.  I would not have been able to ask for ice water and drink it in between squats.  I would not have been able to reach into my soul to find that final push to get her chest out of me so she wouldn’t strangle as her neck was out.  I would have missed the incredible feeling of delivering the placenta.  I would not have been able to forcefully refuse the shot of Pitocin the nurse tried to give me immediately after I birthed my daughter.  The nurse said it was to help with any clotting, but had I been drugged I would not have been able to have a conversation with her about an alternative uterine massage.  How quickly they were to rush to any type of medication instead of something natural, but thankfully my unmedicated birth allowed me to voice my opinions. 

I thank God that I was completely awake, alert, and energized throughout the entire process.  I would never have had the euphoria I had for the next 5 days following her birth.  I was unable to sleep, and it wasn’t that I didn’t have plenty of opportunities.  I would just lie there going over everything in my head, praying, and weeping.  My eyes were dilated for days from natural endorphins and I was up and about throughout the house upon returning home. 

One thing that meant a lot to me was the staff at the hospital kept coming into our room and telling me how amazing I was.  I was the talk of the maternity ward.  One of my regrets is that after she was birthed, the head nurse came up to me as I was being assisted to the bathroom and said “That was absolutely amazing.  I could never had done that.”  All I said was a tired “Thank you.”  I should have told her “Yes, you could’ve….you’re stronger than you think!”  We are all stronger than we think!  We are capable of remarkable things–never doubt yourself!

I have yet to take any pain medications–I haven’t needed them.  My body is healing beautifully.  Despite being offered everything from Motrin to stool softeners, I chose to put nothing in my body except good foods high in fiber.  My daughter is such a lovely, peaceful, happy baby, and I am ever thankful to God that he made this pure, joyful birth possible.  Praise be to Jesus.

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What Stretch Marks? The Secret to Great Skin

I have a dirty little secret:  stretch marks are not hereditary!  Cellulite can be, but not stretch marks.  And….sorry to all the skin care lines, but there’s absolutely nothing topical you can use to prevent them!  My doc has been surprised to see I have no stretch marks, and he said recently “You must have great genes.”  Sorry, doc!  If my mom was the factor, I’d have been horribly doomed.  I’ve simply used my knowledge and philosophies of the body and nutrition to prevent them, and what do ya know….it worked….as it usually does.

So, how do you keep great skin, whether you’re pregnant or not?  There are 3 main things you HAVE to do:  1)  Hydration–the most important.  Skin must be kept supple.  Lots of water, water, water!  I’m a jugger–that means I carry a gallon jug and easily consume it throughout the day.  Yeah, you’re gonna pee a lot, but so what!  2)  Purity:  a clean diet.  Lots of fruits and veges, no processed foods, little sodium and sugar.  Balanced with lean proteins and complex carbs.  Pure, basic, nature-driven.  Very little crap is to be put in the body!  You want crappy skin, then put it in your body.  3)  Great blood circulation.  And guess how you get that?  Yep, you guessed it.  Exercise!!  Everyday for at least 45-60 minutes.  Sweat is cleansing to the poors and you must get your heart rate up moderately to improve circulation.

Now there are two other things I do which I think help, but they are based on the above necessities of hydration, purity, and circulation.  1)  Body brushing.  I usually fast twice a year, and when I fast, I brush my body daily to remove dead skin.  I primarily do this, however, because it is fabulous for circulation.  The brushing, which you do in the direction of your heart, brings the blood to the surface.  You can feel it, you can feel your body warming up and the tingles.  Plus, it spreads the oils on your skin.  2)  If my body feels a little dry, and especially if the skin is thin (like it is for me at 39 weeks), I use either pure, organic Vitamin E oil, almond oil, or coconut oil.  PURE–no preservatives, chemicals, perfumes, etc. 

What if you already have stretch marks?  Well, that can be a little more complicated, but I can tell you that it’s never to late to get skin you’re happy with.  Acne, blemishes, spots, looseness, wrinkles, even cellulite can be hugely affected by the 3 basics of hydration, purity, and circulation!  So, what are you waiting for?  Think Maybeline (but don’t buy that junk)…..”Because you’re worth it!”

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Beware the “Just Wait” Doom & Gloom

Those two words “Just wait” have been the favorites of too many women I know.  They are strange little words, because they seem to foretell the future through experience….their experience  The interesting thing about reality, though, is that it’s all perception:  your perception is your reality; it shapes your experience.  Thus, if your perception is negative, so will be your experience and your reality.

I’ve heard it all over the last 9 months.  Just wait until you’re vomiting your head off.  Just wait until you can’t move.  Just wait until the third trimester–you’re gonna be huge!  Just wait until the swelling starts.  Just wait until the baby’s kicking keeps you up at night.  Just wait until you’re so miserable–you’ll be crying all the time.  Just wait until the pain starts.  Just wait until your eyes are all bruised from pushing.  Just wait…..just wait…..just wait…..

Sadly, this “Just wait” mentality seems to trickle into everything for these people:  their jobs, their children, their marriage, their health, etc.  They are completely setting themselves up for failure on a wide scale.  How sad!  It’s bad enough that they do this to themselves, but what’s even worse is that they seem to thrive on trying to cause doubt and hysteria in other people.  Why would you do this?  How cruel and negative!  Do you really get off on misery and if so, why?  I recently read a great quote:  “Who you are in labor is who you are in life.”  Amazing….I’ve always said the same thing about health and fitness:  “Who you are with your health is who you are in your life.”  I call it the trickle down effect, and it’s amazing how the attitude it takes to get and stay healthy is what’s required to live a fulfilling life.  I’ve found this to be true with pregnancy as well.  It’s really all about attitude and perception.  If you think things are going to suck beyond belief, guess what?  They will!  If you are confident, calm, peaceful, happy, stress-free, and believe whole-heartedly that things will fabulous, guess what?  They just might be wonderful!  I’ve had a wonderful pregnancy!

I refuse the “Just wait.”  I refuse it from everyone whose been saying it.  It is a self-fulfilling prophecy–you’ve sold out to societal expectations of drama, drama, drama.  After all, drama sells!  I hate drama with a passion!  But I love passion, and that is what I’m full of.  Passion for life, passion for joy, passion for blessings, passion for confidence.  I open my heart to fulfillment, so if you’re a “Just Waiter” stay way!  Keep your toxicity far, far away!

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Yo, Doc! YOU Work for ME!

When alternative therapy meets modern medicine wonderful things should happen–the opportunities for growth should be fantastic.  Sadly, it’s usually like adding salt to a wound or mixing oil and water–they don’t want anything to do with each other and often times can lead to ill feelings and defensiveness.

One of my biggest regrets with my pregnancy is that I went with an Ob/Gyn instead of a midwife or doula.  I did so because my husband, the ever safety guru, wanted me “as safe as possible.”  Ironically, I don’t feel exactly “safe” with my doc, but I reasoned with myself that I could have the best of both worlds–ha….joke’s on me!  Please understand I don’t want to paint  my doc as some evil person–he is not.  He is a nice man, but rather condescending with a major God-complex and a very limited perspective.  It is no secret I have a poor opinion of many of our healthcare professionals.  It’s not because I don’t think they are intelligent; it’s because, given my profession, I have seen their philosophies at work, and I have personally never had a doctor, from OB to GP to dentist, who wasn’t an arrogant asshole, desperately wanting to be worshipped.  Sadly, my doc is no different.

At the beginning of my pregnancy I was completely up front with him about my belief in unmedicated, natural approaches not only to birth but to life.  I had a frank conversation with him about my wishes and my preparations and told him if I needed to look elsewhere to find similar philosophies I would.  His main piece of advice was to stay away from the internet–I agreed, and he was very obliging.  My how things have changed! 

I am a huge researcher and pride myself on making my own educated decisions.  From the beginning during every session, I have brought in a typed page of questions and book after book on natural strategies and techniques I liked.  At first, he seemed fine with this, but his true colors are really showing through here at the end.  He is now very irritated at my questions and he mocks me.  He is disinterested in hearing about my pre-natal physical therapy, and he doesn’t care about visualization or my breathing techniques.  He mocks my reading, pointing at my books and telling me they are all wrong.  He tells me I shouldn’t read anything on the internet, go to any classes, or read any of the 9 books I’ve read…..so I guess I should just go to him, the source of all info!  He doesn’t look at me when he answers my questions, he looks at my husband.  And he has used every scare tactic possible, telling me things like “You’ll blow your butt out!”  “You’ve never seen a dead baby.”  “The midwives in Brevard County don’t know what they’re doing–I’ve seen women practically dead and their baby is already dead!” “Don’t be stupid!  Get to the hospital and just walk around in the lobby.  At least you’ll already be there.”  I’m not sure what part of positivity, confidence, comfort level, and mobility this guy doesn’t get!

Yesterday was terrible with him.  He did a Group B Strep test on me (standard bs for insurance $).  As he holds up a long q-tip he warns sarcastically “Everybody just loves this.”  I was wondering what on earth he was doing with that thing, because from what I had read it was no big deal.  After a 2-second procedure, he seemed disappointed at my indifference.  Then he said “I’m going to check your cervix, so I need you to practice that focused breathing.  I relaxed my body and let my breathing follow my body (a technique from Hypnobirthing).  He snipped at me “Breath deep!  If I can’t hear you, you’re not doing it right!”  I told him I didn’t feel any need to breath heavily since nothing hurt.  When he finished he said “Well, you flunked your first breathing test!  When you’re in pain those little breaths won’t cut it.”  I rolled my eyes!  What an ass!

Yes, I am quite disappointed in my choice of docs, but what do I do at 38 weeks?  I feel like I have worked so hard all this time from a variety of dimensions only to have his negativity and smugness try to rain on my confident parade.  He has obviously forgotten whom he works for!  But, I’m afraid it really wouldn’t have mattered much which doc I chose–none of them seem to respect more holistic approaches to much of anything.  The approach I am taking is an inward approach–I believe in existing in my mind; I believe in its power–I can create “my space, my zone.”  And, most importantly, I have very strong faith in God–my doc seems to prefer scientology.

The lack of acceptance of holistic, natural approaches in modern medicine is truly a tragedy.  Every time I think we may be improving, I meet Dr. Dick.  I will remain ever hopeful that the two could at least find balance with one another, but I am always certain of the fact that I am a “hire at will/fire at will” entity.  You work for me and I’m not a union supporter!

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