Thursday, January 28, 2010

birth story: how I became a happy mama the first time

*my first sweet girl

When I got married, my husband and I knew that we wanted to have children right away.  I won't go into the details of our decision (okay, truthfully there aren't that many details about our decision, we just knew that's what we wanted to do).  So when I found out I was pregnant 2 months after being married, we were thrilled.  My first pregnancy was pretty much a breeze.  Yes, I was sick and tired and all of those things that come along with a pregnancy, but nothing really out of the ordinary.  I had a very normal, healthy pregnancy.  We found a wonderful nurse midwife and had read a book given to me by a friend on natural birthing.  I read up on all of the things that I wanted/didn't want.  We wanted a natural, drug free birth without the use of any added unnecessaries.  (We read this book, if you're curious, although I definitely took some things in there with a grain of salt)

So about a month before my due date, we went to a conference a couple of hours from home.  We stayed at a dear couple's house while attending the conference.  The second night of the conference, I had contractions for a few hours in the night.  When I woke up in the morning, the contractions were gone and I had slept some of the night.  The lady we stayed with commented, "I prayed for you last night!  I just thought you might have a baby last night!"  She knew nothing of my contractions, but it was very cool that the Lord had prompted her to pray.

Two more weeks went by.  I woke up on a Sunday morning thirteen days before my due date with very light contractions.  I knew they were contractions but told myself (like every other mother-to-be) that it was probably nothing.  It was just my body getting ready, practicing for the real thing, blah, blah, blah.  So we went to church and at church I continued to have contractions, some which I had to stop and breathe through.  I consider this labor, but I still don't count this as real labor.  Maybe some people do, but this was nothing to write home about.  After church we had lunch with some friends, then I went home to take a nap.  My husband snoozed away, but my contractions starting picking up.  This was around 2:00pm.  From 2:00 until around 5:00, I was in "real" labor.  Hard contractions 2-3 minutes apart, at least 45 seconds long.  I chose to do this laboring at home instead of go to the hospital.  I was more comfortable at home and thought I'd be able to tell when I was close.  Plus we lived 2 minutes from the hospital.  We could make it in plenty of time.  Or so we thought . . 
 Around 5:15 we decided that we should probably make our way to the hospital.  We had gone back and forth trying to decide which stage of labor I was in.  In the book we read, when describing the stages, they said, "you'll know when you are getting close to transition because you won't want to be laughing or joking around.  You'll be serious, all business." (paraphrased)  So my husband is cracking jokes and I'm still laughing.  So I'm thinking, maybe it's going to get much worse than this.  I'm still laughing at his jokes!  

When we were first married, we lived in a second floor apartment.  So when we decided to go to the hospital, it took awhile to get down that long flight of stairs in labor.  The ride to the hospital was supposed to only take a couple of minutes, but with every bump I'd have a contraction and had to have my husband pull over.  It took a little while to get there.  
We made it to the hospital, got wheeled to the Womens Care center and made it to our room.  They asked if I'd like to get into the whirlpool.  No, thank you, I'm fine.  Nurses in and out of the room, asking questions.  One of the nurses checked me and said, "honey, your water is close to breaking."  
So - this is the funny part.  She stands at the end of the bed kind of holding something up like a water balloon is about to burst, saying "it's gonna be a gusher!  it's gonna be a gusher!"  
I have one contraction and out comes baby!  Her head came with the water intact and then her shoulders broke the water.  No pushing that I recall, although I'm sure it had to have been at least one push for baby to come out.  No midwife, just the "gusher" nurse (saying, "BABY! BABY!") and my husband in the room at the time.  Lest you think this is just a Kentucky thing with no qualified nurses around (;-)), I think she was just an exuberant nurse.  I was actually very happy to have her there, funny comments and all.
Our first little one was just 6 and 1/2 lbs.  A teeny tiny little thing.  Right after she was born and they handed her to me, she did the sweetest thing: her eyes were open wide and she didn't cry; she just looked at my husband and I as if she were finally coming face to face with the voices she had been getting to know for 9 months. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Clean Start

Well, I probably should have posted this in December when you were thinking about your new year's resolutions.  I'm hoping "better late than never" will be true for this post.  Everyone (except pregnant and nursing mothers) needs to cleanse at least once a year, preferably twice.  I'm not talking about your cupboards or baseboards here (someone else will have to post on that!).  I'm talking about systemic cleansing for your body.  There isn't one miracle cleanse,  but there are several that will give you a clean start for 2010.  I recommend doing them in this order:

Start with a parasite cleanse.  This one is the easiest, but more important than any of us care to realize.  If you have traveled abroad - ever - you have serious parasites.  If you eat pork or have pets you have lots.  If you eat meat or eat at restaurants you have some.  If you are alive you have at least a few.  Anyhow, these little boogers will cause some weird symptoms that almost no one will diagnose as being caused from parasites, including everything from joint pain, to nausea and dizziness.  A black walnut-wormwood tincture from the health food store will do the trick.  Place 10 or so drops under your tongue once or twice a day for 6 weeks.  DO NOT DO THIS if you are pregnant or might become pregnant within a month of the completion of this cleanse.  DO NOT DO THIS if you are nursing.

Next, time to move on to your colon.  There are several ways to cleanse your colon.  I like this way:  Mix 2tbsp. olive oil in 8-10oz. water, with the juice of a whole fresh lemon.  To this mixture, add as much good-quality cayenne as you can stand.  Drink this once daily for one to four weeks.  If you've never cleansed your colon, do it for the full four weeks.  If you're a  pro, you can do less.  During this time, to make this cleanse a more systemic cleanse (cleaning out your whole body), you should mix a couple teaspoons of bentonite clay in a cup of water and drink this once daily as well.  While cleansing, you should always drink LOADS of water.  As your colon lets go of the yucky stuff which has attached itself to the walls of your colon over the years, the rest of your body will say, "Hey!  She's cleaning up, let's get rid of our junk too!"  Thus, toxins and other junk will be released from your whole body.  If you don't have adequate water to take it all the way out, it will rest somewhere else in your body and cause as much or more damage as before.

Lastly, a liver cleanse is also important.  This can be done more than a couple times a year and if you want to avoid gallstones at any age, this cleanse is imperative.  If you have a stretch between pregnancies where you are neither pregnant nor nursing, I highly recommend this cleanse, as pregnancy can cause gallstones to form.  These cause backache, nausea and all sorts of allergies.  This one is a quicky, but a little more involved.  Choose a weekend when the calendar is free and you have a little help around the house.  Don't do this cleanse without doing the parasite cleanse first.  If you try to cleanse a liver with parasites in it, you will get very sick.  It is also recommended to get any dental work done prior to this cleanse as well, so that your mouth is relatively bacteria-free.  A toxic mouth can put a heavy load on the liver.  If you don't see a dentist, just swish with peroxide for a couple weeks ahead and a couple weeks afterward.  Here are the ingredients:
4tbsp. epsom salts
1/2C. extra-virgin olive oil
1 large or 2 small fresh pink grapefruit
4 to 8 ornithine capsules (from health food store, vita-cost, whatever)
Here's how to do it:
Take NO medicines, vitamins, or pills that you can do without.  Stop the parasite program the day before too.  Eat a no-fat b-fast and lunch, such as cooked cereal with fruit, juice and bread or honey, but no butter or milk...baked potato and veggies with salt only.  This allows the bile to build up in the liver.
2:00pm - Do not eat or drink after 2 o'clock (not even water).  If you break this rule, you'll feel icky later.  Get your epsom salts ready at this time.  Mix 4tbsp. in 3C. water and pour this into a jar.  This makes four 3/4C. servings.  Set the jar in the fridge to get nice and cold.  This can make it easier to drink.  The temp. is up to you.
6:00pm - Drink one serving (3/4C.) of the epsom salt mixture.  You can drink a few mouthfuls of water afterward to rinse your mouth out.
8:00pm - Repeat by drinking another 3/4C. serving of the salt mixture.  Timing is critical for success, so get all  your bedtime routines done at this time.
9:45pm - Pour 1/2C. olive oil into the pint jar.  Squeeze the grapefruit by hand into the measuring cup.  Remove the pulp with a fork.  You should have at least 1/2C. or more.  You may top it with a little lemonade for taste.  I usually don't because I just want less to get down.  Add this to the olive oil and shake hard until the mixture is watery.  Only fresh grapefruit juice will do this.  Now visit the bathroom once more, but don't be late for your 10:00pm drink.
10:00pm - Drink this potion and take 4-8 ornithine capsules to help you sleep.  Take it to your bedside to drink.  Get it down within 5 minutes.  Lie down immediately.  You might fail to get stones out if you don't.  Don't clean up the kitchen.  Lie down flat on your back with your head up on the pillow.  Use mind over matter here and picture what is happening in your liver:  Stones are traveling along your bile ducts like marbles.  It doesn't hurt because your bile ducts are open thanks to the salts.  Go to sleep.
Next Morning - Take your fourth and last dose of salts.  Don't do this before 6am.  Go back to bed, if you want.
2 Hours Later - You may eat.  Start with juice and ease your way into more as the day goes on.

Expect diarrhea.  You are looking for gallstones in the toilet.  They will be green from pea-sized or smaller to as big as a quarter.  Only green comes from the liver and not food residue.  For your first cleanse, you may only see chaff, which is good too.  The stones will float because of the cholesterol inside.  Feel free to count them.  You will need to release 2000 before your liver is cleansed.  That's why you can do this one more often.  Until you are rid of all of them, you will not likely experience relief from some of the side effects, because once you move some out, the others that are being stored in your liver move down into the gallbladder.  This cleanse can be done every two weeks, but not when you are sick.  If you feel, for some reason, that you have very large gallstones, I personally, can't recommend this.  I know some people fear them becoming stuck, rather than making them all the way out.  I haven't heard of this, but you should check it out yourself.  This program comes from the book:  The Cure for All Diseases.

Finally, you may do the bentonite clay as a cleanse anytime as well.  Again, no cleansing for pregnant or lactating women or for those who may become pregnant.  And, drink lots and lots of water.  Remember, I'm not a doctor, so these statements are to be judged by your own wisdom and have not been evaluated by the FDA.

posted by Danneca

Monday, January 11, 2010

Baby Naming

This link is for my friends who LOVE talking about baby names, which, come to think of it, probably includes almost of you, right?  Some like to talk about baby names more than others (you know who you are), but I think every woman loves a good baby name discussion. 

Here it is.

And here, just so this post looks prettier, is a picture of my baby.

And no, since some of you might be wondering, I'm not pregnant. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Happy Mamas and Sick Babies CAN be Used in the Same Sentence

*First of all, I'm not a doctor, and, as always, you should be wise in your decision-making and do what YOU should do.  

That said, I'd like to encourage mamas who want to help their sick babies without the use of toxic drugs.  Over the years I've tried lots of different things for babies (0-18mos-ish) and believe over the last year and a half or so, I've come to something that works.  Most of my wisdom on this subject comes from this book:  "The How-To Herb Book," and has been tested repeatedly by yours truly.  

Did your Grandma ever tell you about giving enemas to her kids?  Well, she was onto something.  I can't stand how we abandon motherly instinct for the apparent "quick fix."  Ugh.  Nevertheless, if your baby is too young to take remedies through a bottle or spoon, and if you are breastfeeding, you can consume the herbs in abundance and it will pass to your baby through your milk.  If this is the case, follow my advice in this post:  "Navigating the Cold and Flu Season Drug-Free." 

If your baby is running a fever and it won't break, an enema may do the trick.  I prefer not to go into the directions for this, as babies are such fragile subjects.  I have done this several times and each time have found instant success.  I followed the directions for this procedure in the above-mentioned book.  I purchased a child-sized Fleet enema and emptied the contents and put my own concoction in.  This is another way to get the herbal remedies into your baby.  Once they have completely emptied their bowels, the remedy will be absorbed by their colon and flow into their bloodstream.  I almost always fill it with yarrow tea (1c. water to 1tbsp. yarrow flowers).  I wouldn't do it more than once per day, unless you read-up on it somewhere else and are comfortable doing otherwise.  For a baby who will drink tea through a bottle, I make the yarrow tea and sweeten it with maple syrup, since you can't do honey under 12mos.  I also mix juice with it, as it's still bitter even with the maple syrup.  Additionally, you can make your own glycerites, which is perfect for babies and children.  Read-up on this here:  Glycerites are herbs aged in glycerine, which is sweet.  Since the herbs are aged, you only have to administer a couple teaspoons.  For fever, make a tea out of turmeric and mix w/ juice or do a turmeric tincture or glycerite.  Yarrow and turmeric are the very best for flu and fever. 

For a congested baby, try making an onion poultice:  Cook chopped onions in a little water until the onions are translucent.  Place a soft towel or cloth diaper over a strainer and pour onion mixture into the cloth.  Wrap this up and cool until it is a safe temp for baby's skin, but still warm.  Place on baby's chest until it cools completely.  Also, cook chopped garlic in water until the steam is "garlicky."  Place your face and baby's face over the steam with a towel draped over the two of you, so baby can breath the garlic steam.  Your face is there so you can make sure the steam isn't too hot for baby.  You can also place this water in a humidifier or vaporizer. sells other herbal mixtures that I make into teas, tinctures and glycerites that are helpful, but not as powerful as the above-mentioned aids.  For example, their "Cough Tea" is useful, but will not combat the source of the cough, more like a temporary relief, but nice if used in conjunction with the more effective remedies.  I also like their "Double E Immune Booster," but similarly, this will help, but not completely cure, as the other herbs, etc.    

If you have particular questions on this subject, I'd be happy to help, of course.  Finally, however, I have to tell you that I'm quite sure the most effective remedy I can apply to my children, or anyone else, is prayer.  I literally thank God for the remedies as I apply them and pray and sing healing over my children as I care for them in their illness.  Thanks be to Him, ALWAYS.

posted by Danneca