The Free Birth of James Marco

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The Free Birth of James Marco

1/26/15 10lbs, 22.75in

This birth story actually begins before conception. After getting pregnant on 4 different kinds of hormonal birth control and using two Mirenas (one of which punctured my uterine wall) I prayerfully decided I needed to handle things more naturally. So I did. I dove deep into studying Natural Family Planning and The Billings Method. I successfully avoided pregnancy for 16 months, when we attempted to use a condom when we knew I was ovulating in January 2014. Well, we got pregnant and miscarried at 13 weeks. Believe it or not I had no idea you could get pregnant again so quickly, and surprise, 2 weeks later I was pregnant again.

I have long since had a passion for childbirth, pregnancy, and motherhood. I have had natural vaginal births minus my first (who I was very uneducated with). I was very unhappy with all of my hospital births for many reasons. Our last baby was born without a doctor in the room in a hospital because I hadn’t progressed fast enough for them so they had sent the oncall home. This was the last straw for me and I decided if I ever had another baby it would be at home. My dream was shattered when I found out it was going to be around $3000 for a home birth midwife. If you know me, you know that when I want to do something, I do it. So we hit the books and we studied every possible worst case scenario imaginable in preparation for our free birth. I kept up ‘prenatal’ care throughout my pregnancy with an OB and ended with a CNM.

Prodromal labor began in the first week of December, 2014. I became extremely ill right before Christmas and spent 2 weeks ill and contracting day and night. Around New Year’s, I was in what seemed like labor for 3 days. It was horrible mentally and emotionally. Day and night never ceasing contractions continued through January. My ‘due date’ came and went. I cried a lot. I was exhausted from it all. But I knew baby would come. When he was ready, he would come. I had several friends whose words truly got me through that extremely difficult time. I believed postioning was a factor, as ultra sound showed and it could physically be confirmed that he was in a transverse lie, so I did many different exercises from Spinning Babies to get him to turn and to be in a more favorable position.

My mom flew to visit for 10 days. Originally we thought it would be a newborn and mom visit, but baby had not yet arrived. She flew in on Thursday.

Sunday morning at 41+3,  I was in bed nursing my toddler when I heard a pop. I felt a trickling. I was confused. So I stood up and then there was a huge whoosh! Gushing. There was an obscene amount of vernix in my fluid, I was immediately excited. This was at 7am. I called my husband who was working and told my mom. She was awesome and cooked breakfast for the kids and took care of everyone while I labored through the day. I felt great. I called my friend (who is also a doula) and told her to wait to come over for a while. I spent an hour in the kids bath tub, but I knew that wasnt where I was going to birth. My mom thought for sure baby would be here around noon or 1. Noon and 1 came and went. Labor was progressing but slowly. Evening came, and I wanted Chinese. So my husband bought takeout. I was starving, and ate two entire meals (yikes). My mom kept asking me if I wanted to be eating so much and I disregarded her caution. The kids went to bed at 7:30. Labor continued and was getting more intense. I walked, squatted, and did several different Spinning Babies exercises. Around 8:30 I started laboring in my stall shower in my bedroom. I laid in my bed trying to get some rest around 9:30. Transition began around 10. This is where I began to curse all of the Chinese food. Massive diarrhea 😦 and I could not sit on a toilet so I stood in the shower in full transition for over 2hrs…pooing…in the shower…like a boss. My husband was scared because I had the shower so hot and my body was extremely red from it all. I got out of the shower and told him to get our deep massager and push it into my back hard. Then I needed to get back into the shower. Minutes went by while atanding in the shower and I started thinking I’m tired I can’t do this. Oh crap I need to crap again and then he was crowning. My husband said to me, baby that’s the baby not poo. I was shocked I tried to look but couldn’t see. And with less than a contraction and FER, he was out in 1 push, straight into his father’s hands. His cord was wrapped twice around his neck. Daddy unwrapped him and gave him to me. I was so so in love. He was born at 12:53am.

My mom and friend helped me to my bed where I got cleaned up some and I birthed my placenta 40 minutes later. We delayed cutting the cord for just over an hour. We tied it off with some yarn and cut it. We had originally planned to burn it but we were all so exhausted I wanted to do what was easy at that point.

This is the single most amazing experience I have ever had in my entire life. It was intimate, beautiful, and I felt a strength I had not known of myself even after birthing meds free in hospital before.

Thank you for reading ♡

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Our Favorite No- Bake Recipes

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I spend most of my days in our kitchen because I love to create great food for and with my family. I originally became interested in no bake cookies while pregnant in the hot summer and I wanted cookies without heating the house further. So here are our favorite recipes that I have tweaked over time. Enjoy!

2 cups organic sugar
1.5 sticks of unsalted butter
1/2 cup milk (almond and soy will ruin this)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup stirred natural peanut butter
1/2 cup Justin’s hazelnut spread
3 cups old fashioned oats
wax paper

1) Spread wax paper on counter next to your stove. Combine sugar, butter and milk in a medium to large sauce pot over medium to high heat. Rapid boil for a full minute.
2) Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla and peanut butter and hazelnut spread. Stir in oats little by little. Spoon onto wax paper.

The following is a great energy boosting recipe. Keep in a ziploc in your bag for an on the go boost.

3/4 cup Justin’s nut butter of your choice
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 cups old fashioned oats
3 tbsp flaxseed
2/3 cups unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup died cranberries
wax paper

1) combine nut butter, honey and butter in medium size pot over medium to high heat. Bring to a roaring boil for 1 full minute. Remove from heat.
2) Stir in flaxseed, coconut and oats. Stir in dark chocolate chips and cranberries. Spoon onto wax paper.

Best Lasagna

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You will soon find out I make lasagna often-but it’s rarely done the same way more than 3 times. Here’s a one of our friends’ favorites that I’ve made recently.

  • 1 lb ground meat (beef, turkey, chicken, doesn’t matter)
  • 12 strips of lasagna noodles
  • minced garlic
  • shredded mozzarella cheese
  • parmesan cheese
  • 16 oz jar marinara
  • can unsalted diced tomatoes
  • Italian spices/herbs
  • 10 oz ricotta

1) Brown the meat, once it’s cooked thoroughly, mix in a couple tsp of Italian seasonings, 2 tbsp minced garlic, half  the jar of marinara and the can of tomatoes.

2) In a bowl combine ricotta, 1/2 cup mozzarella, 1/4 cup parmesan, and 1/4 cup feta

3) in a 13×9 in dish, pour a small amount of olive oil and spread across bottom of dish. Take 4 noodles and begin to break and crumble apart, you want them to be fairly even in size, about 1×1 inch pieces. Spread across bottom of dish. Evenly distribute a layer of the meat mixture over the noodles, next distribute half of the cheese mixture over the meat layer. Repeat step 3 minus the olive oil.

4) pour other half of marinara over the concoction and sprinkle with feta and parmesan.

5) Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 1 hr, check at 45 minutes.

 

Enjoy!

My Personal Caffeine War

My parents were both military growing up but I spent the bulk of my childhood on the west coast, more specifically Washington state- coffee capital of America (most of the major coffee chains came from there; ie: Tully’s, Starbucks, Seattle’s Best; and there is a ridiculous amount of entreprenuer coffee shops/stands, you literally cannot drive 2 blocks in any city without running into 2-5 coffee shops or stands). So with all of that said-I am a lover of coffee. Coffee, espresso, all assortments of flavors styles, froths, foams, whips, etc etc and so on.

I had no idea how badly this addiction was affecting me….well not until today.

Today is Saturday. My eldest daughter was to perform in the big year-end showcase with her dance studio (if you’re in Colorado Springs or Fountain, check it out! http://fountainartscenter.com) and I needed to be out the door at 8am in order to pick up the sitter for my other children (she’s an older woman and not able to drive) in order to be back by 8:45 so that I could have her at the performance theater between 9 and 9:15. But in order to get to all of that, I needed to have everyone dressed, fed (including animals) and ready for the day, and I hadn’t slept well the night before and slept through my alarm clock and wasn’t out of bed until 7:15….and needed to be out the door by 8….and sooooooo, coffee did not get made.

I’m sure that if my coffee pot was not an inanimate object it would have thought I was ill. I have never in my existence of being neglected to have coffee in the morning.

And so the day began. I was fine until about 9:10. I remember because I started to feel a strange headache coming and I had checked the time as we drove into the parking lot of the performance theater, smiled, pleased that we were inside of the arrival window and winced at the strange headache but threw it to the back of my mind.

Seating to the performance opened at 9:30 and we were in our seats, settled and chatting with fellow parents by 9:35, and the headache persisted and grew in strength. Somewhere between a tension headache (but not quite) and a strange pain in my temples and slightly behind my eyes. I told my husband “I really need coffee.” He didn’t understand that I hadn’t had any.

The showcase was over around 11:20-ish. My head was spinning I had sharp pains in my skull and I was sweating, cramping, slightly dizzy and nauseated. I was also agitated and slightly edgy.

I did end up having coffee later on and felt substantially better with 25 minutes of doing so, but I couldn’t and can’t help thinking that my body’s reaction wasn’t normal. After doing a little research, I find out that my symptoms are scary because some of the symptoms I was having are similar to those going through opiate withdrawals! http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000949.htm I received further insight by reading http://science.howstuffworks.com/caffeine4.htm. Articles like this http://www.livestrong.com/article/521380-how-many-hours-does-caffeine-keep-you-awake/ make total sense because I have been been able to drink a cup of coffee at 7:30 and be in bed sleeping at 8 with no problem for years.

I normally say I’m a cup or two drinker a day but when I’m actually honest with myself, I realize it’s as many as 6 or 7 cups with an average of 4. This has got to change and I began that change today- by only having 1 cup.

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Screamaholic Mom?

When I was a kid I had a few different food service and customer service jobs. I can handle complaints all day, I’ve always had that ability but the thing I always disliked was being screamed at, especially when it wasn’t really my fault.

Screaming sends our bodies into an almost shock mode and causes to have difficulty processing the information being presented http://http://www.drlwilson.com/articles/TRAUMA%20RELEASE.htm. Screaming or yelling at our children is mentally comparable to physical punishment and is considered worse because of the psychological and emotional effect it leaves. http://commonhealth.wbur.org/2013/09/yelling-at-kids-comparable-physical-punishment-study

Since we don’t like to be screamed at, why do we do it to our children? I have been carefully observing myself and almost over-analyzing our family’s interactions over a period of time because I am guilty of being an off and on screamaholic mom. And here’s what I’ve found:

  • I must daily surrender all my emotions to Jesus in order to walk in the Spirit of the Lord not walk in our own flesh.  http://powertochange.com/blogposts/2009/09/17/16738/
  • I scream when I feel like I’m at the end of my rope (brain and body running on fumes) or really stressed. Wisdom tells me that since I know that I need to sleep at least 8hrs and because I wake up between 5 and 5:30 everyday, I have to be in bed by 9-9:30 at night and I have to be diligent about that. And since I know that I at times have a shorter fuse while stressed have been giving the stress to Jesus instead of holding onto it, taking a deep breath and choosing to say nothing when nothing I have to say will contribute positively. (Sleeping more helps with my reaction to stress too).
  • Choosing to act and not say anything at all works for a few of my children. When (depending on the age) I either remove an item or gently remove them from a situation or otherwise correct the situation (yes maybe a quick spanking-not long and hard and drawn out just a pop), solves a lot of behaviors with greater ease and they learn to correct themselves for doing whatever the action was and it feels so much better when we’re not screaming it’s quick and over with.
  • I must give my children grace to make mistakes, grace to correct their mistakes and must receive that same grace that God gives to me when I myself make mistakes.

On days when screaming happens even if only for a moment, I feel so icky. Like I swam through a pool of waste water. I know my kids feel the same way about it too, it shows in their countenance. And after reading this if you choose to continue in your screaming ways, just remember that when they scream back later on, you must remember they are wonderful students and you are their ultimate teacher.

 

When You Have The Sniffles or Worse

The US is notorious for blatantly wanting to keep the people sick. This is evident in the fact that we have things like GMO’s and Monsanto being legal, and most medicine which is often times proven to actually make us more sick, is sometimes less expensive than healthy and organic foods.

So what’s a crunchy mama to do? Hmmmm, let’s start with “old wives tales.” Why were and are they called that and why are 90% of them (that’s an opinionated guess not a real statistic) accurate? Because of two things: 1) they knew the Word and that in it God said He created everything in this world we should ever need, and 2) they were wise with age 😀

Tips:

  • child under 1yr old feels feverish without an actual high temp (over 101.4) and is fussy without calming for 2-4hrs. Combine tea tree oil, coconut oil and eucalyptus gel (natural Vick’s) and apply to bottoms of feet and cover in socks. Strip your baby down attempt to swaddle or keep close to your body, Apply a cool damp cloth to baby’s forehead as often baby will allow. 
  • child 1yr-3 yrs, feels feverish, is or is not fussy, with a runny nose for more than 4-6hrs. Combine tea tree oil, coconut oil and eucalyptus gel (natural Vick’s) and apply to bottoms of feet and cover in socks. Apply a cool damp cloth to the child’s forehead. Give your child 2 tsp honey. Child needs to stay in warm clothes.
  • child 4-8 yrs, feels feverish, is or is not cranky or uninterested in normal activities, with a runny nose for more than 1 day. Combine tea tree oil, coconut oil and eucalyptus gel (natural Vick’s) and apply to bottoms of feet and cover in socks. Apply a cool damp cloth to the child’s forehead. Give your child 3-4 tsp honey. Child needs to stay in warm clothes.

If your child’s fever is over 101 after trying these things for 4-6hrs then please do use Tylenol. Tylenol is just a personal last resort.

  • Sinus Pain/Pressure Sit in the bathroom with door and windows closed while running hot water from your shower for 10-15 minutes. For immense pain place a tbsp of eucalyptus and tea tree oil in a bowl in the bathroom while bathroom is steamy. Repeat up to 3x a day. Rub homemade Vick’s on the bottoms of your feet and cover with socks before going to bed and smear a small amount under your nose.
  • When cooler weather is on the forecast I will drink 2 cups of Echinacea tea (I love Traditional Medicinals) per day before the expected cooler weather arrives.
  • Some mornings I wake up with a slight sore throat. On those mornings I take a single tbsp of honey and drink a cup of green tea.
  • Sore throat therapy. Steep green tea, add 1-2 tbsp lemon juice and honey to taste. 2x per day. Steep plain black tea, add food-grade peppermint oil drops (or 2 hard peppermint candies) and honey to taste.

I will add more when I get the chance! Hope this helps the days you and your loves hae the sniffles!