February 1

Friday is February 1st. While for many, this day is just like any other, meaningless in itself, for me it holds two very conflicting significances. For one, it would have been the due date for my son, Oliver, had he not had to come into this world early (more on that another time). So on this date I feel led to celebrate that I now have a beautiful, healthy, growing, breastfeeding, cloth diaper wearing little boy who has been the perfect addition to my family. But this date holds a darker significance for me as well, which makes it challenging to release myself to celebrate the way I feel I should. February 1 marks the anniversary of one of the darkest days of my life: the loss of my first child.
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New Sibling Jealousy

You’ve gotten the thrilling news you’re expecting, you have lots of time to prepare and as enthusiasm builds with the pending arrival of a new family member, you notice not everyone is quite as warmhearted.  You may rationalize that this will work itself out as time goes on. After the baby is born, your family will be one happy cohesive unit singing songs and joyfully skipping through life. However, be cautioned Mommies, it’s imperative to dial in to what your son or daughter is saying, or not saying, about the impending arrival of your bundle of joy.

It is common place in today’s fast paced society to not appreciate or honor feelings individuals have. Especially as women, or young girls, the message is often to just deal personally with those feelings and don’t act upon them – put them away in a small box as if they never existed.  This type of behavior doesn’t help with any child’s development, self-awareness or sense of personal accountability.  Understanding a need or feeling, addressing it and then permitting those emotions to help build self-esteem are a wonderful stepping stone in becoming a well-rounded young adult.
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This too… For the Love of Grief

ImageLately I have been noticing something pervasive in the mommy community. It is something no one ever talks about, and something no one tells you before you have children. I suspect that is partially because it is so hard to put into words, but hang in there with me while I try.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I meditate twice a day (whenever and wherever I have to). Part of that process, for me, is letting my emotions (good and bad) come to the surface so that I may welcome them in with compassion. I have the theory that, if you lock anything up long enough it goes mad, so I make it a point to try to befriend my emotions; to recognize them as a part of who I am, and in doing so, treat them with tenderness. (But meditation is a blog unto itself. Back to the business at hand.) I have noticed, since I started this process roughly a year ago, that one emotion always present at my table is grief. Initially that seemed odd to me, but the more I learned to have a dialog with my grief, and the more that I listened to my mommy friends’ worries, joys, and even (sometimes especially) the million things that they leave unspoken, the more I began to realize that I was not alone, and more importantly, why I was not alone.
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What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag

Time can fly as memories are made. But they can zoom by even quicker when you are pregnant. It seems as though one day you see the ‘positive’ sign on a pregnancy test, and the next you are folding up onesies and painting the walls of that extra bedroom a nice soothing color. One thing that you’ve probably thought about by now is what to bring to the hospital when you are ready to deliver. Clothes, check. Jammies? Check. A good book to read? Check. There are plenty of things that you’ll both want to and need to bring. Below is a list that you can follow to put together the best delivery day bag for you.

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Inducing Labor

171So its been nine long months, carrying your little bundle of joy. You’ve readied the nursery in soothing colors, and felt their itty bitty kicks in your tummy. The delivery day bag is all packed and you and your partner are anxiously awaiting your baby’s arrival! But the time has come to deliver, and you are both more than ready!
So, where exactly are those contractions? Why hasn’t your water broken yet? You’ve phoned your doctor and all they can tell you to do is “wait it out.” But after being pregnant for nine months, waiting can get old really fast. Is there anything that you can do to meet your baby any quicker?! There are steps that you can take with natural ways to induce labor.

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Pregnancy Cravings

We’ve all heard the stories; your pregnant friend or your mom’s co-worker who had cravings for the silliest things like ice cream with green olives, or dill pickle and horseradish sandwiches. They certainly sound like crazy food combinations, so what exactly is the science behind pregnancy cravings? What are they and why do they happen?

It is thought that about 60 to 80% of pregnant women are bound to crave a certain food, or strange combination thereof. A study performed at the University of Connecticut has found that depending on the trimester that you are in during your pregnancy can have an affect on what types of food that you crave and those that you’ll have an aversion to. During the first trimester, expectant mom’s are likely to taste certain flavors more intensely, and are turned off by strong smelling and bitter foods. Researchers like to look at this from an evolutionary perspective. It is thought that because a pregnant woman’s taste buds are heightened and more sensitive during pregnancy, that this helped early women stay away from foods that were poisonous or that had spoiled, thus sparing the unborn child from the toxins that those foods held.
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Depression During Pregnancy

Ah, pregnancy! It’s the happiest time of a woman’s life, right?!

If you ask any woman who has ever been pregnant, she will tell you that pregnancy is an emotional roller-coaster filled with twists and turns. The hormones raging throughout your body every second of the day have something to do with that. You’ve likely had days where you feel like you’re on top of the world and happy as a clam, while other days it may feel like there is nothing that can pull you out of that “funk.” To a point, this is normal in pregnancy. Hormones are incredibly fickle things that like to mess with us women when we’re pregnant.
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Friendly Fire: The Myth of The Mommy Blog

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The mommy blog: It seems innocent enough; A woman sits down each day and types out her thoughts, feelings about hearth and home, the occasional recipe or craft idea, but the reading of mommy blogs can be perilous for the new mom or mommy to be. Here’s an example of why:

“Hi, my name is Melody. I have a beautiful home with two gorgeous daughters and a loving and devoted husband. I run my own organic skincare business, and am also a freelance writer for numerous blogs, and The Country Music Association. I am also a published poet. I make most of my family’s food from scratch, I love to work in my garden, I meditate twice a day, my four year old is already reading chapter books, and I am still nursing my almost two year old, who I delivered totally naturally only seven minutes after arriving at the ER.”
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Banking Your Baby’s Cord Blood

epsom-midwivesWhen you are pregnant, there are a plethora of decisions that have to be made. What will you name your baby, what color will the nursery be, what brand of diapers should you buy? So many questions, and so little time! But one question that is worth some consideration and time is banking your child’s cord blood. Should you do it? How much does it cost? Is it worth it? There are many questions that come along with this decision, and many options to weigh, and it is one filled with emotions, but it is certainly something worth thinking about.
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Aromatherapy During Pregnancy and Birth

Aromatherapy during labor and birth can be extremely helpful in managing pain, reducing anxiety, and preventing unnecessary interventions. Many women approach labor with anxiety and fear, which is a natural response to an experience that many define as extremely painful. Any method of reducing stress, anxiety and fear, can go a long way to having a healthy and blissful birth. One of the best ways to reduce anxiety during labor and birth is aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is a form of alternative medicine that has been used for a very long time in cultures all around the world.
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