Embracing Everything Emma

Enjoying Life One Baby Step at a Time…

Go Pink October 31, 2012

Range Resources                  Pink Diamond Gala             October 2012

So I’m sure you’re wondering why on earth I waited until the last day in October to write about Breast Cancer Awareness. Believe it or not, it’s not because I’m late which would be typical. No, it’s much more than that. It’s because I personally believe we should be aware of breast cancer more than just one month a year. We should be “pink” even when we’re not wearing and buying everything pink. Don’t get me wrong.  I’m beyond grateful for all the businesses and companies that focus on the month of October. I’m grateful for all the people who go all out to support people like my mom. I can never measure to gratitude I have. The only awareness I want to bring here is it only takes breast cancer a couple of months to strike and go from stage 2 to 4, from life to death, from a whole family to a broken one. If you wait a whole year to pay attention it’s too late. I wanted to share with you how to prepare yourself and be more aware. A way for you and your family to go pink year round.

Back in January of 2009, my mom had a place on her breast. When she went to the doctor to have it examined, it ended up being a place filled with liquid and non-cancerous, thank God. We were very grateful and although she watched it, we went back to life as we knew it. In April of 2009, my mom took a trip to England and France with her best friend, Debbie. Right before her flight, she did a self exam and discovered the place had returned. She made an appointment for when she returned from her trip and I’m so glad she went ahead and traveled because that kind of travel for her would soon be impossible for the next year. Upon examination, they found this spot had changed. What was once filled with liquid was now a mass. She was sent to remove the mass and once again, we were certain that no breast cancer would be found. Surely something wouldn’t grow in just a few short months. My mom went into recovery and we left the same day. It was a few short days later that mom got the call. This spot, unlike the other, was cancer. Breast cancer. I remember it like it was yesterday. Mom called to see if her and dad could swing by on their way out to dinner. I honestly didn’t think anything of it until they sat me down to explain what was going on. In all honestly, I was shocked. I don’t even remember much other than dad going to pick JR up from work and explain to him what we were faced with at this point. At that moment, we decided we were going to remain positive. Only positive thoughts would be had and only positive words and actions would come out. We would remove ourselves from all negativity. This was the best decision we ever made as a family. Mom’s friend, Sharon, came over that night to walk us through the next steps. Sharon is a stage 4 breast cancer survivor. She gave mom advice and prayed with us prior to leaving. Mom quickly made her next appointment where they examined the breast more and removed some lymph nods. We were lucky. Mom was a stage 2 patient and would only have to undergo chemotherapy. My mom made one of the wisest decisions at this time and had a total mastectomy. I support her 100% in this decision. I know many women who do a lumpectomy or partial mastectomy and the cancer returns. This lessened mom’s chances of the cancer coming back. We refused to be beat. I will end this part with this: cancer was HARD. It wasn’t easy. There were days that we broke down and cried. Going with mom to shave her head and pick out bras was one of the hardest things I have ever done. But you know what? It proved to me something I knew but didn’t understand the extent of until then- my mom is TOUGH. She is STRONG. She is a SURVIVOR. There is no one, aside from God, that I consider a bigger example of faith and strength in God than my mother.  She stayed strong for us when we needed to be strong for her. I thank God every day for her, her life and her testimony. We are all stronger and better people because of her and her fight.

I wanted to share this today because there are ways we can all be prepared better. We can all stand a fighting chance against cancer and here’s how:

*Have a regular mammogram. I am getting ready to schedule my first one once I return from France. I had to wait until I finished nursing but I’ll be two months in the clear when I make my appointment. I know I’m young. I’m only 27 years old. I would rather go NOW and have a baseline than wait even 2 years and not know what we’re up against. My grandmother and my mom both have had breast cancer and I refuse to let it sneak up on me. You are suppose to go once a year so have it at the same time as your pap smear and other fun female appointments. All these appointments will check for several forms of cancer and other diseases so it is very important that we go and be diligent in keeping our appointments.

*Do self exams. My mom had her mammogram in January and the spot returned in April. If she hadn’t done self exams she could have been further along in her cancer or possibly dead. I hate to even think about it. Your doctor should have forms on how to do self exams but you can also go online to find out how.

*Set up reminders. Even the best of intentions can sometimes not be good enough. Find a way to remind yourself. You can do it on your calendar. You can also set it up online to send texts to your phone. I love this. I get reminders once a month to do my self-checks and once a year for my mammograms.

*Educate yourself. Be wise in what you put in your body. There are so many things being linked to cancer nowadays and so many people diagnosed that I have to believe what we’re putting in and on our bodies is catching up with us. There are so many things that are labeled “paraben free” that are still carrying caseinogens (which are cancer causing agents). Don’t just take something at it’s word. You can start with simple things like heating up your food in glass containers instead of plastic. Changing all your water bottles and other plastics to BPA free. Remember we’re not just doing this for us but for our kids and their kids.

*Be positive. No matter what happens, remain positive. Cancer won’t win unless you let it. Does this mean that we will all beat the disease? No. Unfortunately, there is not a cure that works 100% of the time. But our attitude defines cancer beating us. We live our lives to the fullest and without giving up or quitting. I know the odds are stacked against me but I refuse to be defeated. I come from a long line of survivors.

I hope this post has inspired you to be aware. To be strong. To be the women God created each of us to be. I want to dedicate this post to all the men and women who have lost the fight to cancer, but have not been defeated, as well as those who have won the fight. Cancer does not define who we are. There will be a day that we have a cure. I fight for this for my daughter and her daughter and the daughters to come. I ask you to join me.

The Reason I Fight

What are you doing to prevent cancer in your life and the lives of your loved ones?


Training Your Child’s Palate October 30, 2012

Our guest post today comes from the Morefields of A Morefield Life! I am so excited to share their post today about how to not only eat clean but train up our kids to eat clean, too. After all, it starts at home. I hope you enjoy the post today and it encourages you to work towards training your child in the way they should go…include their palate. 

The old saying ‘we are what we eat’ is true on so many levels. Food is the fuel the body uses to create energy, build cells, fight disease, and so much more. The things we choose to put in our body on a daily basis directly impact not only our mood and overall health for that day, but for years after. The fact that poor nutrition eventually leads to chronic illness is apparently lost on a general public seemingly obsessed with Cheetos, frozen pizza, fast food, candy, and other assorted forms of junk food that, while they may taste good, are almost completely devoid of any redeeming nutritive value.

Imagine going through life repulsed by the taste and smell of the foods that, if you were able to eat and enjoy them, would do your body the most good. I know adults who have to literally force themselves to eat vegetables. Every spoonful goes down like vinegar, but they do it because their head eventually catches up with their taste buds and they KNOW they need their veggies. How sad!

Our family has a pretty basic philosophy on this – it’s up to US, the parents, to train the palates of each of our children. There might be an exception here and there, but children typically aren’t born preferring the taste of broccoli over corn chips or asparagus over a McDonald’s chicken McNugget (despite the fact that McNuggets actually contain very little ‘real’ chicken). Just as we don’t have to teach children to throw temper tantrums, disobey their parents, or be selfish, neither do we have to teach them to prefer what TASTES good over what is good FOR them. If given the leeway, they will make those choices perfectly well on their own, thank you very much. The question is, while we certainly should give children SOME input over what they eat, to what extent should this occur?

Sadly, many parents who wouldn’t dare allow their children to be disobedient or disrespectful are perfectly fine with allowing them to make poor food choices. To some degree, it’s understandable. We want our kids to smile and enjoy things too, and we even do, on occasion, allow them to indulge in ‘junk’ food. But when it becomes a lifestyle, something other than a ‘special treat,’ it can become a real problem. Parents who allow their children to develop a ‘taste’ for unhealthy foods to the detriment of healthy ones are doing them a tremendous disservice not only now, but later in life.

Instead, parents should be training their children’s palate. Think of the concept of ‘acquired taste.’ Sure, sometimes kids will love a certain vegetable from day one, but most of the time it takes many ‘tastes’ of a certain vegetable before the palate will adapt and ‘acquire’ that taste. Kids won’t want to take that first taste, nor the second, nor the third, and so on. It’s up to us, the parents, to make them. Call it what you want – we call it parenting. Our kids are required to eat ALL, yes every bit (unless there are extenuating circumstances) of whatever vegetable is on their plate.

We don’t overdo it, nor are we mean about it, but we do require it. Our kids know that if they are full they must have eaten their veggies. Guess what? All of our four children eat their veggies, almost every time. They don’t make them ‘gag.’ They don’t make them sick. Different kids prefer certain vegetables over others, but skipping out entirely is not an option, and even our two-year-old knows it.

Of course there are techniques to this that might vary from family to family, but the basic point is that parents should not only train their children in spiritual and moral values, they should train their children’s palates as well. Children can’t be trusted to drive a car, get a checking account, or hold a job, and they most CERTAINLY can’t be trusted to regularly choose what they want to eat. Taking the responsibility to train your child’s palate early in life will lead to a lifetime of healthy rewards!

Hello! We are Scott and Kim Morefield. We live in East Tennessee with our four small children (ages 7, 5, 4, and 2). We blog about parenting, marriage, nutrition & recipes, healthy lifestyle and homesteading at our brand-new site, A Morefield Life. Connect with us on Facebook to stay up to date!


Making a Mommy Basket October 29, 2012

As I’ve said before, I absolutely LOVE being pregnant. I feel wonderful in pregnancy, even when I’m vomiting. That sounds so strange but it’s true. I just really love the feeling of being pregnant and knowing that what is happening in me can only be described as a work of God. There’s no other way to comprehend or explain it. Something I love just a little less than being pregnant myself is having friends that are pregnant. I love being able to share in that moment with someone else and welcome their little one into the world. I thought it was just first time moms but no, it’s ALL moms. I love 1st time babies just as much as 3rd timers. Babies are just awesome. In the time leading up to the baby, there are some things I love to do for moms and I think we should all do something special for mommies. I wanted to share with you some gifts to get for the mommy-to-be. I don’t always get ALL of these items, but I always include a couple with each mommy gift.

Belly Butter- Be nice to momma. Momma loves a smooth belly and no stretch marks. You can buy numerous brands but I would try to go natural. I love finding stuff at Mom’s Milk Boutique. If you sign up for their mailing list, they usually send codes for free stuff and who doesn’t love free stuff? They specialize in more than just belly butter. They are very nursing mom and going natural mom friendly. You can find cloth diapers, cleaners, nursing bras, and more here. You can also watch baby steals and often times Earth Mama, Angel Baby is running half price. Woohoo for sale prices!

Therapearl Packs- I adore these things. I used these while I was nursing and weaning both. They can be frozen and they can be heated in the microwave. There is nothing like cold pads while you’re milk is coming in or while you’ve got sore nipples. There is nothing like a hot pad on your breasts while you are weaning and any time you may get mastitis or clogged ducts. They can also be used by moms that aren’t nursing. They are helpful at the beginning when you’re letting your milk dry up. They’d be great for hemorrhoids after child birth as well as that awful sore back you get. They will be great for your kids as they grow and get bumps and bruises. They don’t last forever so you will have to buy new ones eventually but I am still using mine for different things here and there.

Halo Sleep Sack– I love these things. We got our free one from the hospital and bought many more after we figured out how much we loved them. They sell them for pretty cheap at Bristol Regional but we found several at Wee Cycle It that we bought after having Emma. Sometimes you can even find them on clearance at Target. There are several other brands of sleep sacks, but the Halo brand is our personal favorite. They just work best for us and I like to get them for new mommies.

Nursing Supplies- If I know a mom is going to nurse, I buy her supplies for that especially if it’s her first time. There are so many things you need. The list could go on and on. You can get cover ups from many different places but my personal favorite is from udder covers. They have great cover ups and they’re affordable. If you know the momma is going to pump you can get things for that, too. Even if she’s pumped before she can use extra wipe cleaners, disposable breast pads for the beginning, and more. Something else that would be good is something with Red Raspberry Leaf in it, whether is be tea or capsule. It helps with natural milk production. I plan on buying this in bulk next time. I need as much help as I can get. You can get these from Vitacost for pretty cheap and they’re organic and all natural. You can sign up through my vitacost to get $10 off your first order.

Car Seat Cover & Carrier- the sister sites for Udder Covers often has car seat covers and baby slings for pretty affordable prices, too. Most all babies need a car seat cover and some mommies like to do slings. I loved it when Emma was a newborn. I could go into a store and this cover could help me carry her and keep her away from wandering hands. I can’t stand it when someone comes out from no where to grab and touch your baby. Seriously? Back the truck up.

Baby Attire- I love buying baby clothes. This is just the fashionista in me. I can’t help it. I have been able to find a lot of cute clothes on sale but my absolute favorite was a sweater I bought for Andy. Luckily Stacy loves Goodwill and doesn’t get offended by gifts from there. I was able to get him a Gymboree raccoon sweater. It was precious. If Emma was still small, I would have let her wear it once or twice first. Ha! Just joking…but seriously, I may have kept it. It was that cute. I can’t wait to see Andy in it for the very first time. It will melt my heart.

These are just some of the things I get for mommy’s as gifts. I think it’s such an important and exciting time for mommies and we need to pamper them as much as possible. They’re getting ready to do one of the most important things women were created to do. Celebrate and love them. After all, once that baby comes it’s no longer about them. Make it about them for as long as you can.

What do you do special for new mommies?


The Blessing of Gestational Diabetes October 26, 2012

When I first got diagnosed with gestational diabetes during my second pregnancy, I was more than disappointed. I felt as if pregnancy should be the one time in life I’d have the opportunity to indulge in a little sweets and not have to worry about weight gain because I was supposed to be gaining weight anyway, right?

And I suffered with a bit of guilt. Had I done something wrong to cause this? Was I not eating healthy enough? What if this condition would cause harm to my baby? What if it already had?

Like a mad woman, I googled every possible gestational diabetes scenario–from monster-sized babies that rip their mothers apart during the birthing process to serious illnesses that could threaten the baby’s life-long health.

But I finally had to come to a point where I trusted God and stood firm in my belief that He is sovereign. My midwife assured me that there was no way I could have prevented this because the condition is the result of hormonal changes during the pregnancy.

I resolved to follow a strict gestational diabetes diet (albeit with real, whole foods instead of the artificial sugar-free substitutes the hospital nutritionist advised me to use!) and exercise as often as possible.

The result was a happy, healthy pregnancy. My baby came on her due date, and I had my first natural birth. I could tell my body was prepped and ready for the marathon of labor.

And at 40 weeks gestation, she weighed a very normal, healthy 7 lbs., 13 oz. She had one slightly low blood sugar right after birth, but it quickly came up with a cup of donor breast milk from the hospital.

I can honestly say I am thankful that I had gestational diabetes, and I consider it a blessing!

If you’re facing a gestational diabetes diagnosis, here are my tips for keeping a positive attitude about it:

1. Don’t blame yourself!

You did not cause this diabetes. Diabetes risk factors include: family history, being overweight before pregnancy, over age 30 and a past case of gestational diabetes (source). The only risk factor I had was a strong family history of diabetes.

Even if you are overweight (the only risk factor you can somewhat control), do not beat yourself up and think you caused this! Thousands of overweight, unhealthy women birth babies every day–without gestational diabetes.

If you are trying to conceive, go ahead and try to be at an ideal weight now, but remember that God is sovereign! Succumbing to guilt will only stress you out, and it’s not good for pregnant mommies to be stressed either!

During my third pregnancy, I had 3 out of 4 risk factors working against me! I had the family history, I was over 30 and had a past case of gestational diabetes. BUT I didn’t get it this time around–and was honestly shocked!

2. Embrace the diet.

Now, I’m not saying embrace the fake, chemical-laden sugar-free substitutes out there. I’m saying embrace whole foods. In a nutshell, a diabetes diet should comprise a good mix of whole grains/carbs with protein and fat. I had to make sure I was eating a certain amount of carbs, protein and fat at EVERY single meal, and I had to eat at least 2 snacks per day. I’ve never kept up with my eating better at any other time in my life!

3. Just say NO to sugar!

Like I said above, well-meaning friends and, eh, even doctors and nurses will tell you you can eat just about anything as long as it’s sugar free. Just say no!

It’s only a few months, and you can do without sweets during those months! Remember: Those muffins, cookies, cupcakes, ice cream and every dessert imaginable will be waiting on you right after delivery! I literally did not eat any sweets during that time…and my body felt so great because of it!

4. Check your blood sugar regularly.

This will help both you and your care providers know you are on track. I never had to take insulin because my diabetes was so well maintained with the diet. But the only way I knew this was by checking my levels several times per day.

5. Exercise–

–especially if you give in and “cheat” by eating something you’re not supposed to (like pizza–it’s a big no-no!). The exercise helps maintain and bring your blood sugar levels down. I was so thankful that our neighborhood pool was open for 5 out of my 9 months, and I swam almost daily. I also did a prenatal salsa/yoga dvd. I felt great!

6. Know that taking care of yourself will help control the weight gain.

I gained in the 30-pound range during the pregnancy (which I know is still a lot for some women!), whereas I had gained 40 during my first pregnancy. I delivered my third-born 8 weeks ago, and even though I did not have diabetes this time around, I gained 50 pounds!

7. Remember: You are keeping you and your baby healthy.

Have you ever looked at a pregnancy “ailment”–like gestational diabetes–as a blessing?

Top Image by o5com

Erin Odom is a stay-at-home wife and mother to three little redheaded girls–born in 2008, 2010 and 2012. She loves practicing the semi-crunchy lifestyle from her small-space homestead in North Carolina. She’s a lover of Jesus, natural birthing, cloth diapers and {mostly} real food–albeit with an occasional trip to Chick-fil-A. Erin writes for her local newspaper, edits eBooks and blogs at The Humbled Homemaker–putting a biblical spin on natural living for far-from-perfect homemakers.


How a Home Birth Works October 25, 2012

The post for today comes from an amazing woman, Brandy. Some of you may know her from her blog, Young in the Mountains, and some of you may be meeting her today for the first time. Brandy just recently celebrated her first time being a doula after being influenced by her partners in her own home birth. She continues our series today on childbirth and shares with us how a home birth works. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!

I have two children–one born at the hospital and the other at home.  I can say there are two major differences between the experiences.  When you’re in transition at home, you want to go to the hospital and when you’re in transition at the hospital, you want to go home.  Also, you want home cooking in the hospital and someone else’s cooking at home.  Kidding aside, I’ll give you the real story of what it’s like to have a baby at home.

Home births are often low-risk ones.  While each midwife has varying risk levels that she is comfortable with, you have to be a healthy mama to have your baby at home.  It just makes good sense.  Therefore, a lot of prenatal care is concerned with eating well, exercising well, resting well, drinking lots of water and keeping tabs on your state of mind.  You have to really want a home birth to have one and it’s important to have all your ducks in a row leading up to one.

In a similar way that a mother might tour the maternity ward of a hospital to get a feel for how things are done, midwives come to your home at least once before the birth.  They need to know how to get there, of course.  Additionally, this is the time to sort out where various supplies will be placed, where a birth tub might go, to be sure you have everything you need, to plan where they might sleep if the labor is long.  It’s also a time to visit and enjoy guests in your home.

When labor begins, it’s time to start communicating with your midwife (or her apprentice or doula).  That way, they’re not off on a rafting trip when you’re having your baby.  After a time, perhaps when your contractions are becoming hard to handle, they’ll come over and see how things are going.  This might involve an internal examination or it might just be watching you work through a few contractions.    Your vitals will be checked regularly from here on out.  Perhaps, you’ll take some walks together to get things moving or fill up the pool to get some relief.

When it’s time for transition, that crazy netherworld between labor and birth,  that’s where the midwives shine.  They help to keep you grounded, encouraged and calmed.  It’s a heavy time, where you feel you might die (or want to go to the hospital for that epidural), and you shouldn’t have to do it alone.  During this time, when nothing feels comfortable, they’ll help to keep you focused on your work and remind you of the wonderful reward at the end.

One of the best things about home birth, besides getting to be in your own bed when it’s over, is that you get to push in a variety of positions.  You can stand, squat, sit on a birth stool, try hands and knees,  do it in a pool, or on your bed.  There are no stirrups and you don’t have to be flat on your back.  As long as all is well, it’s up to you.  They will use the Doppler to check your baby very often and a flashlight, if needed, to gauge your progress.

Once the baby has met your arms and you’ve been checked over, the midwives aid in clean-up.  Laundry is started, the trash is taken out, and a meal is cooked for you.  My midwives made me eggs and fed me yogurt when my son was born.   They stayed with my children while we took a trip to the doctor and get everything back in order for me.  It was wonderful.  In the days following the birth, they’ll come to your home and check on you both several times.  They offer breastfeeding advice, support as you sort out your emotions, and instructions on baby and self care.

I’ve had babies both ways and I see the merit in both.  Each pregnancy is different and so we take it one at a time.  I have tremendous faith in my midwives, the same as I would with a doctor, because they have helped me through the hardest work of my life.  I trust them to have my interests at the center of their work.  It has been a blessed experience.

Brandy spends her days watching the skies and tending her children on her little homestead in town.  She lists “sticking it to the man” as one of her favorite hobbies and is not above putting a frozen pizza in the oven when the day calls for it.  Together, her family hikes, creates, learns and grows.


A Tale of Two Births, Part Two: A Natural Hospital Birth October 24, 2012

Today’s post is from one of my best friends, Stacy, of Stacy Makes Cents. Stacy is such an awesome woman and I hope you enjoy her guest post as I enjoy her in general! She will continue in our series of childbirth and share the differences between a medicated and natural birth. After all, she’s done both and can give us great advice on each option! Be sure to check out yesterday’s post if you missed Part 1!

Andrew James Myers

My second child, Andrew, began his appearance in much the same way as my first – my water broke. Except this time, I was out of town. A quick trip home was necessary and then I began my labor at home. Contractions were mild, so at the advice of my doula, I began to use a breast pump to increase my contractions – and BOY DID THAT WORK!

I labored at home as long as I could. I knew that going to the hospital too early would result in pitocin since my water had already broken. I wanted to make sure I was well progressed before I arrived. After several hours at home, we (Barry, myself, and my doula) went to the hospital. The most ironic part of the whole thing was that upon arrival, I was given a TEST to make sure I was in labor…I thought my groans and hollers would have alerted them to that fact (also, they charged me $190 for that test!!! I’m still unhappy about that).

Laboring at Home

I used a lot of coping methods to help me get through my contractions – leaning, groaning, squatting (not my favorite), bouncing on the birthing ball, relaxing in the shower, and laying over the bed. I kept wishing there was a labor pool close by. 😉

When it was time to push, they adjusted the bed so I could push in a sitting position – which is MUCH better than lying down. I pushed for almost two hours, but I got nice breaks in between – I was even able to catch a few winks (I was exhausted). I will never forget the feeling of pushing my child out…something I did not get to experience with Annie. Having the control to push and feeling that child slide out is the most amazing feeling in the whole world…and the burning Ring of Fire doesn’t last too long. 😉

Holding Andrew

They laid him on my chest before they even cut the cord. It was AWESOME! I was able to breastfeed then as well. It was how birth was meant to be for me.   I shook like crazy so the nurses covered me up with warm blankets – hormones cause weird things to happen…but the high of birth I experienced was worth every minute.

A natural birth was harder, but it made me feel more like a grown woman. I knew I had done the job I was created to do. I had wonderful support and the hospital staff was fabulous!

I am so thankful for both of my babies – my healthy babies…but I have decided that for me, natural is the way to go.

There is power that comes to women when they give birth. They don’t ask for it, it simply invades them. Accumulates like clouds on the horizon and passes through, carrying the child with it. ~ Sheryl Feldman

Mommy and Andy

Pros of Natural Childbirth:

Less risk of “complications” resulting from drug usage

-Mom is “present” and an active participant in her labor

-An easier recovery time

-Ability to move around during labor

-Ability to try different positions (like the shower) for pain relief

-Experiencing of the “euphoria” of natural birth

-It’s cheaper

Cons of Natural Childbirth:

-It’s painful

-You cannot “schedule” your baby’s arrival – you wait

-You must plan more in advance and spend time studying coping methods

-If labor is long, you end up being exhausted. Not coping well with contractions may lead to a need for medication in order to get rest – so you can push.

-It may be hard to find a “natural” friendly hospital if you do not want to birth at home

An undisturbed birth will help you be the mother that your baby needs you to be.  ~Unknown

Stacy is a stay-at-home mom to her two children, Annie (3) and Andy (newborn). After an “awakening” in March 2011, her family switched to a more natural, whole foods diet. She likes to blog about how to live on less than you make and how to eat good food while doing it. Her passion is teaching others how to save money and she tag teams with her husband in this endeavor. At Stacy Makes Cents you’ll find information on how to save money in the kitchen, how to have fun with your kids, and how to be thrifty in all areas of life. Her passion is teaching others how to live debt free. Make sure to follow her on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/stacymakescents) and Twitter(https://twitter.com/stacymakescents) to keep up with her daily antics.


A Tale of Two Births, Part 1: A Medicated Hospital Birth October 23, 2012

Today’s post is from one of my best friends, Stacy, of Stacy Makes Cents. Stacy is such an awesome woman and I hope you enjoy her guest post as I enjoy her in general! She will continue in our series of childbirth and share the differences between a medicated and natural birth. After all, she’s done both and can give us great advice on each option! Join us back tomorrow as she shares Part 2!

Holding Annie

I have two children: Annie (3) and Andrew (8/26/12). They each arrived in this world very differently, but I learned a lot about myself and the medical profession with each of them. I’ll tell you a little bit about each birth and then give the pros and cons for medicated versus un-medicated births.

“Birth is not only about making babies. It’s about making mothers: strong, competent, capable mothers who trust themselves and believe in their inner strength.” ~Barbara Katz Rothman

My first child, Annie, came after 16 hours of labor…but I was medicated the entire time. It started at 7am when my water broke during my morning walk. No contractions immediately followed, and after a visit at the OB, I went to the hospital at their direction. Hospital policy is that a mother has 24 hours after her water breaks before a baby must be on the scene (they’re trying to avoid lawsuits if something should go wrong), so if your water breaks before your contractions start and you immediately head for the hospital, they are going to put you on pitocin to get your contractions started.

Contractions with pitocin are HARD to handle. They’re un-natural and come with force. It’s a chain of events: get pitocin and then get an epidural to handle the pitocin contractions.

Hooked Up

I did not prepare myself for the birth of my first child. I spent all my time reading books about what happened AFTER she got here…so, I wasn’t prepared to answer questions or ask my own questions about what was happening to me.

I felt like I was hooked up to every machine in the world, but everything went just fine (even with a few hints at needing a c-section if I didn’t start to progress) and Annie came out kicking. J It was only later that I found out that I did not indeed need pitocin so early – I could have waited to see if contractions would have started on their own. I declared then that I would be ready the next time around.

I was treated well, but I was treated like I didn’t know anything – and I didn’t! Always go into birth prepared and knowledgeable…always.

Never underestimate the power and determination of a pregnant woman who is told she cannot~Desirre Andrews

Mommy and Annie

Pros of Medicated Childbirth:

-Mostly pain free

-Monitored very closely to ensure safety of mother and child

-Since you feel no pain, some mothers report they enjoyed the birth more

-Medication helps ease some anxiety

-If a mother is nervous and tense, medication helps her loosen up and get ready for pushing

-Not exhausted before time to push

-Able to rest when needed

-More likely to be able to accept visitors during labor

Cons of Medicated Childbirth:

-Some medication has the possibility of being harmful to the baby and mother

-The mother is “hands off” and things are handled by the doctor

-You’re not able to move around – you’re strapped to the bed with monitors

-Mothers with pitocin are more likely to end up with a c-section

-Some mothers report a longer time to recuperate after the birth

-Epidurals are reported to cause pushing time to be longer

-Medication can cause babies to be sluggish after birth

-Epidurals can mess with a mother’s blood pressure, causing a medical emergency

-Some mothers end up with a “spinal headache” that can last for weeks

AnnaLeigh Joy Myers

Even though I was not 100% pleased with my first birth, I was happy to have a healthy child. I was glad that I was so well taken care of and that the staff was concerned with my safety.

After this birth, I was determined that my second child would be born naturally. Come back tomorrow and I’ll give you a look into how that went and the pros and cons of a natural birth.

Stacy is a stay-at-home mom to her two children, Annie (3) and Andy (newborn). After an “awakening” in March 2011, her family switched to a more natural, whole foods diet. She likes to blog about how to live on less than you make and how to eat good food while doing it. Her passion is teaching others how to save money and she tag teams with her husband in this endeavor. At Stacy Makes Cents you’ll find information on how to save money in the kitchen, how to have fun with your kids, and how to be thrifty in all areas of life. Her passion is teaching others how to live debt free. Make sure to follow her on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/stacymakescents) and Twitter(https://twitter.com/stacymakescents) to keep up with her daily antics.