Lean Green Mommy Machine

Thoughts on health, wellness, living green and motherhood


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Intentional Birth and Pregnancy

husband wife pregnant

To say I am into pregnancy, birth and all that surrounds it would be an understatement. It’s possible to say I’m obsessed but that sounds so negative (and looney) so I prefer to say passionate.
I have 4 children and have enjoyed obsessing, err, exploring all aspects of pregnancy the minute I get a hankering to have a baby.
But it was my 5th pregnancy that had me realizing that “all” I had been exploring had very little to do with truly understanding pregnancy and birth. I discovered I was pregnant in January of this year. I began digging into aspects of natural childbirth, homebirth and things along those lines. But I was still a bit obsessed (there it is again!) with those little things like what vegetable is the baby the size of and what parts is she growing now.
Most likely due to my low progesterone levels, I lost my baby somewhere around 9 weeks.
Since that time I have gone through a roller coaster of emotions and desires (or lack of) for more children. We won’t get into where I am or where we have landed in that arena. But I will say that I have become aware of something that I had never truly experienced through 6 pregnancies and 4 children – intentional pregnancy and birth.
I don’t mean intentional, like I planned to get pregnant (though that is what happened most of the time lol) and planned to give birth. I mean intentionally understanding what happens during the intricate and lengthy processes of pregnancy and birth, what to expect, and how to have the best possible outcome.
We have come to accept “What To Expect When You’re Expecting” as the only manual you need for pregnancy and birth (and they pay dearly for us to believe it). Thinking all we need to know is every day by day of what our baby may be doing or what sixe it may be. And sometimes we focus more attention and time on what we plan to paint the nursery or finding the perfect going home outfit. But there is FAR more to pregnancy and childbirth and the lack of this knowledge has led to many generations of women who FEAR birth and don’t trust their bodies.
I’m not saying everyone should have a homebirth or intervention-free birth. I truly feel all women should make the right choice for them. But I think we need to start taking responsibility for our pregnancies and births. We need to genuinely understand the physiology of pregnancy and birth. If we don’t know what typically does or possibly could occur and how to handle it, how can we possibly NOT succumb to fear. Without this knowledge we simply are along for the ride with OBs who don’t always have our best interest at heart. (I know some of you read that as me saying the OBs are out to harm us- not what I mean. But they are quite often focused on managing and controlling every aspect of our births rather than allowing our bodies to do what they are made to, even if at times of day and holidays)
There are some amazing resources to explore in order to have a truly intentional pregnancy and birth.

  • The Business of Being Born (documentary) – As of the date this si written, available on Netflix streaming
  • Birth Without Fear (Blog and Facebook page) – birth stories of every kind (including c-sections, you can have a positive section) and so much more
  • Mama Natural (Blog, Youtube Channel & FB) – Folks, this Mama is awesome. She teaches so much about pregnancy and birth and she feels like a best friend. I just love her!
  • Peaceful Parenting (has great lists of books and other info to explore) – This stuff is deeply researched and thorough. So many resources.

I admit that if we are blessed with another baby, I truly want a natural birth at home (something I never had with my other 4 children). I realize not everyone wants this, and that’s ok. You should still be intentional and well informed. And I plan to be very intentional should that time come, by taking in as much knowledge as possible on what to REALLY expect.
Happy birthing!

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I’m a Secret Rebel

Often I am pretty lazy. No, seriously, I am. I do a lot of cooking and caring for my kids (and other people’s) and driving them everywhere but it is all stuff I have to do. I sort of do the bare minimum. Now some of you may find that to be silly since you know I make a lot of things from scratch. part of that is the fact that I LOVE to cook and bake and part of that is since Neo hasn’t shown up with the blue pill (or was it the red…?) I can’t unknow what I know so I make a lot of things that you can easily buy at the store. The thing is all the stuff that goes beyond the base needs of my family rarely gets done.
But every once in a while I get some serious motivation and determination. I never quite know when it will strike. For instance I struggled with breastfeeding my first 3 kids and ultimately concluded it was due to a lack of knowledge. When I became pregnant with my 4th child I determined I would breastfeed. There was no “try” or anything like that. I would breastfeed her 100%, no formula, until she was 1-year-old. Well, I did just that and then some (we kept going until she was 3!).
Sometimes my determination comes from a rebel spirit that I mostly try to hide at his point in my life. As a teen I was quite content to show myself a rebel any chance I could. And if someone said I couldn’t do something, well, I quite often was more determined to do so. This isn’t always wise as sometimes people actually know what they’re talking about (like my friend Matt, who told me “You do NOT want to go out with him!” which I took as a challenge. Matt was right.).
But sometimes…sometimes people are wrong. Sometimes they just have been seeing/hearing/reading the same stuff as everyone else and they just don’t know there is another way. That something else is possible.
I suppose I try to hide my inner rebel now because I am 35 years old and a minivan driving mom of 4 daughters (and one currently gender-unknown child on the way!). But my husband, he knows. He really knows that I’m a rebel and he knows how I can see a statement as a challenge. Honestly, I have some good friends who see my rebellion through how I challenge conventional cooking and eating too.
So now…I am 13 weeks pregnant with my 5th child. I already know I will breastfeed my baby. I will cloth diaper from the start, well after the tar passes at least. And there is one more challenge I am facing. Natural childbirth.
I was induced and epiduraled 4 times. I suppose technically I went into labor on my own with my 4th but I went to the hospital too soon, my labor slowed and I was given pitocin. I decided if I ever had another child I wanted a drug-free childbirth, moving about, not strapped to a bed.
I looked into homebirth but there were a few things that made it just not work out for us. I found (through a friend) a wonderful group of midwives who enable and encourage natural childbirth within a hospital setting. As with breastfeeding, I have begun to bring home and devour stacks of books on the subject and scour the internet for more and more information. I know that for myself, knowledge is empowering.
Here is the thing I have found, almost everything you read that supports natural childbirth says that you just can’t have that in the hospital. Much out there is quite adamant that homebirth is the only way you’ll have a care provider who will fully support you and be knowledgable and where you won’t have to deal with hospitals and nurses trying to sabotage you every turn.
So there it is. I’m being told I can NOT have the natural birth I want within a hospital setting.

Challenge accepted. It’s rebel time, folks.


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Reclaiming My Body

Women are very critical of their appearance. Especially after pregnancy and motherhood. The media play s a huge role in this, of course. But I think it’s time we take back control of this issue and the way we look at our bodies.
The wonderful community over at Peaceful Parenting has inspired me to try to view my body in a different way. Not to focus on what I perceive as flaws but on the wonderful and amazing things my body has done.

This body has ….

been hit by someone who said they loved me, and survived

been pierced 6 times and tattooed once

cradled, grown, nurtured and birthed 4 amazing daughters

provided love, comfort, warmth and peace to children for 14 years

nursed a child for 30 months (and counting)

run its first 5k at 33 years old (and came in 10th place out of 42 in my age group)

This may be all I have to add now but this doesn’t end here. ┬áThere are many things I wish were on my list but we can’t change the past. ┬áLet’s focus on the wonderful things our bodies can do and let’s keep challenging ourselves to add to our lists.