August 23, 2016

tuesdays with storks

tuesday morning is one of my favorite times of the week because gabe and i get to go visit my midwife, heike, at the storchenschule (stork school) birth house. this is where gabe was born in april and where we attend classes like baby massage or get acupuncture. on tuesdays it means meeting up with other mamas for "still cafe" (nursing cafe) and is also a time to ask heike questions and get checked by our osteopath, evi. this is definitely the post where my inner hippy shows, so get ready!

heike runs this midwifery practice and birth house from her home in a village near ours. we found her last year after researching natural birth alternatives in our area and i have no doubt that gabe's birth would have been very different if we had gone the hospital route. he was overdue by four days and had a very large head circumference (38 cm), and although my labor was quite short at about five hours, it was intense. gabe took his time passing through my pelvis and it meant i needed to change positions a lot. heike has over thirty years of midwifery experience and knew what was necessary to get him out safely, but after the birth she told us honestly that she hadn't had such an intense labor in the past five years. she guaranteed that in any hospital it would have ended in a cesarean because of gabe's slow progress and large head, but because of her knowledge and confidence in my body i was able to have an unmedicated birth without any interventions. heike works with an osteopath who was also present during the birth. evi helped a lot with my back labor by applying counter pressure and adjusting gabe's skull plates afterwards. his head was so large that he came out looking like an alien, but thanks to her it only took two days for it to look normal. these women were and still are invaluable to our little family and i'm so thankful that god brought them into our lives.

anyway, back to tuesdays: still cafe is between ten and twelve, which makes it very low stress when you happen to be running late or your baby needs to nap first, etc. there are usually between five and fifteen mamas there and we talk or nurse our babies while evi checks for blockaden (blockages). i had never heard of osteopathy before moving to germany, which is ironic since it was apparently founded in the united states. it's sort of a combination of chiropractic adjustment and holistic medicine. i have several friends whose babies had unexplained digestive issues or favored lying on one side that found this therapy helpful, and the krankenkasse (health insurance) usually covers it.

this weekly routine is so important for me, not just because it's a good chance to get advice on practical things or see people but because it means getting out of the house at least once. sometimes just having one reason is enough to coax me out and from there i'm more motivated to do errand running or shopping on the way home. with the darker months fast approaching (i know... what?!) it's good to know that there will still be tuesday mornings to look forward to. xoxo

evi and gabe

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