Birth Story (Part 2)

At this point, I was entering into Transition. The “not so fun” phase.

I will just throw out pieces of what I remember. Some of it may be a little out of order, but I’ll do my best.

-I chose to labor in black gym shorts & a black tank top. (Right after the baby is born, the midwife immediately places the baby on my chest. Figured black would be the easiest to clean later.)
-every time a contraction came, I just kept thinking to myself, “open… everything open so Ivy can freely pass”. And the Scriptures that kept coming to mind were: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” and “when I am weak, then I am strong”. Christ would give me the strength to do this. He will make a way.
-when the Transition Phase seemed to go on too long, the midwife did an internal exam to see if I was fully dilated– yep, I was!
-the midwife (accidentally? purposefully?) ruptured the sac and there was a HUGE gush of fluid. I remember everyone going “whoa, that’s a lot of fluid!” I asked if that was ok and was assured it was fine. I was confused because I SWEAR my sac ruptured earlier. It was explained to me that there are apparently (2) layers to the sac and what burst earlier in the day was the outer sac. My midwife obviously got the main sac.
-when she ruptured the sac, the contractions got crazy intense!
-I knew it was time to push. I was fully dilated and Ivy’s head was only (2) knuckles length away from coming out.
-Crazy thing is, I never got the desire to push/bear down. The midwife and her assistant tried getting me into *so* many positions– but nothing felt right/good. All I was doing for a good chunk of time was simply riding out the contractions. This happened to me one other time, with my second birth (Master War Bird). I was fully dilated but had no desire to push. I was SO tired I just gave up. My son’s head was so close to coming out that they couldn’t/wouldn’t do a c-section. They ended up using a suction cup thing to pull him out. He had a nice banana-shaped head. *wink* Part of my exhaustion with that birth was due to the hospital not letting me eat or drink for hours on end. But with Ivy’s birth (as with all my home births) I was freely allowed and encouraged to eat and drink. So I had the stamina to push– just didn’t have the desire to.
-Fiiiiiiinally we found a good birthing position. My hubby sat on the footrest and I sat on a birthing stool in front of him, between his legs. From there, hubby could easily hold me. The midwife sat Indian-style in front of me. I put my feet on her knees, wrapped my arms around her neck, and when a contraction came I was to pull her head toward me and push, moan, groan, etc with all my might. Let’s just say I made a lot of noise and I felt bad later for my midwife’s poor ear drums.

Birthing stool

The stool looked kinda like this.

birth

-the whole time I was pushing, I just kept thinking “only 2 knuckles… only 2 knuckles… I can do this…”
-pushing was SO HARD. Neither did I have the desire to push, but I also didn’t have the ab strength to appropriately push her out. This pregnancy I struggled with diastasis recti:

diastasis-recti

-I found out afterward that having D.R. can make pushing very difficult because the ab and pelvic floor muscles used to push correctly are very weak. That explains a TON because pushing was BY FAR the hardest most unpleasant part of my whole birth experience. Even thinking back on it makes me cringe.
-I remember crying out, “this hurts so bad” and the midwife responding, “honey, the only way to make the pain stop is to get this baby out. So PUSH.”
-2 knuckles… 2 knuckles…
-the midwife used lubrication jelly on her hand to gently massage and stretch the opening so the baby’s head could more easily pass
-FINALLY, with one more giant push, Ivy’s head came out. One more push, and her shoulders and the rest of her body came out.
-RELIEF
-Ivy was caught by the midwife, lightly wrapped in a receiving blanket, and placed in my lap & arms
-for some reason, my body was shivering and shaking
-I hate to admit this, but birth was SO HARD that when Ivy was born, I did not have that giant wash of connection/mommy high. All I was thinking was, “it’s OVER! It’s finally OVER!” I mean, I held her and loved on her. But I felt disconnected at first.
-we waited until the cord stopped pulsating, the midwife’s assistant clamped it off and hubby cut the cord. Soon after that, the placenta was birthed.
-the midwife inspected the cord and placenta. She gave hubby and I and my mom a bit of education about it all. Man… it’s a nasty looking organ… but it’s absolutely fascinating what it did for Ivy and I and how it worked. Everything looked great!
-I got wrapped up in blue absorbancy pads and I slowly walked upstairs to take an herbal bath with Ivy. (Not sure who had the baby at this point.) The herbs help heal the perineum area and dry up the baby’s cord.

 

herbal bath

Purchased from www.inhishands.com

-my mom went upstairs to help me with the bath. I think everyone else was downstairs cleaning up the birth mess.
-my mom and I noticed I was bleeding quite a bit in the tub. I hurried up and nursed Ivy one side while in the tub. After nursing, my mom got her out of the tub, wrapped her in a towel and took her downstairs to be weighed and measured by the midwife. My mom came back upstairs and helped me out of the tub.
-I went back downstairs and sat on the couch for a while. Nursed Ivy on the other side. So many cramps. Ouch.
-I still had a lot of discomfort “down there” and I could literally feel gushes of blood. The midwife super wrapped me up good and helped me waddle to the bathroom. Once seated on the toilet, she pushed on tummy and palpitated my uterus. There was a LOT of blood… and clots… it kinda freaked me out. Thankfully I was not getting lightheaded or dizzy or anything. I remember bleeding a lot with my last baby (Miss Pebbles) and had to be given a suppository medication of some sort. Thankfully with all the palpitations between her and hubby every time I went to the bathroom, the clots and heavy bleeding leveled off. And thankfully I didn’t need any medication to stop the bleeding.
-I also began drinking liquid chlorophyll right away. Two bottles down over the weekend! Not exactly sure how it works, but it helps a LOT with bleeding and getting that managed. Nature’s Sunshine is my favorite brand. And it tastes good! Like liquid mint gum.

Capture
-so we got the bleeding regulated and the living room/birth mess got all cleaned up. At this time, it was probably 2a-ish? The midwife left. My mom was tired too so she retired upstairs to sleep. Hubby and I were too wound up to sleep so we watched a little tv before heading off to bed ourselves.

Well.. that’s about it concerning Ivy’s birth story. I suppose if I forgot anything, I will add it later. Probably should pick my hubby & mom’s brains for more details. Like I said, things got a little hazy for me. They’d remember more.

So glad our little lady is here and is now a part of the family. She is seriously the sweetest little thing. ❤❤❤❤ A true blessing from God. Fearfully and wonderfully made for sure!

Oh, and after a few nursings, bonding DEF took place between Ivy and I. 😍😍😍

Hmmm… and I suppose I should come up with a nickname for her like I did the other kids… I like “Miss Little Lamb”.

 

How to Wash a Pack-n-Play

We have (2) Pack-n-Plays over here… one, we’ve had since 2003 and the other is slightly newer, just over 3 years old. Our *old* PnP stays stored in the basement for travel and guests. The *newer* PnP was being used by our youngest child for FAR too long. Yeah, we actually JUST recently purchased her a toddler bed and we’ve discovered she LOVES to sprawl! Poor thing. Can’t believe we never thought to get her a big-girl bed all this time. With Baby I being due in 4 weeks, we needed that PnP from her. It’s all good. We got the newer PnP all ready for Baby… and Miss Pebbles got her big girl bed. Everyone’s happy.

Well before I went and got the bassinet and everything attached to the *newer* PnP, I decided I better clean the thing first. I found online a loooooong time ago a recipe and instructions for just how to do such a project. I think I originally found it here at Mommy and the Minister.

Before I went and washed my newer PnP, I decided to experiment with my older one from the basement first, ya know… just in case I ruined it. LOL. If it got ruined, I’d be upset, but not devastated. If I ruined my newer one, now THAT would be upsetting.

So here’s the recipe:

Pack-n-Play Cleaner
1 scoop Dreft (or comparable brand gentle detergent)
splash of white vingar
1/4 C baking soda
Fill a bathtub with the hottest water possible from the tap. Once filled at least half way, add the Cleaner ingredients. No need to stir. Place PnP pieces in the tub. If it’s not completely submerged, keep adding water. Leave for 30 min. Flip pieces. Leave for another 30 min. Take outside to rinse well with a hose. Allow to stand outside to completely air dry.

Now… I believe *all* GRACO Brand PnP’s have a particle board type filler in the mattress to make it hard. Other brands may be made with plastic. Of course I have GRACO’s so I was *not* able to submerge my mattresses. GRRRR. That was the part I REALLY wanted to clean super good. I even called to company to confirm the materials in the mattress. Yep… particle board. So frustrating. If you have a different brand of PnP, it could very well be made of plastic– if so, you are in grand luck. CHECK YOUR OWNERS MANUAL or the TAGS on your product JUST TO BE SURE before you submerge. If you submerge particle board, you will totally warp the mattress material and it’ll be ruined.

What I did was make up a smaller batch of the Cleaner and put it in the sink. I then used a wash cloth to spot scrub the mattresses. It still worked well… but man alive, if only I could have dunked it, it’d probably have had an even better cleaning success.

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Old PnP- dirty

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Old PnP- dirty

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Old PnP- dirty

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Old PnP- dirty

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Old PnP- dirty

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Cleaner ingredients

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Going in

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After 30 min soak

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Made a smaller batch of Cleaner in the sink for spot washing the mattresses.

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Spot washing the old mattress.

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Getting ready to spot wash the newer mattress.

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After 1 hour soak.

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Pulled it out and laid it on some towels to carry it downstairs without it dripping on the floor.

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The water after the soak. YUCK.

 

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Newer PnP going in for a soak.

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Close up of grime.

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Old PnP after being hosed down. Air drying.

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Both mattresses, post hose down, drying outside. They look SO much better.

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The water after 1 hr with newer PnP. Not nearly as bad as the old one.

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Old mattress, after cleaning.

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After cleaning.

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After cleaning.

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After cleaning.

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Bassinet pieces of newer PnP after cleaning.

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The stain on the warning label came right off.

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Newer PnP all cleaned and dried and almost ready for baby.

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The mattress, after cleaning & drying.

Since I wasn’t able to submerge my mattresses and get a super deep clean, I will be sure and buy some mattress sheets. Probably would be a good idea anyway, what with spit up and diaper leaks that will for sure occur.

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This cleaning process worked SO well. I am QUITE impressed.

So impressed, in fact, that I decided to use this same recipe on some cloth folding chairs we owned.

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Filling up the tub.

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30 min soak.

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After 1 hr. Truly nasty!

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Out to air dry after a good hose-down!

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They look SO MUCH better!!!

I think I may do another soak on these chairs as there are still a few lingering spots. This time, though, instead of leaving to “soak” I will actually try scrubbing them.

If you try your hand at washing your Pack-n-Play using this method, be sure and let me know how it turns out. Hope you have as much success as we did!!!

Dealing With a Mild Illness

I always hesitate a bit to share with people how to naturally treat illnesses from home. For a number of reasons. Some think it’s load of hooey. Some are anti anything-having-to-do-with-alternative-health (very pro doctor). Even if people are into natural healing, there are SO many differing approaches (herbs, homeopathics, essential oils, etc). And many people are quite passionate about their beliefs, to the point that some individuals turn nasty if you or someone else holds a different belief system. We seem to live in a very touchy/easily offended world. It honestly doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me why people feel personally attacked when someone has a different view point or set of beliefs. That’s just life. That’s humanity. It’s really nothing to get upset about or take personally.

Alas, because of the backlash I see so many people get when they speak up, I’ve chosen to remain quiet. 😦
I’ve never really been a big wave-maker or pot-stirrer.

But as I grow in my faith with God, though, I’m beginning to understand a few things more clearly.

Number 1– this “remaining quiet” thing is actually rooted in a “fear of man”. And I should fear GOD more than I fear man.

For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man?
If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
Gal 1:10

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men…
Col 3:23

The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.
Prov 29:25

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Gal 2:20

Number 2– if God has entrusted me with knowledge and wisdom and spiritual gifts, He wants and expects me to share and use those gifts to bless/encourage others for His glory.

Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
Rm 12:6-8

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
1 Pet 4:10-11

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, …
1 Cor 12:4-11

And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, …
Eph 4:11-16

Number 3– I’m now an “older woman” to several ladies. I’m nearing 36 years of age and I have lived and learned a decent amount concerning marriage, motherhood, roles of womanhood, homemaking, etc. I was trained to be a worldchanger through education and having a career– so I started this road of homemaking and mothering as a newbie. I learned (mostly through failure, unfortunately) what I know now in regards to being a godly wife and mother (still learning, always learning, love learning). It is actually a biblically based mission for me to come alongside younger ladies and teach, help, strengthen, and encourage them as they establish homes of their own.

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.
Titus 2:3-5

Number 4– I have gone through some pretty dark days as an adult. Frequently I battle depression… and this last year specifically: anxiety (so not fun). We had major financial issues early on in our marriage, and so, had to live with family for many years in order to get grounded. We had a miscarriage in July ’07. We also had a stillbirthed daughter born at 37 weeks (Miss Baby Rose) in April 2010. Adulthood has not been a walk in the park for me. It’s been real and it’s been tough. But God… He’s ALWAYS been there for my husband and I (and for our kids). He’s comforted me in SO many ways. I can, and most definitely should, comfort others with the comfort that I have received.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.…
2 Cor 1:3-5

Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; He will never permit the righteous to be moved.
Ps 55:22

The LORD is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.
Ps 9:9

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Ps 46:1

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
1 Pet 5:6-7

Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.
Ps 30:5

I could go on and on and on with all the MANY verses there are about “comfort” in the Bible!

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Ok, so wow. All that to say: I’m gonna share with you a *quick tip* on how to naturally heal mild illness in your family. LOL

I’m not going to fear man.
I *do* have knowledge and wisdom to share.
I am an older woman that can help a younger woman.
And maybe (hopefully) this post will be an encouragement and comfort to someone!

My 2 yr old daughter, Miss Pebbles, came down with a low-grade fever yesterday. Other symptoms: runny nose, lethargy, mild cough, and sneezing. She just has a little bug that’s getting her down.
Before I knew a thing or two about natural healing, I would simple “wait it out” and let the bug “run it’s course”. Or I would give over the counter (OTC) medicine that would only relieve the symptoms.
About the time we had our 3rd child, we started looking into natural/home remedies.
Now hear me out: we are NOT anti-doctor! We *do* take our children to the doctor if they are really hurt or if my home remedies aren’t working. Doctors truly have been given the gift of healing from God and if the situation warrants it, we’ll go! But… if I can treat it from home (like sniffles, chickenpox, mild cuts and wounds, vomiting, diarrhea, etc), I will.
As I learned about natural healing, I realized that the best thing you can do is *boost the immune system* when someone gets sick. As *soon* as symptoms of any kind start rearing their head, I am ON IT. I do *not* wait. I aim to boost that immune system as quickly as possible so the body can more quickly recover.
~~What I did for Miss Pebbles is the following:
1- rubbed a good lather of garlic oil on her chest, feet (put on some socks!), neck, and around (and in) her ears.
2- rubbed Baby Vicks on her back (yes, I still use OTC stuff– someday I hope to experiment with homemade baby vicks, but not today).
3- gave her 1/2 a tablet of chewable vit C (I like Puritans Pride brand).
4- gave her a bit of Tylenol for the fever (yes, I know… another OTC *wink*).
5- mixed a few drops of liquid echinacea (from Nature’s Sunshine**) with her juice and had her drink that.
6- kisses and cuddles and lots of touch.
7- prayer for healing.
8- put her down for sleep
The garlic gets into her bloodstream and starts attacking/killing the virus or bacteria or whatever’s getting her down.
The Baby Vicks opens her airways so she can breathe better.
The vit C and echinacea boost her immune system.
Touch has clinically been proven to aid in healing.
Prayer changes things. God is the Great Physician!
Sleep rejuvenates and heals the body.
I will give the garlic & herbs about 3x/day until the illness subsides… and then for a day after (or maybe 2 if it’s a tough bug) just to make sure the bug is really gone.
Guess as illness presents itself in our home, I’ll share other things that we do naturally.
It’s just so comforting to know that I can do *something* to aid in the process of healing (and not just relieve symptoms) and that I don’t have to wait for the bug to just take it’s course.
**If you open an new account with Nature’s Sunshine in order to purchase herbs, please let me know beforehand! You can “become a member” and earn 33% off retail price. I’ll share with you how!

Master War Bird’s Perfect Sunny Side Up Eggs

Instead of using my children’s real names (in an attempt to protect their online privacy), together the children and I created fun alias’s for each:

Child one: Miss Fashionista
Child two: Master War Bird
Child three: Little Miss Seamstress
Child four: Master Lieutenant
Child five: Master Bam-Bam
Child six: Miss Pebbles

I thought they did good picking names. 🙂

So… this blog post is all about Master War Bird’s infamous and PERFECT sunny side up eggs. He has far SURPASSED me in the egg cooking department, and at this moment in time he’s only 10. Seriously, this kid has amazing budding culinary skills. I’m quite impressed.

So without further adieu…

Start off with a good amount of real butter (NOT oil or anything else), approx 2 dollops of this size.

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Season with paprika, minced dried onion, and garlic salt.
Cover with lid.
Check often. Keep a very close eye on it.
As *soon* as the white around the yolk is fully cooked, it’s done!
Turn off heat & *immediately* remove from pan
2015-05-06 10.35.27Voila!
If you used enough butter, it should basically just slide out of the pan.
Especially good served over a buttered piece of toast.

2015-05-06 10.35.52Master War Bird makes a seriously excellent/mean egg.

2015-05-06 10.36.29This can easily be replicated in a bigger pan with more eggs.