Monday, September 13, 2010

Man, I Love Boobies

I have to admit, breastfeeding has come with its challenges and  I think everyone has their hurdles.  It definitely was a bit of shock to the 'ol nipples. Yeow!  I just kept at perfecting his latch until we found what is now working for us. Then there is the energy it takes to feed a baby. There are definitely times you find yourself so exhausted you just wish you could detach a boob and hand it over to the papa.  Then there are the days he gets so boobay crazed you think he is never going to detach.  I imagine myself walking around with this ever growing baby hanging off one of my tittays.  Haha!  AND then I find myself enjoying the moments that make me feel so good about what I am doing. To be able to sit down and gaze at my lil nugget all snuggled up to my breast nursing away is pretty priceless.  I am in awe at how my body is made, providing nourishment to this growing chunk of a boy. As each lil roll of baby chub appears I am so tickled with joy at my accomplishment.  There are the moments in feeling strong in my femaleness. It's about being at the grocery store and finding myself with a hungry baby and all I have to do is pop a boobie in his mouth. Talk about convenience.  Doesn't get much easier than that.  Comes in handy hiking around these beautiful mountains with my lil' guy. Really do love my boobies.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

My Birthing Story

It has been awhile since I have blogged.  Everything has become a whirlwind and time passed by.  As things settle I feel ready to write about my uninterrupted birthing experience at home.  I feel very fortunate to have been surrounded by those I love, supporting me by being there and giving me sacred space.  I also am so thankful to have such skilled midwives trusting me to birth my baby as women of long ago. 

Things began to stir July 21st early in the morn.  My uterus was warming up at a slow pace. .  It could have been a tease (it was my guess date afternall) but it felt different. I went ahead and gave my midwives, mom and sister a call to let them know what  was up.  I rested and begin to prepare for the possible journey ahead. Zac and his mom Becky occupied themselves by preparing cucumbers to be made into tasty pickles.

Everything started to get  in sync and find rhythm, gently.. slowly.  I let my mom and sister know because they were traveling from a distance.  They were also bringing back my eldest son Stefen, he was visiting my mom.  They were on their way.

Eventually in the afternoon I began to get restless and Zac and I decided to go for a walk in our neighborhood. At that point things stopped and I became worried that I was having my mom and sister drive here for nothing.  What could I do?  It is the nature of birth. Upon returning I thought it a good time to begin my “birth project” which was to make and bake a blueberry pie.  I had fantasized about picking blueberries from the bushes in the backyard on Orlen’s birth day.  Alas, they were ripe and ready but the birds had gotten to them first.  Not enough to make a pie with.  Next year perhaps.  I made the innards of the pie and Zac made the crust.  I wouldn’t get a piece of that pie for a few days.  My body was feeling the waves again.

Stefen, my mom and sister arrived early evening.  It wasn’t long after that, that Zac and I retreated to my room to rest.  At this point the hypnobabies scripts became very helpful.  It was much easier to relax as the birthing waves started to amp up.  I found myself moving into various positions to work with my body as it worked towards birthing our baby boy.  At some point I entered the birthing tub seeking more help in letting go.  Working through the birthing waves in water is the way to go ladies!  Weightlessness allowed me to just float and go further inside myself as everything continued to move forward. At this point Zac called the midwives and told them it would be a good idea if they made they way over here.

Now able to completely let go I found myself not in this world anymore, and time ceased to exist.  A powerful force rippled through my body with each contraction.  I sang out my song for Orlen, working to bring him into this world.  The birth continued to move forward.

I remember at a certain point during active labor feeling very tired, wondering if I could continue at this pace much longer.  All I wanted to do was crawl into my bed and fall asleep.  The pain was becoming overwhelming and I was starting to doubt myself.  I took a moment and shook off those feelings, telling myself I could do it; that all I needed to do was surrender to the process.  I remember that the word surrender resonated so strongly within me, giving me strength. It wasn’t long after that I felt a pop.  My water had broken.  I held onto that word surrender. Moments later I started to feel the urge to push and push I did.  I pushed and pushed and pushed.  I started to feel discouraged because I felt like I wasn’t making any progress.  I asked my midwives if there was something else I could do because this wasn’t working for me anymore.  They asked if I would like to go into the bathroom and sit on the toilet and I thought that sounded great.  I lifted myself out of the water ands scrambled for the bathroom.  I was afraid that I wouldn’t make it before the next contraction came on.    I sat on the toilet clinging to Zac for strength as each wave ripped through me and I continued pushing my baby out.  It was here I felt like I was starting to make progress and indeed I was.  It wasn’t too much longer that I pushed our son out into this world.  Becky quickly had me stand and our midwife caught our baby. Out he was sunny side up.  He was in my arms in seconds and all was right in the world.  The veil lifted and I was instantly snapped back from the land of birthing. 

Nearly twenty-four hours after the beginning of labor, Orlen was born at 4:55 in the morning, weighing 8 pounds and 4 ounces with a length of 20 inches.  He was welcomed into this world surrounded by much love.  

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Bustling I Go!

I have found myself inspired by my dear friend Colleen.  She is a crafter of amazing products that nourish your body from the outside-in. You can find some of her products at My favorites happen to be her oatmeal-honey soap, lotions, body butter and hair gel.  Looking forward to trying some of her baby products in the future =)

She has helped set me on the path to making my own cleaning products =)  Why not, right?  I have ordered some castile oil and borax for some upcoming household cleaners. The rest of what you need is pretty basic stuff you can get at any grocery store; i.e. baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, etc.  It's going to be so much fun!  I also ordered jojoba oil and distilled witch hazel.  Going to make me some baby bum wash for my own cloth baby wipes.  Getting all "Little House on the Prarie" around here.  Going to try my hand at water bath canning for all of the tomatoes we will hopefully have.  I've been reading Well-Preserved by Eugenia Bone and feel like that wouldn't be too much to accomplish this summer.  AND I have been thinking about baking sweet treats.  Yesterday was about cookies and a few days ago was all about the idea of a blueberry pie made with freshly picked blueberries from our bushes out back.

By the way.. can you tell I am starting to nest hardcore?  Haha!  Everyday the house becomes more organized and a little more deeply cleaned.  It is my way of preparing for the arrival of our little one.  Starting to feel the energy build up inside me.. my body swelling with it as it prepares to birth a soul.  Fucking wild man.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Thirty-one Weeks

I am approaching 31 weeks in my pregnancy and the birthing experience is coming closer.  My body definitely feels engorged and my mobility is becoming more challenged.  It is so interesting being in this new body and experiencing all of these changes with such rapid progression.  The miracle of life indeed. 

As I continue to grow, my body is sending a clear message that I need to stop working. The days I do work, that is all I am able to do.  I spend the rest of my day not moving.  It will be nice to have uninterrupted time to begin the last steps of preperation for everything to come, moving at my own waddling pace.  This last week I only worked Saturday and Sunday and found myself developing a nice routine during the weekday.  I slept in, made breakfast, showered and then to the river park to take Granger for a little walk around our loop.  I have enjoyed our quiet walks of contemplation together.  It really is so peaceful.  Perhaps I will switch it up this week and go on our walks first.  Early morning might be a nice change of pace, especially as it starts to heat up.  Must be mindful of my body temperature.  Once I return home the rest of my day consists of running errands, cleaning and organizing around the house with small breaks of rest in between as needed.  Oh, and eating.  Really loving food right now! 

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Twenty-five weeks now and feeling good!  Acupuncture along with all the spring sunlight and new growth has really helped me regain my energy.  Feeling more vibrant, I am getting out and being more active.  Hoping to go for a night of camping with a hike thrown in the next day.  Hopefully the weather will cooperate with our plans. Will be nice to be immersed in nature. Feel like I should take advantage of the time I have because soon I will have to put a lot of my outdoor activities on hiatus for a bit.  Hopefully my sensitive pregnant body can handle sleeping on a therm-a-rest.  Since it is car camping, I plan on bringing a nice amount of pillows.

These last few months I have been really striving to take care of my growing body and nurture all of the changes that have been happening.  One of the things I have treated myself to is a monthly prenatal massage.  I can't stress enough to all the pregnant ladies out there how wonderful it is to take care of yourself and baby in this way. You are reducing your stress level, training your muscles to let go of tension, and increasing blood and oxygen flow, which carries more nutrition to your baby. Even if you are not pregnant, I think it a wise choice to get a massage at least seasonally. Getting the blood and oxygen flowing helps remove toxins out of your body tissue, plus all the other various benefits it has to offer.  

A little over a month ago I began to experience sciatic nerve pain.  What a literal pain in my arse.  I immediately began to research what I could do to make this go away and found that it is one of the possible unpleasantries that come with pregnancy due to pressure from the baby and/or all the new weight bearing down on my back and pelvis.  I found certain yoga poses that gently stretch the piriformis muscle, which the sciatic nerve runs through.  I found a little relief by doing that.  Being on my feet while I worked wasn't helping me at all and would bring more pain at the end of the day.  Eventually I decided to make an appointment with a prenatal chiropractor.  I learned that prenatal chiropractic work does more than just manages pain, that the pelvic structure is directly related to the uterine ligaments and muscles.  Gentle adjustments to position the pelvis will allow for an optimal birth.  My pain and discomfort has diminished  and I continue to get work done in order to perfect my sacral alignment.  Once my bones are in balance I will be able to stop treatment until I get closer to my "guess date" and go back to make sure everything is in order for my birthing experience.  Studies have shown with prenatal chiropractic work that women have shorter labor times and less back pain during labor.  I will have to let you know how that works out for me.

Another way that I have been achieving balance in my life has been through prenatal yoga practice.  I had been using the "Shiva Rea's Prenatal Yoga" dvd until I started taking classes a couple of weeks ago at the West Asheville Yoga studio on Tuesdays.  In fact, I just finished a class and I feel invigorated.  I really enjoy being around the energy of other pregnant ladies that are on the same journey I am, making our bodies strong and ready for the birthing process ahead of us.  How blessed we are to be creating life within us.

I am now on my second lesson of five in the Hypnobabies Home Study Course.  It includes a workbook, birth partners guide booklet, quick reference booklet for labor, and 12 advanced hypnosis scripts along with daily affirmations on CD. The goal is to have a safe, unmedicated and comfortable birthing.  The workbook includes information on nutrition, comfort in pregnancy, birthing plans, optimal fetal positioning, breastfeeding, etc.  Right now I am learning how to enter self-hypnosis, deepen that state and begin creating hypno-anesthesia. So far, I am really enjoying the course and all that it is providing me.  Just one more way I am able to prepare myself positively for my upcoming birthing experience.

Well, I should stop blogging and finish preparing for our camping trip to Hot Springs tomorrow.  Going to *cross my fingers* and envision good weather for the next few days.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Oh Boy!

Yesterday was a big day for Zac and me.  I had my midwife appointment and all was well.  The only thing that was lacking was my hydration, which was a first.  I've remedied that by drinking tons of water once again. My iron is right on and my blood pressure is right where I want it.  We tried to hear the babies heartbeat with a type of stethoscope but looks like it is still too early.  I'm okay with that.

Why not use a doppler you might ask?  After reading up on ultrasound technology I have decided to steer clear of it as much as possible.  With that being said, I did go to a doctor and have an ultrasound yesterday.  I felt that having ONE ultrasound performed in my second trimester would be okay.  In all my research I think you can run into problems when you use the technology early on in the first trimester of your pregnancy and when you overuse it throughout your pregnancy.  My reasoning for getting an ultrasound was to make sure our baby was one-hundred percent and if it wasn't, that we could be prepared.  If the survival of our baby depended on us being in a hospital, I wanted to know that was the best place to birth our baby.

Luckily, HE is wonderful.  His heart has all its chambers and is doing everything it should be. It was amazing to sit there and watch it beat.  His spine is all closed up, so no neural  tube defects.  All of his organs are looking good!  He has all five fingers on both hands and has super long legs. Obviously, he kept flashing his penis around and we now know he is a boy.  From a quick glimpse of his mouth, the doctor is fairly confident that he does not have a cleft lip.  Lil booger was stubborn and wouldn't move his hand.  We also now know that the placenta is good, umbilical cord is attached where we want it to be and there is plenty of fluid in there.  That will be positive information for our midwives.  All this brings confidence to me as we move forward with our homebirth plan.

I am happy that we ended up finding out the sex of our bebe.  I REALLY wanted a girl and it gave me an opportunity to mourn my fantasy, move on and be happy with the reality.  More than anything, I am happy that he's healthy.  I look forward to all the wonderful things he will be able to teach me and the ways in which he will help me grow as a person. Vice versa also,  I look forward to nurturing our lil' guy.  Stefen was happy with the news because he has being telling me all along that it was going to be a boy.  I think he was secretly hoping for a little brother.. heh.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Here's to Health and All That Change

Okay, it has been over a month since my last post and I figure it is time to continue the documentation.  Right now I am at 19 weeks and growing.  I am no longer feeling nauseous, or experiencing heartburn and my energy levels are MUCH better than they were those first few months.  Hurray for that!  What am I feeling?  I am still feeling fairly exhausted, experiencing frequent headaches and generally unmotivated. Ack!  I felt like something needed to be done, so I went to an acupuncturist.  That was a new experience for me.  At a certain point during the session, laying on the table with a bunch of tiny needles stuck in various points of my body,  I began to wonder what the heck I had gotten myself into, doubting it was doing anything. Then came a bunch of anxiety and pent-up yuckiness.  At that point I felt like I should get up and run out of her office but decided to breathe through it instead and you know what happened?  Relief flooded my body and I could begin to feel things flow as they should.  At the end of my session I felt like I could float away.  Eventually I came back into my body and felt better in balance with myself.  My headache was gone and I feel as though my energy level is growing.  I have another session next week with her as she continues to work on getting my energy levels back to normal.

I started to feel lil baby taps a couple weeks ago!  They are slowly growing in strength and are being felt more frequently.  Brings comfort to my mama brain that everything is progressing in a healthy fashion.  Speaking of mama brain, seems that all that blood flowing brings on this serious amnesia at moments.  I will be talking to someone and completely forget words that I know existed in my vocabulary before.  I'm really bad with remembering names, forgetting what I was saying and what I was doing.

On the productive side of things, I have the crib and changing table setup, and super soft bamboo shag rug in the nursery.  Now the research begins on a crib mattress.  I'm trying to be very conscious on what I am putting in our home these days.  The "Healthy Child Healthy World" by Christopher Gavigan has been a resourceful book in helping me make informed choices.  There are so many toxins that you can easily bring into your home that can cause health problems down the road.  Unfortunately it seems the safe stuff costs so much more.  I guess you do what you can and know that you are saving money in the long run to prevent against future healthcare bills.  You can also save some money if you make your own cleaning products, breastfeed, use cloth diapers and make your own baby food.  Those are all healthier choices for the bebe.

Hopefully in a couple of days I will take some more pictures and post for all to see my growing belly.  For now, I feel like I have rambled enough.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Most of the time I can deal  with the minor discomforts that are part of this pregnancy; the nauseous  moments striking at anytime day or night followed with the urge to throw-up, the extreme feeling of tiredness like I can sleep forever, and sore and swollen boobies.  These are all beautiful things because I'm growing a baby in there, this is a good thing.  It is the newest addition that is a thorn in my side, heartburn.  You just gotta love that gastric acid.  Lucky for me my husband-to-be is so supportive and is on his way to the store to purchase me some sweet, sweet relief.  I also wonder if  this continues at a steady rate if this means our baby with be born with a full head of hair?  Haha!  The second trimester is around the corner and it's coming will hopefully alleviate the exhaustion and nausea.  Will be nice to have some energy back because  I have a lot to prepare for.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Bodily Changes

11 weeks and some days pregnant, I can intuitively feel my uterus getting ready to move.   It is stretching and getting ready for the journey.  The last twenty-four hours have been exhausting, so many miracles are happening within my body as it continues to create life.  This is what my body is made to do.  What an amazing responsibility we have to nourish this process.

Last night my dreams consisted of me being very, very busy at work.  It was quite overwhelming at first and I found myself falling behind, which brought a sense of stress.  A lot of stuff was going on all at once.  Eventually though, I began to maintain and find a sense of calm.  You can only move as fast as your body allows and then I started to catch up, gaining a sense of control over what I was doing.  I was able to juggle multiple things at once with a little grace.  It all makes a little more sense now.