Friday, May 22, 2009

I'm a Bradley Method instructor!

I received my provisional certificate!

After having our own beautiful Bradley birth in November 2008, we were excited to share what we have learned and experienced with others. After extensive study and testing, we are provisionally affiliated with the Bradley Method. Provisionally affiliated means a period of student teaching with close supervision and weekly evaluations. After completing this period of provisional affiliation and taking the final exam, I will be certified with the Bradley Method. The Bradley Method requires on going education and training. We promise to give you the best childbirth education possible.

Here's my official Bradley website

and here's my personal website Beautiful Beginnings

The Bradley Teacher Training Workshop

Orlando, FL

I promise there's pictures at the end.

Christopher and Andrew came up to the workshop with me. They were both invited to attend the workshop as much as they (really Daddy) wanted. The academy is very supportive of breastfeeding so they try to be accommodating to us young mothers.

Until I traveled with a 6 month old, I never knew how much stuff they required. Wowza. Daddy even disassembled and reassembled the jumperoo so Andrew could jump jump jump in the hotel room.

We rolled into Orlando around 1 am. I'm not sure what time it was when we actually fell asleep in our room at the Holiday Inn. But it was late. And the workshop started early at 8:30 am.

All three of us went down for registration. Margie and Jay greeted us warmly. We received our teacher materials, got our picture taken, and then it started.

Right away. My seat wasn't even warm yet.

A three page test!

I have to admit there were 3 vocabulary words that I had NEVER HEARD OF! What? I was completely stumped. I couldn't even come up with a guess at the definition. How could that be? And who is this Dr Barcia guy?

We then played some opening get to know you games which was a light hearted way to release some of the tension that test inspired. Andrew and Christopher participated too. We learned that there was another teacher candidate from the Homestead area (Yay, finally a Bradley teacher for Miami!) and several from West Palm Beach.

Margie then spoke until just before our lunch break. She and her husband, Jay have really made The Bradley Method their life's work. She told a really moving story about her first born son. They believe that the pain medication that she was given during labor affected him in a profound manner.

Remember that was back in the day of "knock 'em out, drag 'em out" obstetrics where the mother was given very strong anesthetics and the baby was pretty much forcibly dragged out of her. In many instances the mother might not even know her child had been born and most certainly could not hold her child immediately after birth because she simply was too drugged to do so.

Margie's son could not hold his head up at 3 months. He never crawled. He walked and talked late. He was labeled learning disabled in school. He couldn't read.

They were able to over come some of his disablilties and he eventually was able to attend college. He's now working in the IT field. Amazing story.

Well, the Hathaways eventually found out about Dr Bradley through a LLL meeting. They were all for having their future children without pain medication. Dr Bradley wanted them to come up from LA to Colorado 6 weeks prior to her baby's due date. Nope, couldn't do it. Not even 4 or 2 weeks. They ended up boarding a plane while Margie was in labor! They arrived in time for Dr Bradley to attend the birth.

They went back to LA with their precious family. They started training other teachers and working with hosptials to allow husbands in the delivery room. It was a very moving story.

The workshop was 4 days long, 8:30 am to 10:30 pm. Very long hours filled with amazing information.

Christopher enjoyed his daddy time with Andrew and the restaurant choices in Orlando. Pizzaria Uno and Chevy's are his favorites. We also ate quite a bit in the room thanks to our cooler and the hotel's refrigerator and microwave.
I never did master the in room coffee maker.

A total of 32 teachers were present, many with young babies. Out of those only 4 of us turned in our academic packages. Out of those 4, only 2 were deemed sufficient.

On Sunday, Margie announced we had 2 new Bradley teachers. My name was called! I'm officially a provisional (meaning student) Bradley teacher! Margie gave us some award prizes and a personalized signed copy of HCC. She said I would be listed on the national direction the next day.

Well it took two days, but here is the national directory link. I'm official!

Mommy getting some hugs from Andrew.

Daddy and Andrew studying.

Andrew made lots of new friends in the back of the workshop.

"This is MY book."

I'm getting my Bradley PR package after learning that I was accepted as a provisional Bradley teacher.

I learned so much during the workshop and am eager to attend it again the next year for a refresher.

And here's the more to come

So in the beginning of March, I received my academic package from the academy.

Read Husband-Coached Childbirth.
Outline the entire book point by point with page numbers
Create a list of 20 Questions and Answers from the book.

Read Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way
Complete the enclosed book report form in essay.
Create a list of 20 Questions and Answers from the book.

Read Assistant Coach's Manual
Complete the enclosed book report form in essay.
Create a list of 20 Questions and Answers from the book.

Read the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by LLL
Complete the enclosed book report form in essay.
Create a list of 20 Questions and Answers from the book.

Recommended Reading List:
Children At Birth
Obstetrics Illustrated
The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth
Metabolic Toxemia of Late Pregnancy
The Birth Book

Reports Due:
Two La Leche League Meetings
Two Hospital Evaulations
Observation of a Bradley Class including a written outline of the class material

Parent Education Survey of all resources and prospective providers in my area.

My goal was to complete all of that in 8 weeks so that I could turn in my academic package at the Orlando Bradley teacher training workshop on April 30. Oh yeah, do all that while being an awesome mother to my then 4 month old baby.


I actually had 3 months AFTER the workshop to officially complete the work. But I knew that I wanted my provisional certificate ASAP so I could start teaching this summer. I had heard that if you turned in your package in Orlando, Margie Hathaway would grade it right then. Then she would give you the provisional status at the end of the workshop during a little ceremony. And that meant you are listed on the national Bradley Method directory!

So during my son's naps, between our Nova classes, his twice weekly physical therapy, and mother circle meetings, and in the wee hours of the morning, I completed the above required list. I also read two books from the recommended reading list.

And Andrew would probably say I was still an awesome mommy. Although he did learn how to type on my computer while sitting on my lap. "Oh, no! Andrew what did you just hit?" Thank goodness for the "Undo" button in Word.

The outline of HCC had 11,479 words and 30 pages. That was a monster to complete. But I learned so much by doing it that way. I had read an earlier edition of HCC the previous summer so most of it was a refresher in Dr Bradley's philosophy and method. Now I had a reference tool tool for myself whenever there was a question.

The rest of the package was much less stressful to finish. I admit that I was still printing out my reports and assembling my package two days before the April 30th workshop. Eep!

Next I'll tell you about the workshop and whether I "passed" my academic portion.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

And so it's time to move in a different direction

But still in pursuit of baby...

Sorry, I haven't posted much here after Andrew was born. It just didn't feel right. This is my "miscarriage/trouble trying to conceive then pregnancy after a loss" blog.

We have our family blog at where I *TRY* to keep up with Andrew.

I miss posting here! When it's time to try to conceive number two (and yes, there's much angst about that!) I'll be back here with all the TMI you know and love.


In February, I contacted the Bradley Method about pursing my childbirth educator certificate through them. After toiling over a very thorough application which included some essay questions and submitting my birth story, I got the phone call from Valerie at the academy saying I was approved! And not only did I get approved but she said my application was one of the most profession they had ever seen!

What a relief.

I had sweated over the dang thing, trying to make it just perfect. Unfortunately the formatting of the application left much to be desired so I ended up downloading a free trial version of Adobe. Ah, the extremes that I resorted to.

So that was completed! What did they have for me next?

I'll give you those details in my next blog post. More to come!