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We ARE Choosing A Home Birth

March 4, 2011

I’ll be seeing Lynda Barton-Kirch and I will give birth to our third child in our home. Somehow it doesn’t feel as freeing as I thought it would. Maybe it’s because I’m so busy with two little boys (ages 3.5 and 1.5) that I just don’t have the time to think about it, or because the first trimester KICKED MY BUTT.

Anyways, I’ve read and enjoyed countless home birth stories over the last several years. I’ve seen home birth on the web, TV and in The Business of Being Born. I was moved every time. It just hasn’t been my experience yet.

The two experiences I’ve had were fine. I planned and prepared for a natural drug-free birth with both of my babies. Got it with number two. It was a good experience. I didn’t have to fight my OB or hospital to birth the way I wanted to. So, in my mind, home birth was beautiful but I had okay experiences with an OB at a hospital and I didn’t truly wish for something else. I’ve mentioned it before, but this time around I don’t have the same opportunity to have a birth similar to my last experiences. My OB moved away.

That fact has been harder on me than I thought it would be. She was a big part of my life during the most monumental months, and moments, of my life. It’s really hard to wrap my head around a different scenario. I’m sure I will eventually. And I’m sure I’m going to truly enjoy giving birth in the comfort of my home.

For now, I’m going to have to deal with the stress of people not understanding home birth. (So glad I have a blog I can point people to if they have questions.) I haven’t actually had to address any negativity head on YET, but I’m sure the time will come.

Only 0.6% of births occur in the home. Because of this there is a lot of misunderstanding about the safety of home birth. I’m glad I’ll be able to do my part in helping to educate the masses. Ha!

So, in the next few weeks (especially now that I’m feeling better) I’m going to address some of the objections to home birth. Hopefully we’ll all learn a little in the process.

For now, if you have questions about home birth, would you please leave them in a comment here so I can answer them in later blog posts? Thanks a bunch!

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Why I May Choose A Home Birth

January 27, 2011

Brian and I interviewed our first home birth midwife on Tuesday. Just part of a journey to figure out where I’m going to give birth and who’s going to attend the birth.

I can’t believe I’m in my 10th week of pregnancy and haven’t settled on anything yet. It feels strange. Nobody’s stuck a needle in me to draw vials of blood, no one’s taken my blood pressure, we haven’t yet heard the heartbeat for the first time…

I had the same OB for my first two babies and gave birth at the same hospital. My OB was unbelievably supportive of natural childbirth. She spent more time than she ‘should’ have at our appointments…sometimes up to an hour even though we were only slotted for 10 or 15 minutes. I didn’t have to ‘fight’ for a natural birth at the hospital. Everything in my birth plan was honored.

She moved away last year. So here I am on my quest to figure out something different.

There aren’t any other OB’s that deliver at the same hospital that would be as supportive as she was. I don’t need that stress. So that hospital is out of the question. And so is the other one that is local to me, for the same reason.

The only doctor I would choose to go to delivers at a hospital that is about 30 minutes from our house. I didn’t like the 10 minute ride to the hospital while I was in labor last time. Not really wanting to be in a car for any longer (or at all) while I’m in labor this time around.

Another option…the free standing birth center…then again, it’s at least 30 minutes away.

So my options dwindle.

Truthfully, I don’t like HATE being in the hospital. A place filled with sick people. I don’t like people poking their heads in my room on what seems to be an hourly basis. I don’t like breastfeeding charts. I know what I’m doing. I don’t need a nurse to make sure I’m recording every three-minute interval of nursing, including which side it was. I don’t want my husband sleeping in an uncomfortable chair/bed. I want him in bed with me.

In the last four years, I’ve done A LOT of research on birth and pregnancy. I’ve been fascinated by The Business of Being Born, Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth, The Birth Book by Dr. Sears and have done countless hours of research on the internet. And I’ve come to the conclusion that I want to give birth in my home.

My (sentimental) husband’s biggest fear…That he won’t ever be able to sell our house if I birth one of our babies in it.

Stay tuned to see how this all turns out.

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Happy and Healthy Pregnancy Series: Heartburn

January 21, 2011

How do you like that? A ‘series’. That means I’m going to post more. No more being lazy.

I am so incredibly thankful for all the moms on the pM Facebook page and those that have left comments on the blog with suggestions to help with pregnancy-related heartburn.

I suspect that most pregnant women experience heartburn at some stage of their pregnancy, mostly in the third trimester as baby starts to take over your insides and everything gets squished. Others, like me, start experiencing it early in pregnancy. Why? The hormone progesterone (which is found in abundance in pregnant women) causes the valve between the stomach and esophagus to relax, letting acid into the esophagus and causing irritation.

I had terrible heartburn (the same as now) when I was pregnant with #2. I LIVED on Pepcid AC, starting in my first trimester and throughout my pregnancy. I also ended up with KIDNEY STONES in my seventh month of pregnancy. One got large enough that I had to have it surgically removed two weeks after I delivered my baby. I don’t EVER want to go through that again, especially while pregnant. So, here I am in a quest to find some more natural relief methods.

Chewing Gum ~ Stimulates saliva production which can help neutralize excess stomach acid. Use sugar-free so you don’t rot your teeth out.

Papaya Enzyme ~ Papaya helps aid in digestion. Chewable tablets are easily found in grocery or drug stores.

Milk ~ Drinking too much at one time may not be beneficial. If that makes your heartburn worse, try drinking a few ounces every hour or so. And how about a bowl of cereal with milk before bed? (Thanks Cherie!)

Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar ~ Take one tablespoon and mix it with something else so you can get it down (water/honey). You don’t want this stuff on your teeth over long periods of time, so if you use it, make sure you brush right away and/or use a straw to drink it.

Almonds ~ Eat three almonds after each meal.

Ginger ~ I have some Ginger Tea I’m going to try. There are other ways to get Ginger as well. Click HERE for more info.

Earth Mama Angel Baby Heartburn Tea ~ Ingredients include marshmallow root, lemon balm, chamomile, spearmint and red raspberry leaf. I’m HIGHLY tempted to buy some of this.

Kombucha ~ A beverage that is full of probiotics and digestive enzymes. Check out THIS blog post at Passionate Homemaking for details.

Ice Cream ~ I suppose this would only work if you have occasional heartburn. With my all-day heartburn I may end up the size of a small bovine…though I may enjoy pregnancy a bit more. LOL.

There are also lifestyle/nutritional changes one can make … Eating smaller meals, not drinking anything around meal times, avoiding trigger foods such as acidic and fatty foods as well as caffeine and propping yourself up with pillows in bed.

I’m planning to start using some of these methods ASAP and will update you all later as to what’s worked best for me. Did I miss anything? Have any of these remedies worked for you?

I am not a medical doctor, nor do I have any medical training. The remedies offered above are from my own personal research. If you are unsure about any of these remedies, please check with your own healthcare provider before using them.

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The time is right.

January 19, 2011

I’m so excited to finally share with you all that I’m pregnant with our third child!

There have been so many things I’ve wanted to discuss on the blog and our Facebook page but have refrained because I wasn’t ready to tell the world. I’m still only 9 weeks along but couldn’t stay away from here any longer.

Since I’ve been MIA around here and I don’t want to bore you with 2000 words (or more), I’m going to bullet-point my thoughts surrounding this pregnancy. I’ll elaborate on them over the next few weeks.

  • This is my first pregnancy that was not planned. I discussed Natural Family Planning around the time I started the blog. I wasn’t charting, however, I am VERY in-tune with my body. Well, except I wasn’t in November. I just plain wasn’t paying very much attention and I was careless. I’m looking forward to seeing what God has in store for us with this child that He so obviously wanted in our lives.
  • I’ve been S-I-C-K. Just as I was with my two boys. Never throwing up but having horrible nausea, aversions to food smells (that trigger the nausea) and heartburn (which makes the nausea worse). I’ve done LOTS of research to figure out how to cure it but haven’t found anything that takes it away completely. What works sometimes? Sipping ice water, sucking on peppermints and definitely staying away from greasy foods.
  • I’ve been T-I-R-E-D.  Just as I was with the first two. When do I get a vacation because taking care of two little ones (ages 3 and 1) is EXHAUSTING even when you’re not pregnant. THANK the Lord for my awesome husband who so graciously steps up to the plate when I’m down and out. God knew I would need exactly who he is.
  • My first two were born in a hospital with an OB who is an advocate for Natural Childbirth. She moved to a different state about a year ago (if you live in KY and need an OB/GYN, email me). So I’ve known for a while that any future births would have to be different from my first two. I was pretty sure we’d have a home birth. I’m still pretty convinced of that and my husband and I are meeting with a home birth midwife on Thursday for a consultation.
  • I’ll be seeing a chiropractor throughout this pregnancy. I’ve already been to my first chiropractic appointment. I’ll continue to see him once a month until I get to the last couple of months when I’ll see him every other week. This is a first for me and I’m looking forward to reaping the benefits! (Thanks to my hubby who gave this to me as a Christmas gift!)
  • I’m due at the end of August. Some of you that haven’t been pregnant during the summer (hugely pregnant) will feel sorry for me but I really don’t care as I don’t know any different…my first was born on Oct 2 and my second was born on Sep 14. I have been hugely pregnant in the summer and all I can say is thank God for air conditioning (and really, it’s not that bad).

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Simple Saturday

December 11, 2010

Just a few blog posts I loved this week . . .

I’d love it if you’d link me to your favorite blog posts.

Breastfeeding Can Be a Real Pain

December 8, 2010

Two boys…

two years, six months and some odd days…

of breastfeeding…

before I experienced severe pain from nursing.

And, OUCH, it hurt.

Breastfeeding is beautiful. But it can be downright painful at times.

Thankfully it’s gone now but during my painful days (just a few days ago) I did a lot of research trying to find out what the heck was going on with my body. I tried not to think too hard about possibly weaning my little guy, but I will admit, the thought crossed my mind (several times). I’d venture to say a majority of moms (if not all) have or will experience some kind of breast pain during their nursing years.

I’m going to give you just a brief rundown of the things that may cause you pain when nursing. There are many reasons why you would feel pain while nursing, and a variety of solutions as well. You will find more information on all of these issues at kellymom.com; just do a search on their home page for your specific issue.

  • Baby is not latching properly. One of the most common reasons, and it usually occurs at the beginning of the nursing relationship (though it may happen at ANY time during your nursing relationship). The best ‘solution’ is to learn how to properly latch your baby before you ever begin nursing. Of course, this is ideal, but many of you may be suffering now. Start with Dr. Jack Newman’s website. Spend the $30 for his ‘Visual Guide to Breastfeeding’ video. Go to a local La Leche League meeting. Why all of these things? Because seeing other moms latch a baby on is going to help you understand how to get your own baby to latch on correctly.
  • Baby is chewing or biting you. THIS is what was causing my pain. Preston got three new teeth in three days. As soon as they started popping thru I started experiencing pain. My oldest NEVER chewed or bit my nipples so I had no idea what was going on. But Preston decided that chewing on my nipple when he was done drinking milk was comforting. Nice. Not really. Our problem was (mostly) solved by changing his position while nursing for just a few nursing sessions. He had also created a teeny-tiny sore near my nipple that was being rubbed more raw by the second. A little lanolin on the area before he nursed was a big help.
  • You may have a plugged duct or Mastitis. If you have a plugged duct you may see a ‘milk blister’ on the nipple or it may be further back in the duct where you can’t see it. You may feel a pea-sized lump in your breast. The key is to get rid of it quickly by using heat and massage on the affected area. I have had plugged ducts and have found that massaging the affected area while in the shower and while nursing has been the best remedy. A plugged duct that is not treated can quickly turn into Mastitis. Typical symptoms of Mastitis include a high fever and general achiness, among other flu-like symptoms. For more detailed information on plugged ducts and Mastitis click HERE.
  • Some women have a painful letdown. This is common in the first 12 weeks of nursing, however, it should diminish unless you have an overactive letdown or oversupply. The pain often feels like pins and needles in the nipple area. I experienced this with both of my kids but it didn’t last long and although a bit uncomfortable I wouldn’t have described it as painful.
  • It could be a yeast infection called Thrush. If you or your baby have recently been on an antibiotic then the likely cause of your pain is Thrush. BUT, Thrush can strike even if you haven’t taken an antibiotic. There are many reasons you would get Thrush. Please check out kellymom.com for a ton of resources on this topic.
  • Tongue-tie or other physiological reasons. A tongue tie occurs when the band of tissue that connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth is too tight. I like THIS site for information on nursing a baby with a tongue-tie. Other physiological reasons would be a recessed chin or a baby with Down’s Syndrome, among others.
  • Oftentimes a woman will experience discomfort, even pain, in her breasts during ovulation and/or leading up to when her period starts. I’ve experienced this with almost every cycle. Thankfully mine is just a bit of discomfort and isn’t actually painful. Hormonal changes are what cause this discomfort so this may also happen if you are pregnant and breastfeeding.
  • And when you’ve ruled everything else out…It may be that your  nipples just need to ‘toughen up.’ Though I haven’t had this experience, I’ve read and heard OVER and OVER to use lanolin religiously when you begin your nursing relationship. Don’t wait until things get bad. Use it to prevent ‘bad.’

Well mamas, there you have it…a (fairly) quick rundown of painful breastfeeding issues. If you try the solutions offered here or on other websites but do not find relief, please see a Lactation Consultant. If you’re not sure where to find one, call or email a local doula (find one at http://www.dona.org) or call your local hospital’s maternity ward.

Breastfeeding can truly be a ‘pain’ at times but it’s ALL WORTH IT! You have the peace of mind that you are giving your baby what is best for them – and I’m not just talking about nutrition. You are also feeding their emotional needs when you choose to breastfeed your baby.

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Winners Announced :: The Big Facebook Giveaway!

December 8, 2010

Giveaway is now closed. WINNERS LISTED BELOW!

EDIT: I really want more of you to have the chance to enter so I’ve decided to be gracious and extend the contest thru the end of the day on Monday, 12/13/10. Winners will be selected and announced on Tuesday!

In celebration of having 500 fans on Facebook, I’m doing a little giveaway, to say thank you.

So, what can you win?

Yes, that is TEN prizes!

How do you win?

(You must do all things listed to be eligible.)

  1. ‘Like’ the pureMotherhood Facebook page.
  2. Take a look around the pureMotherhood blog, then share your favorite page or post from the blog on Facebook and/or Twitter. There’s a category drop-down box on the right to help you navigate the blog. To make it even easier, there is a list of ‘Favorite Posts’ HERE. And there are little FB and Twitter share buttons at the bottom of each post.
  3. Come back here (the blog, not FB) and leave a comment letting me know (a) what you shared and (b) which prizes you’d like to win. You may earn one entry per day; just make sure you leave a comment each day.
  4. Winners will be chosen from comments left on this post. All winners will be selected via random.org.

The boring details: Contest ends Friday, 12/10/10 at 10pm Eastern Time. Each person may win one prize. If you list multiple items that you’d like to win and you are chosen as a winner, pureMotherhood will choose your prize from your list. All winners will be contacted via email so make sure you enter a valid email address when you leave a comment. If I forgot a boring detail (because they’re so boring) I reserve the right to come back and make revisions.

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