It is a woman's crowning creative experience of a lifetime." ~ Dr. John Stevenson
"The Road Less Traveled..." of Parenthood
Following your instincts instead of the crowd
"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood...I took the one less traveled by and that has made all the difference."
Thursday, September 30, 2010
I've also experienced absolutely no nausea--not even indigestion. I don't feel that much more tired than usual. I've only gained about 2 pounds and my belly is sticking out only a little more than usual. It's wonderful, but very different for me, and at the same time, I can't help but remember the women who have told me that in the pregnancies where they miscarried, they didn't feel pregnant--no nausea, etc. Intuitively, I feel that the baby is alive and well, and that this is just something that needs to run its course. However, it has made me much more cautious about saying anything to others about the pregnancy. (Except my trusty blog/journal--what would I do if I didn't have this outlet?) Sometimes I have to remind myself that I did indeed have 2 positive pregnancy tests--one after the bleeding started the first time. I didn't pass anything that was large enough to be a baby, so I'm sure I'm still pregnant. It has been an emotional roller-coaster, though. I have so much more empathy and understanding for women who have miscarriages. And I also understand one of my sister-in-laws a little better. She had several miscarriages and she would often go into an emotional defensive mode about having any more children. I understand the tendency to do that now. Being pregnant and knowing you will soon welcome a sweet little spirit into your life is such a joyful thing that it is a heartbreaking disappointment to have that end prematurely. And she had to suffer through that multiple times. I've kind of felt like I have to protect myself from getting hurt and disappointed just in case there is no baby, so lately I haven't allowed myself to get too excited about being pregnant.
I really look forward to a few more weeks when I can feel my baby move and hear a heartbeat and be assured that all is well. I've actually thought about either using my doppler or getting an ultrasound to check on the baby, but I've read enough stuff to seriously question the safety of both. Not to mention that whenever I used the doppler during my last pregnancy, my baby tried to get away from it and I had the very distinct feeling that she hated it, it hurt, and I felt like I needed to apologize to her afterwards. When I stopped denying those feelings after the first 3 or 4 times, I quit using the doppler. Supposedly 1 minute of doppler use is equal to 30 minutes of ultrasound because the sound waves are more concentrated, strong, or whatever. I don't want to take any chances hurting my baby, especially if she is more vulnerable for whatever reason. I had multiple ultrasounds with my first 6 pregnancies and I honestly don't think it did any harm to the first 4 kids. But my next 2 kids came 6 and 8 years later and both had speech delays even though I didn't vaccinate them, no antibiotics, etc. I also remember with my 6th child, that I felt like I was going against the Spirit when I had that second ultrasound. So many things were not good with that ultrasound. Maybe it was just too much for him. I read that today's ultrasound machines are so much more powerful that it very well could be that they are causing neurological problems in babies where they might not have 10 years ago. Who knows? All I know is I can't ignore the coincidental timing of having several articles that question ultrasound saftey pop up in the first part of this pregnancy. Each time I read about it I'd make the commitment to not have any ultrasounds unless absolutely necessary. Some might argue that this is one of those times, but I can't feel good about taking the risk at this point. Unless I feel strongly prompted that I should indeed have an ultrasound, I'm just going to exercise my faith that all is well and look forward to those first exciting stirrings of the baby.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
I am so amazed at this mother. I've watched a lot of birth videos, but this one really brought me to sudden tears. To see that mother sitting there holding two healthy, good size babies just brought home to me the miracle of birth and what an incredible gift and blessing it is to participate in the whole process of bringing life into the world. In fact, I actually said to myself through my tears, "I want to do this forever."
Gloria Lemay is my new hero. I really like what she said about childbirth professionals being "too nice." Basically they are too worried about offending others when what they need to be doing is giving them the truth. (As a sidenote, I felt this way about the book Birthing from Within. I felt the author was bending over backward to not offend women who weren't as open to the truths about drugs during labor. Wasn't one of my favorite books.)
Anyway, I love how Gloria said that if a couple she had educated about circumcision still decided to do it, they would have to drive over her dead body to do it. She is that fierce about protecting these vulnerable baby boys. She also had a great point about the whole needing-to-look-like-Dad issue. The mothers, who often instinctually don't want to cut their baby boys need to stand up, she says, and "show some spine." Fathers, who themselves have been circumcised, are often the ones who make the misguided decision to perpetuate this tragedy onto their sons. Rather, their intact wives who have the natural mama bear instinct to protect their babies should have the greater say in the decision.
Yeah, Gloria's opinionated and strong. On this issue, she needs to be. We all need to be.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
I really resonated with this comment regarding the "religious" reasons for circumcision:
Male or Female - everyone is born with the right to KEEP their healthy, sensitive, functional - VALUABLE - body parts. Everyone is born with genital integrity.
This is NOT compromised by the religious beliefs of a parent. The religious beliefs of a parent do not trump the child's rights to safety and a complete body.
This is ALSO why we do not allow the removal of ANY part of a female's body, not even the tiniest part of her prepuce (clitoral hood). There are those with religious beliefs that we do not tolerate - because they violate the rights of a child.
It's time we gave the rights of infant males the same respect.
Think about it."
Sunday, September 12, 2010
One of my favorite parts is in the section on Good Works:
"I a 1942 issue of the Improvement Era, the first presidency referred to motherhood as “the highest, holiest service … assumed by mankind.” The sharing of the body’s resources with our babies during pregnancy and other hardships we may endure in order to give our children life constitute a very important form of service. The value of the service we give in creating and sustaining new life with our bodies is not to be understated."
Makes me feel good.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
This pregnancy has been so unusual for me. About 2 weeks ago I was going about my business totally enjoying how good I was feeling—no nausea, very little fatigue, and, in fact, having to remind myself that I was actually pregnant. I had just told my sister-in-law a couple days earlier that I was pregnant. I wasn't going to tell any of my extended family yet, but she and her husband had just announced they were pregnant and that she was 7 weeks along--the exact same as me. So I had to tell her. We theorized that it was okay to tell this early on because neither of us had had a miscarriage and didn't expect to.
And then I noticed some spotting. It was just a little bit, but I immediately remembered what I’d learned in The School of Natural Healing Family Herbalist course I started last year (still haven’t finished-argh) about potential miscarriage. That day I picked up some herbs, specifically false unicorn root and lobelia. I decided I needed to have them on hand in case the spotting got worse. It did and so I put myself to bed and began taking the herbs. I was kind of panicked but kept reminding myself that Dr. Christopher had said that if the baby was fine, the herbs would stop the bleeding. If the baby was not okay, and needed to miscarry, the herbs would facilitate that. So I watched closely, praying that the bleeding would stop. When the herbs didn’t seem to make much of a difference in the bleeding I got really emotional and prayed that if this pregnancy was going to end, please let it end quickly. I gained a whole new appreciation for women who have suffered a miscarriage. The agony of not knowing whether or not you are going to maintain the pregnancy and have a healthy baby is horrible. I went back and forth many times between feeling encouraged that the baby was going to be fine and thinking that the baby had already died. If the latter was the case I just wanted the bleeding, cramping, and bedrest to end. I was willing to stay flat on my back for as long as it took if I knew the baby would be okay. It was the uncertainty, the not knowing, that was agonizing.
I have to say, early on when I first noticed the spotting I prayed to know if the baby was okay and I felt reassured that she was. I got a blessing the day it all started and Scott blessed me to heal and for my body to function perfectly. He blessed me with inspiration to know what I needed to do. I clung to this blessing, but am ashamed to say that when I was still bleeding the next day I questioned it. Was he inspired in what he said? Was he just saying what he wanted to happen? At one point I passed a pretty large blood clot. I had read on the internet a few womens’ experiences with miscarriage and wondered if I had actually just passed the baby. I panicked and ran to get a plastic cup to scoop it up and try to examine it. At the same time, my 4 year old was asking me questions: “Mom, are you still bleeding? What’s wrong? What are you doing?” It was driving me crazy in my panicked emotional state! Unfortunately (?) I wasn’t able to get the clot. So back to the internet I went and read that if the baby has already died, you won’t be producing the HCg hormone anymore and a pregnancy test will be negative. So I decided to use my last test to see. I was totally shocked to see the word "pregnant" on the test. Hmmm. Maybe it was just a blood clot after all-allbeit a big one. I used muscle-testing again to see if the baby was alive and okay and again I got a yes. My body just needed some healing/fixing for the bleeding to stop.
Scott called me a little while later (he was out shopping) and I updated him. He suggested I call a friend who had suffered through 4 miscarriages. While I was talking to him, the call waiting bleeped at me and it was this exact friend! I told her about it and she assured me that if it had been the baby I would know. It looks different than a blood clot. She said she passed clots larger than that and also that with her first full-term pregnancy she had actually bled and stayed in bed for two months. I didn’t like the thought of bed-rest for 2 months, but I was greatly encouraged that a woman could still go full-term and have a healthy baby even after bleeding for 2 months. Now, in a better frame of mind, it came very clearly to me that my uterus had some scar tissue that was contributing to the problem. My friend brainstormed with me and threw out ideas of what to do and who might be able to help. I wrote down her ideas and muscle tested them all. The testing indicated that reflexology and Dr. Christopher’s Complete Tissue & Bone would be the most helpful. I started rubbing the ointment on my abdomen and took the capsules.
The next day this wonderful friend came over after church and gave me a foot massage with the Complete Tissue & Bone massage oil. She is extremely gifted with the technique of reflexology and just seems to know where and exactly how to massage the foot. She focused on the area of the foot that corresponds to the uterus. I had many tender spots and lumps in that area. She worked on my feet for two hours, specifically my left foot since the left side of my uterus was where I had the greatest tenderness. I literally felt the tenderness in my uterus subside as she massaged. It was almost like my uterus gave a sigh of relief. I don’t know how else to describe the sensation. The bleeding also seemed to decrease a little bit.
However, the next day I was still bleeding and got discouraged again. I decided to listen to my Hypnobabies Special Place script and try to “meet” my baby again. However this time when I went “inside myself” to meet her I couldn’t seem to find her. It honestly felt like she was gone. I started crying and saying in my mind, “Where are you? Where are you?” It was absolutely frightening. (You’re all probably thinking I’m totally nuts by now.) It took me a few hours to get back to a good place where I was calm enough to pray and test again. It was then that the thought occurred to me that she was still alive and well, but she just needed to be with Heavenly Father for a while. I’ve often theorized that premortal spirits can come and go between the premortal world and their newly forming bodies. I came up with this theory (as far as I know it’s not doctrine) when I wondered why I felt the presence of some of my unborn children during their pregnancies and not at other times. I don’t pretend to know how it all works, but it makes sense to me.
I decided it was time for another blessing so my friend’s husband came over and helped Scott give me another blessing. This one was similar to the first one, but he also blessed me to feel calm so I could feel the Spirit. He blessed me to feel the presence of my son and father who had passed away. Then he blessed me to feel the baby’s spirit and to grow in love and unity with it. I felt a lot better after this and continued to pray to know what I needed to do.
The answer came the next day and was so obvious I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of it sooner. The Body Code! Duh!! The Body Code is a program developed by a chiropractor named Dr. Bradley Nelson that quickly pinpoints imbalances in the body using muscle testing. You are then able to correct the imbalance with magnetic therapy. Some imbalances actually need specific foods, herbs, or supplements to correct the problem, but many of them can be corrected with magnets. Sounds totally crazy, I know. But I had had enough experience with it over the last 4 months to know that it actually does work. So anyway, I set to work and found 5 different imbalances that were causing the bleeding. The most interesting one was caused by the physical trauma of my c-section with Tyler. The bleeding slowed down considerably over the next 12 hours and I was ecstatic. Another success with The Body Code!
I have to interject here and mention that the main reason I was able to convince Scott that purchasing the Body Code Course would be worth it was the fact that Dr. Nelson claimed he had discovered a way to reduce or eliminate morning sickness. Most of my pregnancies have been pretty nauseous, at least for the first 2 trimesters. Scott has learned from experience I am not a happy camper when I’m nauseous. So as soon as I found out I was pregnant he agreed I could order the course. As soon as it arrived I went to the morning sickeness section and tested for the energetic connections between myself and the baby. Clearing up these disconnections has reduced, and in most cases, eliminated morning sickness for many women. I did what it said and only found one disconnection and cleared it up. I have never felt so good during a pregnancy. It is absolutely amazing to me. (If anyone is pregnant and nauseous and can’t find relief no matter what you try, I may be able to help you. The beauty of this program and energy work, in general, is that it can be done by proxy. I can literally do the testing for you and correct the disconnections without having to meet you in person. I hate for any woman to be nauseous during her pregnancy if she doesn't have to!)
Anyway, after clearing up the imbalances that were causing the bleeding I was feeling pretty good. And then that evening I got hit with a migraine. I tried every natural remedy I knew of but it only helped for a little while and the pain would come back. One of the first things I did was use the Body Code to find the imbalance. It was a pH problem. That made sense since I often get migraines when eating sugar or MSG. Sugar is a very acidic food. Even though I hadn't eaten any sweets, I did have spaghetti sauce that a neighbor had brought over for our dinner. (Commerical spaghetti sauce is loaded with sugar. I make my own for that reason.) I also had been 3 days without any green drinks. (Kind of hard to make when you can’t get out of bed for very long.) Anyway, I took some baking soda and water and ate a whole cucumber to try to correct the pH imbalance. It didn’t really help that I could tell. I had to resort to an ibuprofen to fall asleep that night. I hate that--I feel like such a natural mom failure when I have to resort to it. The next day the pain came back and was unbearable. It finally occurred to me that I had only checked for one imbalance so I set out to keep testing for imbalances until the pain was gone. Over the next hour, I found I had a total of 10 imbalances that were causing the migraine! It was so amazing because as I cleared each imbalance the pain would decrease a little bit. By the time I cleared the last one the pain was completely gone! I could hardly believe it. I wanted to kiss Dr. Bradley! Well, not really. I just said a very fervent thank you to Heavenly Father for inspiring him to come up with this program. I honestly feel like it is inspired of God. One other interesting thing is that one of the 10 imbalances contributing to my migraine had to do with my uterus. When the migraine first hit, I thought why now? Haven’t I suffered enough? But now, I think that migraine was providential. If I hadn’t been in such pain, I wouldn’t have been so diligent to keep testing for imbalances.
Well, sorry this is so long—it’s practically an epoch. I hope I haven’t just sounded like a commercial for The Body Code. I just am so excited for what it did for me that I want to share it with the world! I’m so thankful for the Lord’s guidance in all of this. And most of all, I’m ecstatic that I get to continue this pregnancy, and I can’t wait to meet this sweet baby at the end of it!
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
While I'm flattered they chose my blog, I do think it is kind of ironic that both of the organizations that have chosen my natural birth blog as a "top birth/pregnancy blog" are medically oriented. This latest one is sonogram technicians and the other one is a medical coding organization. I think they just want to get their name and URL up on a lot more blogs by having us post their badge. Oh well, I'll take it. (Maybe I'm just a sucker for flattery?) On the other hand, if it helps spread my message about natural birth, homebirth, and alternative health care, I'm all for it.
On another note, I've got lots of news/info I've been wanting to write about but haven't had the time--hopefully it will be soon!