Tag Archives: home birth

Community Interview ~ Emelia of My Maine Homestead

My friend Emelia and I have a lot in common. She and I met through friends shortly before Chickie and her own daughter were born the same month, at home. Although we live too far apart to see each other regularly, our blogs have given us the opportunity to stay in touch on each other’s homesteads. If you enjoy our blog, I know you’ll enjoy following Emelia’s family and their own off-grid – homeschool – homestead journey! After reading Emelia’s interview, please hop over to her blog!
And, as an unrelated side note – I am working on the time management post I promised. Perhaps it is ironic that a post with that subject is later in coming than I said it would be, but I am trying to stick to my new relaxed method of blog scheduling instead of forcing things to happen before they are ready, and I think this post will be more helpful when I have it thought out better in a couple of days.
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Tell us about your family. Significant other? Kids? What region of the country do you live in and what do you do for work? 
We are a family of four, myself, husband, son and daughter living in southern Maine. I am a stay at home mom and homeschool our children while my husband is a cell tower technician or “tower climber”. Our son will be six in December and he has a form of Autism called Pervasive Developmental Disorder. He is very high functioning and copes better as he grows older. Everyday is a challenge and adventure! He loves being homeschooled and has made new friends in our co-op this year. Our daughter is 20 months old and quite the handful! She loves to chase “brubby”, terrorize the cat, ‘read’ books and play outside. Oh, and eat. A lot. She was born at home which was an experience I will look forward to having again in the future. Currently we live in my parents home while we are building our of grid house on land they gifted us.
What is normal life to you?
Normal life for us revolves around home, family and building our life thoughtfully. During the week my husband works long hours and my days are filled with caring for my littles, animals, cooking, schooling and house building/ planning. Now a days our weekends are about working on the house as we are in the active stages of construction! We do try to spend some quality time all together regularly as well as just hubby and me. Balance is hard to achieve at this particular stage in self building. We currently have a horse, a laying flock of 8 plus rooster and 15 meat chickens due for butchering in about another month. I also just put a deposit on two milk goats that we will bring home in April! Slowly building up the barn yard.
Tell us about your background – what aspects of your childhoods influenced the way you live with your family now?  
My farming or homesteading background was pretty limited from childhood. We raised pigs when I was five for meat when my brother won one from the fair. Then I got my first horse at 14 when I was able to have a job to pay for her. Other than that and a couple small gardens I didn’t have much experience, just a deep love for all things old fashioned and ‘earthy’. My husband on the other hand was raised in Vermont until he was nine on a full off grid farm complete with milk cow and over an acre of gardens as well as was home schooled. His family then moved to Montana, Oregon and then back to Montana where his/our was born in 2007. I met him at the restaurant we worked at when I came out to college in 2008. *You can read about my adoption of our son on my blog*
Are there other influences in your adult life, or your significant other’s that led to your current lifestyle?
After we got engaged in Montana (spring 2009), we realized the severity of the crumbling economy and rising cost of living. Being both independent souls, we decided we wanted to build a ‘disaster’ proof life. After moving back to Maine and getting married, we went back and forth between wanting to build or buy a farm and just waiting as life plowed on through. We are so happy to have decided to build. Each year we glean more homesteading skills and add something new like our laying flock that we started this spring.
What do you enjoy the most about your life?
We are slowly cutting out the middle man of life. We are investing in more concrete things like animals to feed ourselves, heirloom seeds, skills, raw ingredients, renewable energy sources, etc. Having confidence in a shaky world to be able to feed our children, keep them warm and safe.
What is the biggest challenge about living differently than others you know?
The biggest challenge is not being able to talk about it as freely! Some have no idea what you are talking about and others just think you are nuts! You are a curiosity. Weird. Some of this is my own insecurity I admit, but it certainly is difficult to strike up a conversation about this lifestyle with the average person on the street. Which is why I like to blog! It gives me a sense of community and security because people who embrace or wonder about or lifestyle can find us. It’s a safe zone.
Tell us about your website (if you have one). What is your mission for sharing your life with others? And how can our readers find you?
I started the blog a few years ago now. I had first written a handful of posts and then abandoned it. I picked it up again after our daughter was born as a creative outlet. It grew into a real hobby and joy as it opened new connections with like minded people. This blog is really my own, my husband doesn’t even read it (he lives it!), which I kind of like. I wanted to share our trials and errors as a way for people to not be afraid to try! Some days I just haven’t a clue what I got myself into but I love a challenge and the satisfaction of be self sufficient. You can find us to read more about our adventures at mymainehomestead.blogspot.com
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A freedom fighter needs our help!

An Indiana woman has been added to the number of midwives in her area being targeted, presumably by a local doctor attempting to weed them out, treating them as pests of the medical establishment.

Ireena Keeslar was arrested and given inhumane treatment until her $10,000 bail was posted. And I’ve heard she’s one of the “lucky” ones being offered a bail option.

What was the midwife’s crime? Did she neglect a client, provide inadequate or bad midwifery care? Did she make a mistake leading to the injury or death of a mother or baby? Far from it.

Sadly, this midwife is just one of many responsible, well-trained and experienced midwives, who have either the ill-luck or the courage to live in a state that has yet to develop with the rest of the civilized world, criminalizing those who help bring babies into the world by arresting them under the pretense of “practicing medicine without a license”. The horror. To think the AMA doesn’t have control over everyone who does something they consider “medical”.

On April 9th, this coming Monday, Ireena Keeslar will be in court facing her attackers, and doing her best to stand up for the rights of women everywhere to choose where and with whom they give birth.

This is where we come in! Papa and I will be donating what we can afford to Ireena Keeslar’s legal fund. She can use all the financial support she can get – a good lawyer isn’t cheap! If you can give $5, $10, or $20, every dollar will help! The paypal account donations are being sent to is lysanderdarkstar@gmail.com. Click on “personal”, then “gift”, to send your donation.

Thank you so much for your help everyone! No matter what part of the country (or world!) you are from, Ireena is your neighbor, and she needs other freedom fighters to back her up against the system in place that respects no one’s freedoms.

I speak in part from personal experience, both attending home births as a doula, and having three home births myself. We are so thankful for each of our midwives, and can’t imagine a place, in our own backyard, where families like us are not able to have a most common sense thing as a midwife.

Let’s show this witch-hunting doctor a thing or two and help Ireena get back to her all-important work of helping to bring babies into the world.

Girlie gives me a prenatal

Each time our midwife comes for a visit, Girlie watches her every move very carefully. She glances over at Susi to watch her expressions, and then turns to me to see my reactions. She asks questions about each part of the checkup, and role plays “being Susi” when she leaves.

When shopping one evening I stumbled upon a favorite childhood toy that I knew would be perfect for her – a medical kit, which would do well as a midwife’s equipment. Girlie quickly decided to purchase the kit with some of her saved money, and it has since become a favorite toy of her own.

Girlie regularly asks me if she can listen to the baby’s heart beat, and proceeds to pull out her stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, thermometer, my measuring tape, and in her three-year-old mind becomes Susi.

The aspiring midwife in me couldn’t be prouder!

P.S. Pal celebrated his 2nd birthday yesterday! I plan to share all about it (and him!) when I come back from my babymoon in April.

no more delaying baby plans

By the time you read this post I will be 24 weeks pregnant. Our little one is grown enough that many babies have survived being born at this age. An amazing thought. Chickie or Chap is already over a foot long and weighing about a pound. I can feel hiccups, sweeping leg movements, and regular wake/sleep cycles.  

I had another prenatal visit with my midwife last week. Baby is growing well and I continue to be in good health. We can hear his/her heart rate very well with the fetoscope now (in the 140’s!), leaving only twice that we used the doppler, and we probably won’t again until labor when it is more practical to keep an eye on the little guy.

In the meantime, I keep putting off any thoughts of preparation for another baby. This is so different from the first two especially, where I started making a birth plan as soon as I found out I was pregnant. This time I keep thinking, there is so much to do before then, I’ll wait till I’m closer to term. And now all of a sudden I’m almost six months pregnant and finally got around to asking my mom to be there for the birth (she’s been to all of them).

No more delaying plans! This baby is very special to me, and as I feel more and more movement and growth the reality of tiny cheeks, fingers, and bum are becoming more real. I’m beginning to think about the few supplies we’ll need, what I want from my (last?) birth experience, and even scrapbooking the first year.

I expect that by the next time I write about Chickie/Chap, I’ll be ready to share a few particulars about these plans, but as I mentioned before, there is so much to do! I’ve hardly started writing about this in the baby’s journal, not quite ready to type it up for you! I’ll get there… This will be an interesting story after all, especially if we do stay here through the winter and we give birth in a camper!

Need a midwife?

I’m so excited to be making this public! Visit my business blog, Birth a Miracle Services, to read about the newest service I offer :0) If you know anyone in Maine looking for a midwife, please pass on the word!

November Reads and Clips

Preview to the video tour of the U.S. capital with David Barton. Incredible! I know there is a lot of debate over whether religion should be in government, but even though the United States was not created as a religious institution or officially recognized any religion, but Christianity has been a part of our country from the beginning.

As mentioned in October Reads and Clips, FIMBY has posted it’s holiday grab bag. Visit here to find lots of ideas for homemade Christmas gifts.

As a birth doula and student midwife, with two of my three children born at home, homebirth issues are very important to me. Visit my post on Birth a Miracle Services to read about Dr. Agnes Gereb, a midwife/obstetrician who has been wrongly arrested for attending homebirths.

This month I’ve begun reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki. I know some people who highly recommended the book and I found it at a $1 a bag book sale and picked it up. So far I appreciate his common sense approach on how to make money work for you. If you want to hear a thoughtful approach on teaching your children about money, do pick up a copy for yourself!

I’ve been switching up our Internet Reads page, so for new blogs check out that page at the top. You never know what you’ll find! And if you enjoy reading posts here, please make my day and subscribe to receive email updates at the bottom of this page!