Posts Tagged ‘Pregnancy’

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Do you love a good birth story?

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Premature Rupture of Membranes: Complication or Variation of Normal?

I was 37 weeks along. It was the day after Thanksgiving. I was on a decent Netflix binge, laying there in bed, totally vegging out. Out of nowhere: POP! Trickle. GUSH! My water broke.  This wouldn’t have necessarily been a cause for concern, except that I had recently moved to rural Maine and my midwife and mother were to fly in from the West Coast for the birth. This turn of events was four days too early.

Contractions started mildly, more like Braxton-Hicks. Nevertheless, we got ready to catch this baby on our own.  Night turned to morning.  Morning turned to night. Night turned to morning.  Contractions would come-and-go. Sometimes strong. Sometimes so mild I could sleep through them.  This wasn’t what anyone would call “active labor.”

My mother and my midwife arrived and I was still  pregnant.  To make a long story short, our baby made his grand entrance 6 days after my water broke.

READ THE REST ON MODERN ALTERNATIVE PREGNANCY!

Premature Rupture of Membranes. It happens.

Read tips for staying healthy and safe if your water breaks and you don’t go into labor right away. What warning signs should you look for?  How did we finally get labor jumpstarted? And did we have our planned home birth? Read all the details on Modern Alternative Pregnancy!

Premature Rupture of Membranes: Complication or Variation of Normal?

I was 37 weeks along. It was the day after Thanksgiving. I was on a decent Netflix binge, laying there in bed, totally vegging out. Out of nowhere: POP! Trickle. GUSH! My water broke.  This wouldn’t have necessarily been a cause for concern, except that I had recently moved to rural Maine and my midwife […]

1

Those who wait

Blog 1 Comment

On November 27 I was calming laying in bed, with my big pregnant belly, on a Netflix binge. It was relaxing and chill. Suddenly everything changed. I felt a pop and then a drizzle that turned into a gush. My water broke.

Soon contractions started coming. My husband and daughter tidied up the room and arranged the birth supplies.

And then we waited…..

Night turned to morning.

And we waited….

Morning turned to night.

And we waited….

Night turned to morning.

And we waited….

Waiting

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Those Who Wait

On November 27 I was calming laying in bed, with my big pregnant belly, on a Netflix binge. It was relaxing and chill. Suddenly everything changed. I felt a pop and then a drizzle that turned into a gush. My water broke. Soon contractions started coming. My husband and daughter tidied up the room and […]

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The exact moment…

Blog | Relationships 1 Comment

Yesterday being #ThrowBackThursday on social media, I posted this picture to Instagram:

The exact moment...

Last April, I was sitting in Adoration one day, just having the most lovely visit with Jesus. And suddenly I felt the Lord whisper to me that I was pregnant.

I couldn’t be!

Wait. What day is this?

Discreetly pull out the calendar, take a look.

Oh my word. I am pregnant.

Right there. In prayer. In front of the Blessed Sacrament. I realized that I was pregnant. And this during one of the most challenging and busy seasons of my adult life. Packing and moving my big ol’ family from one coast to another, carrying for my mother-in-law with terminal cancer. Stress all over the place. And now the gift of a new life.  It was a holy moment, one that I’ll never forget.

Do you remember exactly where you were when you realized that you were co-creating with the Creator?  Did you get a second opinion from a doctor or pregnancy test, or did you just know beyond a shadow of a doubt? Tell us your story.

“Every fiber of a woman’s being cries out for connection, for relationship. This distinctively feminine orientation has been poo-pooh’d in recent decades, claiming it makes a woman weak and dependent. The solution has been to downgrade her need for relationships and upgrade her ability to accomplish and achieve. However, there’s an undeniable aspect of a woman that can’t be swept under the carpet or deleted from her life – her body…The structure of a woman’s body is made for union, for connection.  There is no shame in being a woman. Only women can receive new life into the empty space within. Only women can make a gift of self so that others can receive the gift of their very lives.”  (Katrina Zeno)

I am on the home stretch now. Just a few more weeks and we’ll be holding number 9. God has graciously carried us through this pregnancy. And we feel so blessed to be able to give birth one more time.  We never take our fertility for granted. It is a gift from God.

[Read our post on 10 Things No One Told You About The Third Trimester]

The exact moment...

Yesterday being #ThrowBackThursday on social media, I posted this picture to Instagram: Last April, I was sitting in Adoration one day, just having the most lovely visit with Jesus. And suddenly I felt the Lord whisper to me that I was pregnant. I couldn’t be! Wait. What day is this? Discreetly pull out the calendar, […]

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Powerful Pregnancy (Leg cramps, restlessness, and morning sickness)

Blog | Raising Arrows 9 Comments

{This post contains affiliate links. Clicking on or purchasing through affiliate links doesn’t cost you nothing, but a small commission goes to support this blog and the families who love to write it.}

I put an app on my phone so that the kids could track my pregnancy and the baby’s development. I had a hunch it would drive me crazy and occasionally angry. And it has. Every week I get the updates of how big the baby is and what organ is developing at that stage of gestation.  But then there is the section on what to expect.  It sort of goes like this, “This week in your pregnancy you will discover that your body hates you. You will be vomiting, cramping and bitchy. And the best news is there is nothing you can do help yourself feel better. Have a happy pregnancy!”

This is not my experience.  You see, I firmly believe that the fact that I conceived life, am carrying that life, can birth that life and then sustain that life through my breasts is a sign of my health and not a sign of disease. Pregnancy is not a sickness to be managed or cured. It is a powerful force of femininity. It is a reminder–every single day for 40+ weeks–that Satan was defeated through an act of femininity, an act of motherhood. **drop mic**

Pregnancy is powerful, ladies!  What our bodies are capable of is incredible! Mighty! Beautiful! And yes, it is challenging!  But, it does not have to be miserable!  Can we try to keep in mind that Jesus reversed the curse on the cross! Your husband doesn’t have to loathe going to work by the sweat of his brow every day, being tortured by the misery.  You don’t have to dread bringing forth new life by the sweat of your brow, drowning in misery. #rantover

After chatting it up on Facebook and Instagram with other expecting mommies, we decided to do a series of posts on common pregnancy complaints/symptoms and how to respond to them.  Let’s call it POWERFUL PREGNANCY!

Powerful Pregnancy

This is my belly in my 8th pregnancy. Photo credit: Cory Plowman Photography

{Here is where I insert the disclaimer. I am not a doctor. Not a midwife. Don’t play one on TV.  I am a childbirth educator and doula, but that is hardly an authority figure in your life. So, use your common sense. Nothing in this article or on this website is a substitute for professional medical advice and it is not the intent of Daja or Kristina to advise about your particular situation or health condition. Do your own research and own your own choices. You’re a grown-up.}

Let’s talk about three things I think can all have the same root cause: Leg cramps, restlessness, and morning sickness.

That right there is a trifecta of misery.  If you have ever been pistol whipped awake in the dead of night by one of your muscles cramping like no one’s business, you know what pain is.  And that constant restlessness, especially of the legs, that can keep you awake all night is horrible. And let’s not forget morning sickness, which is a serious misnomer.  It’s not morning, often. It’s morning, afternoon, evening and nighttime sickness. Icky.

These three things, although they manifest very differently, often have the same root cause: Magnesium deficiency.

According to the Journal of the American College of Nutrition 68% of people suffer from magnesium deficiency.  There are over 300 biological functions that depend on magnesium.  So, it’s not something you can really afford to ignore–whether you’re pregnant or not!

Real Food Sources of Magnesium

  • Dark leafy greens (such as kale, chard, spinach)
  • Nuts and seeds (soaked and sprouted when possible!)
  • Avocado
  • Fish (are you wary about eating too much fish because of contaminants? Nourishing Our Children knocks that question out of the park with a well-sourced and excellent article. Read it here and the follow-up article here.)
  • Bone broth (from the bones of sustainably raised animals)
  • Bananas
  • Raw Dairy

Why are so many people deficient in magnesium, even if they eat a whole food “healthy” diet? The short answer is that our soil is depleted of many essential nutrients–magnesium among them–due to our industrial model of growing food. *cue very sad sigh*

Our human ancestors evolved in a world in which healthy drinking water came directly from streams, rivers, and lakes, rich in mineral content. The human body became reliant on obtaining a considerable proportion of its daily mineral needs from natural water sources.

Fast-forward to the twenty-first century. We obtain drinking water from a spigot or a plastic bottle. Pesticides and other chemicals seeping into the water supply have made everyone suspicious of water quality. As a result, municipal water-purification facilities have intensified their efforts to remove contaminants like lead, pesticide residues, and nitrates from drinking water. Unfortunately, these modern water-treatment methods also deplete drinking water of desirable minerals like calcium and magnesium.

Exacerbating this problem is that many Americans, distrustful of the purity and safety of municipally treated water, have added home water filters and purifiers that efficiently extract any remaining minerals from the water, thus converting “hard” into “soft” water. In fact, the manufacturers of these devices boast of their power to yield water free of “contaminants”—including minerals like magnesium. Thus, the magnesium content of the water that passes through most commercial filters is zero. (Source)

So, if a magnesium deficiency is at the root of the cramps, restlessness, and morning sickness and it’s difficult to get enough from the average diet, what is a pregnant mom to do?!  Here are some of the simple things we have used to address this concern and to have a happy pregnancy:

1. BONE BROTH

Back on that soap box, are we?!

Yep!  My own personal experience has convinced me of the effectiveness of a daily bone broth regiment.  You can read all about that on our post about bone broth.  Use the highest quality bones you can find.  Ask your local meat market or farmer’s market about grass-fed, pastured, free-range, and organic meats.

2. Raw Milk

Wait?! You drink raw milk while you’re pregnant?!

You better believe it!  In fact, we are not at all convinced about the safety of conventional milk purchased in the average grocery store.  But, we do trust raw organic pastured milk for local farms. Farms we can visit, check out, and we can look our farmers in the eye!  That’s the kind of accountability we like in our food system. (Chris Kresser does an excellent job of breaking down the raw milk question in a series of posts called Raw Milk Reality.)

3. Epsom Salt Soaks

Your skin is your largest organ and is like a huge sponge! It can absorb so much! (Which is one reason we should be cautious about what we put on our skin. Think about the ingredients in your shampoo, perfumes, make-up, etc.)  Especially in the first trimester of pregnancy when the queasy can set in, I take at least one (sometimes more) long Epsom Salt soak every day.  I put a couple cups of Epsom Salts in the tub and about as much water as I can to cover my growing belly.  Soak for about 30 minutes so that the mineral has a chance to really absorb. Use this time to relax and restore and for some positive meditations about your pregnancy and prayer time or Scripture memory.  Do not use this time to shave your legs or mess around on your phone or iPod.  Seriously, people. Seriously.

Don’t have a bathtub? Move. Just kidding. Try a daily foot soak!  This is also a very effective way to absorb magnesium and to pamper yourself!

4. Supplementation

There are a lot of supplements on the market. Unfortunately, if you don’t use them properly they just create expensive pee.  For example, magnesium must be in balance with other nutrients (mostly calcium and vitamin D) in order for you to absorb and utilize it.  When my students ask for a recommendation for a calcium supplement, I always recommend one that has a 2:1 ratio Calcium to Magnesium.  In addition to that, make sure you are taking in enough natural vitamin D–either from the sun or a safe source of fish oil. We like fermented cod liver oil.  (Concerned about the recent hullabaloo about fermented cod liver oil? We aren’t. We still take it every day. Read the Westin A. Price Foundations statement on FCLO here.)


Have a joyful and blessed pregnancy!  And leave us a comment with one of your pregnancy symptoms you’d like us to address!  Or tell us your best remedy for leg cramps, restlessness and morning sickness!

Lord Jesus, I lovingly pray for this sweet hope
that I keep within my womb.
You have granted me the immense gift
of a tiny little life,
living in my own life,
and I humbly thank you for choosing me
as an instrument of your love.
In this sweet waiting,
help me to live in a constant attitude
of self-surrender to your will.

Grant me a motherly heart that is pure,
steadfast and generous.
I hand over to you my own concerns;
any anxious fears that may come,
my own wishes for the little person
that I still have no knowledge of.
Grant that it may be born healthy in body,
keep far from it every peril to its soul.

Mary, you have known
the ineffable joy of a holy motherhood;
give me a heart that can transmit an ardent, living faith.
Sanctify my waiting,
bless this joyful hope that is in me,
grant that the fruit of my womb
may open out in virtue
and in holiness through your working
with that of your divine Son.

Amen

(source)

Powerful Pregnancy

{This post contains affiliate links. Clicking on or purchasing through affiliate links doesn’t cost you nothing, but a small commission goes to support this blog and the families who love to write it.} I put an app on my phone so that the kids could track my pregnancy and the baby’s development. I had a […]

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It’s a good day to be happy

Blog | Relationships 4 Comments

Yesterday I had a full five minutes to myself in the car. Not enough time for the full emotional breakdown I felt lay right under the surface. In that brief five minute span I poured out my soul to Jesus. When I got home I went and sat on our well and the tears just flowed. Unfortunately, I was urgently called in to deal with a pressing matter. My husband asked me what was wrong. “I just need 10 minutes to myself so I can have the meltdown I deserve!”

Yeah. Just keepin’ it real. Read More

It's a good day to be happy

Yesterday I had a full five minutes to myself in the car. Not enough time for the full emotional breakdown I felt lay right under the surface. In that brief five minute span I poured out my soul to Jesus. When I got home I went and sat on our well and the tears just […]

4

This is my body, broken

Blog | Raising Arrows 4 Comments

Yesterday was the Solemnity of the Annunciation, which has got me thinking about pregnancy and birth and what women go through in order to conceive, carry and birth their children.  I’m a childbirth educator and doula, so it’s not as if this theme is new to me.  But, lately, it seems like the Lord has opened it up to such a greater revelation for me.  A big part of that is probably that the Eucharist has been my undoing and remaking lately.

I remember…. Read More

This is my body, broken

Yesterday was the Solemnity of the Annunciation, which has got me thinking about pregnancy and birth and what women go through in order to conceive, carry and birth their children.  I’m a childbirth educator and doula, so it’s not as if this theme is new to me.  But, lately, it seems like the Lord has […]

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First Adjustments

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Did you know that babies need chiropractic care, too? Read More

Did you know that babies need chiropractic care, too?

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Post-Partum Foods to Nourish Your Body

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Post-partum

Let’s be clear, from the get-go, I don’t believe in a list of foods you are not allowed or shouldn’t have while breastfeeding. Read More

Post-partum

Let’s be clear, from the get-go, I don’t believe in a list of foods you are not allowed or shouldn’t have while breastfeeding.

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Three Simple Ways To Use Essential Oils In Pregnancy

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Let’s face it: Even in the healthiest pregnancies there can be certain discomforts.  Thankfully for many of those discomforts there is a healthy and easy way to address it.  You needn’t be an herbalist or buy a bunch of expensive supplies either.  Here are three simple ways I’ve used essential oils in my pregnancies.

Three Uses for Essential Oils in Pregnancy Read More

Three Uses For Essential Oils in Pregnancy

Let’s face it: Even in the healthiest pregnancies there can be certain discomforts.  Thankfully for many of those discomforts there is a healthy and easy way to address it.  You needn’t be an herbalist or buy a bunch of expensive supplies either.  Here are three simple ways I’ve used essential oils in my pregnancies.

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Answering Your Questions: Preparing For Natural Childbirth

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Q. Can you share any ideas or techniques you use to make it through childbirth without medication?

Preparing for Natural Childbirth

A. Sure can! I have had seven children naturally with varying levels of pain or discomfort. Each birth has taught me something about life and about myself. Read More

Preparing for Natural Childbirth

Q. Can you share any ideas or techniques you use to make it through childbirth without medication? A. Sure can! I have had seven children naturally with varying levels of pain or discomfort. Each birth has taught me something about life and about myself.