Update!

So here I am still kicking cancer’s @&&!! 44 cycles of larotractinib and cancer free!!

I am finally in a place where I can start taking on clients again for limited services. Labor prep classes, breastfeeding support, postpartum support (2 hr max), babywearing education, cloth diaper classes, and new parent classes are all back on the table! Contact me through Facebook (link on the sidebar) for more info.

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Closing to fight cancer

Sadly, I was diagnosed with soft tissue sarcoma in my left illiopsoas muscle last September.  Even after chemo and surgery to remove the tumor (which meant loosing that entire muscle bundle, part of the femoral blood vessels,  and part of the femoral nerve bundle) the cancer still spread to my lungs.

Chemotherapy did nothing to reduce the masses in my lungs, so my family and I traveled to Denver, CO to take part in an experimental study for a drug that targets a unique genetic mutation that I happen to have. After a month on this drug I’m thrilled to report that the cancer in my lungs is shrinking and disappearing!

I still have a long road to travel, and the cost of my treatment and participation in the research study has already exceeded 15K. We have been truly blessed by people helping with our expenses so far, and I have to say that I’ve never felt so loved in all my life!

Sadly, I cannot work to bring in $$ for the costs associated with my treatment.  And as much as I love my doula and teaching business I must close down for now and focus on beating this cancer.

If you feel led to help in anyway,  you can follow the GoFundMe link: http://de.gofund.me/lmz7sc or send encouragement in whatever form directly to:

18235 SW Blanton St

Beaverton, OR 97078

Blessings to you all,

Nichol

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Taking time off to fight!

Friends,

I have received some scary news this week.  The doctors have found a soft tissue sarcoma in my left groin.  Right now they aren’t sure what stage it is our what specific type of sarcoma.  I will be having more tests to determine the type of treatments I will need. While I am fighting this disease I will not be taking on clients of any kind.

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Back in action!

Just a little update:

I finished my 1 year midwifery apprenticeship last fall and then had surgery on my shoulder, so I have been taking time out to heal and regroup. BUT, Now I’m ready to start taking clients again!!

I have updated my availability on my calendar at Doula Match so please check over there for the dates I have open for clients! If for some reason your due date falls on an “unavailable” day please contact me. I may still be able to take you as a client depending on what my schedule actually is.

Don’t forget I also teach babywearing, cloth diapering, and new parent classes! If you have a group of new moms that you think would enjoy learning more about these topics please feel free to contact me!

I really am looking forward to serving families again during this most amazing time in their lives.

Blessings,

Nichol

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A beautiful documentary on what a Doula is and why they are needed.

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Know Your Rights!

Here is a great article written by Dr. Marsden Wagner on The Trusting Our Bodies Website:

Every Mother’s Right to Birth How She Chooses:

It’s best for you to know your rights.  You can birth at any hospital you
choose when you are in labor, they must take you in and treat you if you
request treatment.  A full explanation of your rights are below.

What are my rights?

–  You have the right to decline induction or cesarean section.  

–  You have the right to make medical decisions free from coercion and
undue influence from your birth attendants.

–  You have the right to revoke consent previously given at any time
either verbally or in writing.

–  You have the right to be fully informed before making a decision,
including a diagnosis, recommended treatment and alternative treatment –
the risks, benefits, discomforts and potential disabilities of those
treatments, realistic expectation of outcomes, a second opinion and any
financial or research interests a birth attendant might have in proposing
certain treatments.

Can my birth attendant discontinue care?

No!  Not when you are in labor or are within 30 days of giving birth.

– A doctor/midwife must give you 30 days notice in writing with a list of
referrals to other birth attendants in order to discontinue care.

– During labor or within the 30 days, the doctor/midwife cannot terminate
ongoing care unless the patient has successfully transferred to another
doctor.

Doctors/midwives who fail to follow these guidelines can be charged with
patient abandonment which is grounds for malpractice and loss of license.

(See ACOGs and AMAs ethical guidelines and the federal law (the
Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act – EMTALA).

Can a doctor go to a judge to obtain a court order to force me to
undergo a cesarean?

Doctors can do this but thanks to a widely cited case Carder v. George
Washington University Hospita
l, they are less likely to do so because this
goes against the ACOG’s guidelines and opens the doctor up to having
their license revoked or other disciplinary action AND if you sue them for
forcing you to undergo treatment by coercing you to consent, then they
will lose this legal battle and they know it!

The ACOG’s ethical guidelines say that doctors must respect the
autonomy of pregnant patients and that using the courts to compel
treatment is rarely, if ever, justified.

Does the pregnant mother have the last say in all medical decisions?

Yes!  The ACOG’s ethical guidelines also say that patient’s autonomy
must be respected at all times and that a doctor must obtain informed
consent for any medical or surgical treatment and that the patient’s
decision to forgo treatment whether it is based on cultural reasons,
religious reasons, personal preference or comfort must be honored.

Do I have to sign the hospital consent form?

No!  You are not required by law to sign the hospital consent form.  In
fact you do have the right to change the consent form to reflect your
wishes regarding specific treatments.  For example, you could write on the
consent form that you refuse a cesarean.  

What if I change the consent form to state I don’t want a
particular procedure or medical treatment and the doctor/midwife
does it anyway?

If you have in writing your wish to refuse a specific treatment such as a
cesarean and the doctor performs the cesarean anyway, the doctor and
hospital are subject to criminal battery charges even if you and the baby
are fine after the procedure.

Does any hospital have to treat me if I come to them in labor
asking for treatment?

Yes!  If you are within 250 feet of the hospital building and are in labor,
the hospital must treat you until you are in “stable” condition which for a
laboring woman means that the baby has been delivered and the placenta
has been delivered and then they can transfer you to another hospital or
follow  normal procedures until you are released from care.

Hospitals MUST admit women in active labor, explain the risks, benefits
and alternatives of all recommended treatments and honor the patient’s
wishes including the laboring mother’s right to refuse treatment even if
you can’t pay for that treatment.

If a hospital is not willing to comply with the laboring mother’s
wishes, what do I do now?

You can file a complaint with the chief compliance officer of the hospital.  
Hospitals must adhere to a set of rules called the Center for Medicare and
Medicaid Services conditions of participation – CMS’s CoP – which require
hospitals to honor patient rights as are stated above.  Hospitals that fail
to adhere to CoP are subject to heavy fines and risk losing their right to
qualify for Medicare and Medicaid funding.

Additionally, you can file a grievance with the hospital and you should have
received information on how to do that upon admission at the hospital.

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After Birth, What a family needs….


From Gloria Lemay:

“Let me know if I can help you in any way when the baby is born.” … “Just let me know if you need a hand.” … “Anything I can do, just give me a call.”

Most pregnant women get these statements from friends and family but shy away from making requests when they are up to their ears in dirty laundry, unmade beds, dust bunnies and countertops crowded with dirty dishes. The myth of “I’m fine, I’m doing great, new motherhood is wonderful, I can cope and my husband is the Rock of Gibraltar” is pervasive in postpartum land. If you’re too shy to ask for help and make straight requests of people, I suggest sending the following list out to your friends and family. These are the things I have found to be missing in every house with a new baby. It’s actually easy and fun for outsiders to remedy these problems for the new parents but there seems to be a lot of confusion about what’s wanted and needed…

1. Buy us toilet paper, milk and beautiful whole grain bread.

2. Buy us a new garbage can with a swing top lid and 6 pairs of black cotton underpants (women’s size____).

3. Make us a big supper salad with feta cheese, black Kalamata olives, toasted almonds, organic green crispy things and a nice homemade dressing on the side. Drop it off and leave right away. Or, buy us frozen lasagna, garlic bread, a bag of salad, a big jug of juice, and maybe some cookies to have for dessert. Drop it off and leave right away.

4. Come over about 2 in the afternoon, hold the baby while I have a hot shower, put me to bed with the baby and then fold all the piles of laundry that have been dumped on the couch, beds or in the room corners. If there’s no laundry to fold yet, do some.

5. Come over at 10 a.m., make me eggs, toast and a 1/2 grapefruit. Clean my fridge and throw out everything you are in doubt about. Don’t ask me about anything; just use your best judgment.

6. Put a sign on my door saying “Dear Friends and Family, Mom and baby need extra rest right now. Please come back in 7 days but phone first. All donations of casserole dinners would be most welcome. Thank you for caring about this family.”

7. Come over in your work clothes and vacuum and dust my house and then leave quietly. It’s tiring for me to chat and have tea with visitors but it will renew my soul to get some rest knowing I will wake up to clean, organized space.

8. Take my older kids for a really fun-filled afternoon to a park, zoo or Science World and feed them healthy food.

9. Come over and give my husband a two hour break so he can go to a coffee shop, pub, hockey rink or some other r & r that will delight him. Fold more laundry.

10. Make me a giant pot of vegetable soup and clean the kitchen completely afterwards. Take a big garbage bag and empty every trash basket in the house and re-line with fresh bags.

These are the kindnesses that new families remember and appreciate forever. It’s easy to spend money on gifts but the things that really make a difference are the services for the body and soul described above. Most of your friends and family members don’t know what they can do that won’t be an intrusion. They also can’t devote 40 hours to supporting you but they would be thrilled to devote 4 hours. If you let 10 people help you out for 4 hours, you will have the 40 hours of rested, adult support you really need with a newborn in the house. There’s magic in the little prayer “I need help.”

For more awesome articles and information on birth, breastfeeding, and babies please visit Gloria’s website at http://www.glorialemay.com/

Reposted with permission.

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