Re-Grow Roots

Learning to live harmoniously in Missouri.


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My Natural Childbirth Experience

beauty

Birthing my baby naturally without interference from any medical assistance was my plan from the beginning. Giving birth is something that the female spirit has been doing since the dawn of time, it is the very definition of natural. In our culture, however, we have become very separated from the un-clean, bloody, rawness that is giving birth. We are “protected” from all that. Personally, I had only seen birth in videos. I have seen the horrible, screaming women hooked up to tubes being wheeled around hospitals and I have seen the orgasmic and peaceful births of women with midwives giving birth at home, at birth centers, or in the ocean… Of course I wanted that perfect, peaceful, maybe even orgasmic birth! But it turned out to be way more intense than I imagined… Let me just say, women are ferocious and powerful forces of nature!!

It all started around 1:30am on October 29, 2013. I woke up and felt very cramped in my lower abdomen. At first I thought I was constipated… then I pooped… a lot. I was in labor!!! My surges (contractions) were mild, but from the very beginning they were happening every 5-7 minutes and sometimes only 3 minutes apart. I tried to go back to sleep but every time I laid down I felt totally horrible so I decided to get something to eat and take a bath. It felt way better to be moving After an hour or so, I woke my partner Carlos to let him know what’s going on. It was pretty smooth sailing and I was handling the surges really well.

Since I opted out of taking the mandatory beta strep test in September, our midwife had to quit seeing me. She was prohibited by the state of Arkansas to assist me in the birth of my child. I was not “allowed” to have an “out-of-hospital” birth. I still had my doula though, and I felt comfortable with giving birth on my own. It was time! I let my fabulous doula Annie know that I was in labor and kept her posted throughout the morning. Around 10am my dad took me and Carlos over to our friend’s cabin in the woods. Our plan was to have the birth in this beautiful cabin with woods to stroll in, a birth ball to sit on, a wonderful jetted tub, kitchen to cook, nice open space… everything I need.

This cabin was so perfect and beautiful and with my amazing birthing companions there, things were going beautifully. Annie came over around 11am and by noon, it was getting a little more intense. I took walks, sat on the ball, got in the tub. All of these things helped. During really tough surges, it helped me a lot to sway my hips in a circle and make low humming sounds or growls with a relaxed, open mouth. All of this helps to open up the birth canal.I was doing great.

Eventually a reality hit me and fear struck in. Around 7pm I felt like I hadn’t opened considerably in a few hours and I felt stuck. No one there knew how to check my dilation, there was no midwife or doctor to tell me things are okay.. just my faith in knowing that I can do it. For a long time I had total faith, but then I began to question myself. I began having doubts. We called my midwife in Arkansas to see if she could come to me or help us in some way, but she couldn’t do it. She was a total downer, fearful of our abilities, and her advice was that I go to the hospital. Of course this scared me even more.

Although I had this intellectual knowledge that women are perfectly able to birth unassisted, I am still conditioned like anyone else in our modern day civilized society to think that we need help. I knew that I could do it, but in my heart there was fear. So I decided to go to the hospital about 8:30pm. Once I decided to do that, my water began to break and I felt a lot more open but the fear was still there… so we went.

We got there around 8:45pm and I was fully dilated. I was a wreck at the hospital. It did nothing to ease my discomfort or pain. I was yelling, not following any of their wild instructions (like sitting and laying) and I just felt out of control. But I did it and my perfect baby boy was born at 9:18pm! I did it without pain killers and without much medical intervention and I learned so much from my experience.

Doubt and fear create the environment that allows pain in. Next time I will definitely have a trained midwife to guide me and offer me comfort that everything is perfect. Because it was.

Congratulations Kalani Rain Gabriel Fleck-Ferrer, you have joined us here on earth and you are in for a beautiful experience.

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“I open, I transform, I bleed, I scream and I smile.”

These photos are absolutely beautiful, a perfect depiction of the true magic of natural birth.

I Am Chris Nolan.ca

In 2005 artist Ana Álvarez-Errecalde responded to a recurring dream she was having and decided to take self portraits of herself, and her newborn daughter.  The resulting images she has titled “Birth of My Daughter (or El Nacimiento de Mi Hija)

I am moved to share her photos because I feel birth is a monumentally inexplicable alteration of reality and in our culture it is too rarely revealed as such.  If you are having a child, please explore your options of how your family can truly experience the beauty of birth.

If you are curious about the origin of the images, please watch the short documentary “Umbilical Self-portrait” by MiNuShu.

To see some of Ava Álvarez-Errecalde current work, where she has created bodysuits  representing nude forms (called the More Store), review this article at Empty Kingdom and this piece at Elephant Journal.

Thanks…

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Are Fetal Dopplers Really Safe?

On my first visit with my midwife, she had me lay down on the bed and checked the babies heartbeat with her fetal doppler. I’ve done some research on ultrasounds ability to damage the growing fetus with it’s super high soundwaves and I have no desire to get an ultrasound done. I have talked to several friends who have seen speech impediments and learning disabilities with their children who received more than two ultrasounds. Since the doppler is a much lower sound frequency than the ultrasound, I decided to go for it. It was so exciting to hear our baby’s little heartbeat! And then came the pains…

My whole abdomen became tense as soon as our midwife touched the doppler to my belly. It wasn’t a terrible pain, but a discomfort. For the next few hours I was experiencing cramps and tension in my abdomen and on my sides. Sometimes it was barely noticeable and other times it was a sharp, shooting pain. I’m sure that my baby is fine and I’m not worried about one doppler checkup. I do worry about the women who receive the doppler every time they see their doctor or midwife, or worse, mamas who buy their own home doppler and use them every day or multiple times a day! From the sensations I got, I feel certain that it causes a lot of stress on the growing fetus. Certainly a mother may get used to the feelings and the baby may get used to them too, but the soundwaves stay the same and with every doppler check there is more of a chance that some damage may be done.

Most women see no problems with their children after using a fetal doppler regularly. I’m really uncertain about the potential risks involved. I have been unable to find many studies about the doppler, and there aren’t very many studies regarding the ultrasound either. This lack of information is disturbing, but that’s how things go in our society in this day and age. People are innocently and blindly consuming so many things without having a clue what they are made of or the potential risks involved. I deeply consider the things that I put in and around my body and don’t do things just because they are “convenient” or out of fear…

My body tells me everything that I need to know if I listen to it and look internally. Our beautiful baby is healthy and thriving. How do I know? I feel the baby kicking, punching, and turning itself around on a daily basis. And I feel fantastic! I have lots of energy. I eat local, whole foods regularly. I stay positive and peaceful. I believe that if a woman listens to herself, her intuition will tell her what she needs to do. I accept whatever comes our way and invite wellness and happiness into our lives.

For most, I see absolutely no reason to have doppler checks. After speaking with my midwife about the discomfort we had from the fetal doppler, she began using a stethoscope instead and that works perfectly well for us! I’m at 6 months right now and so far we have had the baby’s heartbeat checked twice – once by doppler and once by stethoscope. There is no need to hear the heartbeat all the time. Fear is senseless. I trust the baby is doing well and so it is.

Linked up at : Thank Goodness It’s Monday


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Natural Pregnancy . Creating life is natural and beautiful!

Mother Earth Pregnant Goddess by PearlWhitecrow

Mother Earth Pregnant Goddess by PearlWhitecrow

Pregnancy has been an incredible journey and it is totally enlightening, I’m learning so much about myself!! It’s an exciting new experience growing a real life human in my uterus right now! The other day when I was walking, I subconsciously placed my hand on lower belly and could feel a life spiraling around me. This is a different kind of life than little gassy indigestion amoebas.. it’s very spiritual and holy.

Birth is an absolutely holy thing for every woman. It is holy for a walnut to fall from a tree and years later there appears another walnut tree bearing so many fruits. Birth is magical! Birth is beautiful! Birth can be a spiritual awakening that connects a woman and her partner to god, the creation, light, source, the entire universe. Birth is NATURAL… It is nature. Human nature, animal nature, plant nature, and amoeba nature. Every life in this universe was born from something. To be more specific, female humans have been giving birth for a heck of a long time (as long as there have been humans) and we’ve been doing it without fail until now… and we are still doing it!

Gaia Goddess by Michelle Molesch

Gaia Goddess by Michelle Molesch

For some reason, doctors seem to truly FEAR BIRTH. It totally disgusts me to hear stories from pregnant friends about their experiences with doctors. Of course all doctors are different, and all midwives are different too, but for the most part the stories I hear from folks are just horrendous!

One friend of mine was pregnant with her first son and during her pregnancy went through many many ultrasounds. She got a C-section for that baby. That child started speaking late in his life and is still overcoming a speech impediment and is now 7 years old. A couple of years later when she was pregnant with her second child, she did not want to have a C-section. The only reason that doctor had for wanting to give her a C-section is that she had one before. She refused so the doctor dropped her, and so did the next 5 doctors! She finally found a doctor that would deliver her baby naturally and she had a perfectly healthy little boy! Why did these doctors refuse to deliver her naturally? Fear of some sort of liability.

Joyful Soda Fire Goddess by gislebertus

Joyful Soda Fire Goddess by gislebertus

I have two friends who are pregnant with twins right now and getting ultrasounds every two weeks. Their doctors also refuse natural birth and will only do a C-section to deliver twins. Yes, it is more of a hazard to deliver two or more babies because of the chances of them being at difficult angles, bleeding, tearing, etc. But it can be done and has been done many times! If a woman believes in herself and finds a spiritual midwife who is fully 100% present and aware of the moment, the birth will be a beautiful thing no matter what happens.

For my own pregnancy, I have no intention of going to a doctor or hospital at all and I am totally comfortable in that choice. I do not fear doctors but I find them totally unnecessary and unable to help me during this time. My partner Carlos has been the most amazing help for me throughout this time and I’m so thankful to have a fantastic and honest relationship with my life partner! We have a seriously tantric connection a lot of the time where he just knows what I need in that moment. He is the sweetest, most understanding, and very wise spirit. I’m blessed. We are all blessed and we all deserve the most amazing experience!!

I have been reading a book called Spiritual Midwifery written by Ina May that fills my heart with a beautiful realization that I CAN DO IT! Ina May is this amazing midwife who has been doing it for years and years and years, since the 60s. She shares stories from hundreds of women about their birth and all of them have this psychadelic experience during their pregnancy. Sometimes they are afraid or nervous, but their midwife helps bring them to a state of mind where they just are present with the miracle of life that is happening in their body! It is truly a magical thing. If you are pregnant, I highly suggest reading Spiritual Midwifery!

I have not yet found a midwife, but I know it will all happen naturally and beautifully. I have no doubt, no fear.

Things to think about…

Are ultrasounds causing the huge rise in autism?

Research on ultrasounds

Have you delivered a baby naturally or are you going through a natural pregnancy? I would love to hear your stories!

Linked up at: Small Footprint Fridays, Tasty Traditions


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Natural Remedies for Morning Sickness

This pregnancy is a fascinating and exciting journey to be on! My periods had been completely in harmony with the moon cycle for the past 3 months or so before I became pregnant. My period was occuring on the new moon (a time of rest) and I was ovulating with the full moon (extreme fertile energy)… no surprise that I got pregnant! Carlos and I are very excited to bring a special new life into this world we’re living in.

I conceived right around January 27th so I’m still in my first trimester, right around 2 months. Sometimes I walk around with my hand on my belly and become very aware of the life within me. Beautiful. Many women get morning sickness during her first trimester and sometimes it carries on well into the second trimester.. I have definitely had a fair amount of the morning sickness! Thankfully I only threw up one morning, but much of the time I just feel sick to my stomach and can’t think of anything I’d like to eat. There are many remedies to morning sickness, and I have tried the lot… some work, some don’t. Hope this list helps someone in her first trimester!

Remedies for Morning Sickness

  • Ginger root – I tried this in several forms and had luck sometimes… Two times I made ginger tea and that didn’t help me very much. My mama got me some crystallized ginger slices that helped me when I first started eating them. After a few days, the effect wore off. The form of ginger that helped me the most was GINGER ALE – real ginger ale in the glass bottles. It’s very strong and carbonated so the bubbles + the ginger is what did it I think. I decided to lay off the ginger though, because it is so strong…
  • Peppermint tea – This has helped soothe my stomach slightly a few times. I also like to use peppermint essential oil and rub it on my belly which relieves some of the discomfort as well.

    Image

    mint that loves trying to take over our apartment garden

  • Preg-Ease vitamins – These are mainly B6 and calcium (for morning sickness and heartburn) but has some real fruit in there too. I take one chewable tablet in the morning and it is effective for a little while, giving me time to make breakfast or wait for Carlos to make breakfast.
  • Eating FREQUENTLY – I make sure to eat SOMETHING right when I wake up in the morning. Sometimes I grab an apple, other times a fresh baked slice or 2 of sweet loaf (like squash loaf). Then I eat small meals throughout the day, maybe 5 times a day. I make sure to eat lots of cheese for protein and essential fatty vitamins and minerals.
  • Walk outside – This is one of the most effective ways that I have relieved my nausea symptoms. I’m so glad it’s starting to get warm out so I can have a fabulous, comfortable barefoot walk around the garden or over to Hackett Falls in Hollister. 🙂 Just breathing the fresh air of the trees and putting my feet in the dirt really grounds me and makes me feel awesome!!
  • Herb… as in weed – This is controversial and may not be for everyone, but I have done lots of research about it online, asking people I know, and taking note of how my body reacts when I do it. There are no ill effects known to occur to the developing fetus. When I first started experiencing nausea, I was totally turned off to eating so I ate little and lost about 8 pounds the first 5 weeks. No good! Then I realized that when I vaporize a little marijuana, it eliminates my nausea and makes me feel hungry so then I eat! Now I’ve gained the weight back and I’m feeling way better. I use it medicinally and in moderation, and have had super awesome results.

So that’s what I’ve figured out about my morning sickness… the kind of morning sickness that can last all day sometimes! Hope that some of these will help you amazing ladies out there!

Linked up at: The HomeAcre Hop, Thank Your Body Thursday, Natural Living Link-Up, Tasty Traditions ,  Your Green Resource