Sunday, September 30, 2007

The new e-book

I just have a few quick thoughts on Candy Brauer's new e-book about birth and childcare, "Christian Homebirth and Happy Babies: How I Did It Ages pre-birth to 4."

1. I wish she had not put Christian in the title. I think that is going to be off putting to women who choose hospital birth, birth centers, or midwives at home. There is nothing in the scriptures to say those choices are wrong and in fact midwives are mentioned throughout the scriptures!

2. I think a couple has to be very prepared to do an unassisted birth, particularly the husband! If the baby needs help and the mom needs help too (like baby struggling to breathe and mom bleeding out) the husband will have to handle both of these things. Another set of hands would certainly be useful. I had a cord prolapse at home. My skilled birth professional found it. I am not sure Mr. Pete would have known what he was feeling if he had to do a vaginal exam on his own. I also witnessed a very scary shoulder dystocia at home with a midwife. The midwife worked for several minutes to free the baby and she almost died. Couples attempting an unassisted birth I'm sure are aware of these things, but living through them myself, I would never opt for an unassisted home birth.

3. Candy has some breastfeeding issues. In fact she stated that it repulsed her to nurse an older baby and that she stops nursing when the standard 6-month-old nursing strike stuff starts to happen. I'm concerned that this will influence young inexperienced moms to wean their babies early, or not even attempt to nurse at all. I notice that in Candy's preview, she makes no mention of breastfeeding.

4. I wonder if her chapter on the strong-swilled child will include her brush with CPS last spring as she deleted all of that from her blog. She could do her readers a big service by including it and also mentioning the protection and services of the Home School Legal Defense Association. I am a member because someone threatened my family a year ago. It's money well spent every month in my opinion.

5. Candy uses 100 Easy Lessons to Teach Your Child to Read at age 4. She does reading readiness at age 3. I used the very same book for all of my five reading children. Three of them took to it like fish to water. Two of them did not and in fact had problems that made it very difficult for them to learn to read. My oldest did not read until he was 12 and that was after we started taking him to a reading specialist.

Learning to read is like learning to walk, talk, potty training, riding a bike and every other skill. Some kids get it, some don't right a way and there has to be some allowances for the variants. The late Raymond Moore suggested "wait until eight" for little boys because he did not think they were developmentally ready to learn to read until then.

Also while I enjoyed 100 Easy Lessons around Lesson 50 it starts to move a little too fast. None of my kids have finished that book. I usually put them into Pathway readers around that time. Those are delightful stories about kids in universal situations. My kids loved them. The new/old Dick and Jane books are a delight too!

Well that's it for me today. I am taking my cord-prolapse, 8-year-old daughter to an eyes pecialist today because she is a struggling reader. (she only made it to lesson 25 in 100 Easy Lessons. After that she will need to see the reading specialist again. Back later tonight.


Kelly said...

I think, from what she has written that her nursing issues are more likely to do with following a strict schedule a la Ezzo, than a 6 month strike. Although, they can be related, too.

On the Home Management Binder front, I see that CHC is offering a free workbook on their resources page, a chapter at a time on organizing and scheduling.

kritterc said...

I am new to this blog and would like to know what CPS is? Sorry for my ignorance.

Kelly said...

CPS is Child Protective Services. Candy's son was found away from home on his bike, and was removed from his parents custody for a few days. He is back home now.

Zan said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

You are right about the title Elena, I just left a comment myself, I will place it at the bottom here. Homebirth is not an option for me, does that make my birth non christian?

I have one concern over your book, with the title of Christian home birth, does that mean that ladies such as myself who homebirth is not an option due to the risks posed to the baby are not going to have christian births?
For the safety of my child I will have to have a hospital birth. Although I am not pregnant yet this has already been outlined to me by my doctors.
I just feel that by using that title you marginalise those of us who are chirstian but do not have this option open to us because of medical reasons.

Elena said...

I read your question and her reply Amy. I'm sorry she said your concern was "ludicrous." I think you made a valid point and it was brave of you to bring it up.

Mary said...

Hi everyone,
**If you feel like this post gives too much information, or isn't appropriate, please feel free to delete it. I will understand.

**The birth story below is not mine! But I was actively involved in these families lives for three years in each case, only on a professional level.

I think you made some very very good points concerning the ebook. One that did not get mentioned: Is she opening herself up to liability with such a product for sale? I have not purchased the book, but I get the feeling that some of the women who have may feel pressured or convinced that Candy's way is the way to go and then can end up in trouble. It is true that the vast majority of homebirths have a happy ending, but an overlooked percentage do not.
May I share my story? (not my birth story!)
Before I stopped working to homeschool my daughter, I was an early intervention specialist. My focus was children ages birth to age three who were medically fragile and multi-handicapped. I did this for 12 years. In those 12 years, in my county alone, I worked with two families whose children were devestatingly handicapped because of attempting vaginal delivery after c-sec, at home. In both cases the uterus ruptured and the baby was without oxygen for a signifigant amount of time. One of the babies also had an undected heart defect, the mother did not have the type of prenatal care that would have quickly detected this problem. Would these children still be handicapped if birthed in a hospital, I don't know, but probably not. There is usually not any noticible bleeding in a uterine rupture for a while, The first sign of this problem is a drop in the mother's blood pressure, which may not be checked that often. It is easy to overlook, it is very rare, and although these families knew the risk, they did not feel like it could happen to them. I urge all families to have their first VBAC in a hospital. Statistics say that after that your risk of uterine rupture is almost the same as a non-VBAC.
I don't even know if the book mentions VBAC, I hope not, since she has no experience in that area.
Sorry this got so long! Mary

Mary said...

One more thought then I'm off the computer, for a few hours!

How in the world do you make a baby not need to be fed for the whole night at nine weeks old? She could sell that idea and make millions!

Elena said...

My babies slept all the way through the night at 9 weeks too. They slept in my bed latched on and nursing. No big deal!

When my 4th son decided he could sleep through the night he failed to gain enough weight and our doctor told us we had to wake him up to feed. At that age, that's more important than a full night's sleep.

Faithful Catholic said...

Regarding your last comment, I'd be willing to bet that, just like Kelly said in the first comment, Candy is speaking of some "method" like that of the Ezzo's feeding method. Yikes! In my humble opinion, their "method" is just like snake oil. I wonder how people get away with publishing this potentially very damaging information without any credentialing and without any apparent liability? It's scary to me. Also, if she is using Ezzo's method and not crediting them, I wonder how they would feel about that. I don't know if she's using their stuff or crediting them because I'm certainly not going to spend the money to buy the "book."

Mrs. Brigham said...

The title concerns me as well. I think homebirths are wonderful, and would LOVE to have one myself in the future, but it seems reckless and irresponsible to set homebirth up as the only way to have a "proper" Christian birth! My husband and I were excited to be planning a homebirth when I was expecting my daughter last year. We had a midwife and everything in place, and then without any warning, my fluids ruptured at thirty five weeks, contractions began immediately, and I obviously had to head into the hospital. My midwife was wonderful and I was able to have an unmedicated and relatively intervention free birth still, and God was truly watching over our daughter as she was born very healthy and large considering the circumstances. I personally know other women who have faced circumstances that would not allow for a homebirth to take place, and am so thankful that our Heavenly Father has blessed doctors and midwives with the gifts to help when pregnancy and birth do not go to plan.

sue said...

my homebirth was a vbac. I received excellent prenatal care. I had a sonogram to make sure the placenta was placed ok and to rule out medical issues for the baby which would require care immediately after delivery. I accepted the fact that there are no guarantees in life and accepted responsiblity for my decision. Both my vitals and the baby's were monitored closely by my midwife. If I had chosen to birth in a hospital I would likely not have had a VBAC as the doctors in my area are reluctant to do them in spite of the fact that they are safer than unnecessary surgery. Don't get me started. :) Anyway, it was a long, uncomfortable labor but much, Much better than the one I had in the hospital.

I am also coming clean - my name is not sue. I'm sorry, REALLY SORRY, for the deception. Please forgive me. My name is sara.

sara said...

oh, and we would, of course, transported if it had become necessary.

Mary said...

Sara, congratulations on your happy delivery! I guess my experiences with those two families given me a fear of home VBAC. I'm so glad to hear sucessful stories!

Elena said...

No problem Sara.

I had a hospital VBAC and then two home births, and then the transfer. With the ridiculous way that VBACs are being handled in this country nowadays, I don't fault anyone for having a homebirth. There might even be areas of the country where you can't get a good midwife because they aren't available or they're being litigated out of existence. That's a tough call, but I think I'd travel to be close to a midwife or birthing center rather than to go it alone, again based purely on my own experiences.

Kelly said...

I have also had two successful home VBACs. Both my blood pressure, and the baby's heart rate were carefully monitored. I live 2 miles from a hospital. It really depends on the midwife, certainly.

USA Today did an article a year or two ago about the rise in home VBACs and it was full of doctors lamenting the risk. But as Sara said, many women are forced into that position. In my area, there is only one hospital in a six county area that will allow VBACs.

Even women who had one c-section followed by 3 successful VBACS are told that they need to schedule a C-section. They will not allow a trial of labor, even under the most anti-lawsuit terms (sign a disclaimer, total fetal monitoring, etc.)

Okay, now I'm starting to get on my soapbox, too. But I did want to assure you, Mary, that home VBAC can be a safe choice in some circumstances. At the same time, I do understand that there are risks, and that some women are not good candidates for home VBAC.

Elena said...

I just want to be sure that we are making the differentiation between a homebirth with a midwife, and an unassisted birth with the woman and her husband or even alone.

While I support a couple's decision to birth where they feel safe (and that isn't always the hospital) I really think there are some additional risks with the unassisted home birth. The scenario of mom bleeding out with the baby having a hard time with breathing is one of those. That's a lot to ask a husband to take on by himself.

My homebirths with a midwife for one and a homebirth doctor for the other two were very comfortable and the attendants felt like good friends and not intrusive at all.

sara said...

Mary - I'd probably be nervous too, if I'd witnessed those things.

Milehimama said...

I think it's scandalous that a commenter on Candy's blog insinuated that you don't "listen to the Lord" because you listen to your doctors.

Doctors can, and do, the Lord's work, and a good Christian doctor is worth his (or her) weight in gold!

I have a friend, whose husband is a doctor - in fact, he delivered two of my babies. She had a homebirth assisted by a midwife (doctors are NOT allowed to assist at homebirths in his state). It is a good thing he was there, however, as there were some complications! My friend said she would never have a home birth again , even though the one she had was personally attended by a man who delivers babies for a living!

It is not for everyone.

Milehimama said...

Sorry, this is totally off topic - does anyone know who "Authorized" the King James Version in the AKJV?

Kelly said...

The Anglican Church authorized the King James Version of the Bible. It was their official version for quite a long time.

Eugenie said...

I haven't been to Candy's blog since her last anti-Catholic episode (which, by the way, encouraged me to go back to Mass for the first time in 15 years and it was wonderful - thanks Candy!).

However, I went there today to look up some thing she'd written a while ago and what do I find...there are no archives on her blog.

Has any one else noticed this or am I just missing them? I know they definitely used to be there. I remember going back and reading her blog from the very start - and she sounded so different. Like a nice, friendly young mother.

I think the woman is a fraud. The fact she appears to be so influential among young blogging Christian women scares me.

God's peace,

Kelly said...

Eugenie, Candy wrote a week or two back that she doesn't keep an archive because she doesn't want people judging her based on who she used to be.

She has some articles linked on the left, and Elena wrote a while back on how to pull up previous posts by month, but I don't remember how it was now. I'm sure she can tell us again if you'd like to know.

Blondie said...

For whatever reason, her old blog on blogger is still up and you can read all her blog entries starting with Jan. 15, 2005 until she switched, which was around April 2006. I agree, she does sound different now. The first page begins here, with the oldest post at the bottom of the page:

This old blog is the first one I ran across when I first discovered her. I think I was googling home management or something like that (I love organizing). It took me a while to find out how anti-Catholic she is. :-(

sara said...

If Candy wanted to write a book about her experiences with UA and wanted to differentiate it from some New-Agey type thing; wanted to say that this is a Christian homebirth experience as opposed to some pantheistic belief, and was not in any way trying to say that all Christians should birth this way, what would be a good title for the book? (How's THAT for a run-on sentence?) Maybe, One Christian's Experience with Unassisted Childbirth? Or, My Unassisted Christian Homebirth? Just curious, what do you think would be acceptable?

Anonymous said...

Thanks milehimama and Elena for your supportive comments!
Both my husband and I beleive that God does work through doctors, we have prayed and have been blessed with a great medical team who help me manage my condition.

I think Sara's suggestion is on the right track, she needs to have ownership in the title not a generalisation.