Wednesday, March 21, 2012

oh my

blog be saved!!!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

A New Leaf

So I am still unwell most of the time, and I am tired tired tired of it. Starting tomorrow I am on a 30 day quest to total wellness. All my extra energy is going in that direction. We are taking a two month hiatus actually, but the first month is totally focusing on getting me better and functioning.

See you in May a totally new Clair!

Here are my personal goals for March:
-get to the gym or exercise at home 5 days a week
-stay on our 97% whole foods diet
-lose 10-20 pounds:)
-Start sleeping better
-get to the park and outside during the week
-get up and to bed earlier
-get more relaxed!!! DECREASE THE STRESS!!!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Interesting Books

I have not posted on here FOREVER! SO I thought I would quickly post a few AWESOME books I have read lately that lend themselves to the Naturally Healthy lifestyle.

MADE FROM SCRATCH-getting into homesteading
Jenna Woginrich

A really cute book, and really inspirational. It is about a 26 year old gal who decides to take up her life and start homesteading part time. I think this is so admirable! George Bernard Shaw said,'Life is not about finding yourself, it is about creating yourself.' She absolutely is doing that.

THE CHINA STUDY-study in nutrition
T.Colin Cambell and Thomas M. Cambell

Holy cow, what a crazy book. I have not completely formed my opinion on it yet(I am only part way through the book). I do agree with a whole foods diet, and limiting meat and dairy. I gotta finish the book for a full opinion though.

SLEEPING NAKED IS GREEN-making green choices in your life
Vanessa Farquharson

I loved the concept of this book. This gal decides to make a new "green" choice everyday for a year. Pretty interesting.

THROW OUT FIFTY THINGS-Organizing your home and life
Gail Blanke

I LOVE organizing and getting things in order in my home and in myself. This is AN AWESOME BOOK. Very motivating and liberating.

I have also read HICKORY DICKORY DEATH by Agatha Christie, MY LIFE IN FRANCE by Julia Child, CONTENTMENT by Maria Covey Cole, and some other books. It is really important to read a wide variety of ideas and books. I find I get a bit unbalanced if I only read one type of literature for too long. Especially about nutrition. Don't get burned out, read fun stuff and interesting stuff.:)

Cheers and happy reading!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Alice's Birth Story

A few weeks ago we detected an arrhythmia in Alice's heartbeat. It wasn't anything intense, but it warranted enough of a worry for her mother that she decided that she wanted to do some natural induction this last Saturday after finding that she was 3cm dilated, 70% effaced and at a zero station. So at about 11am on Saturday morning I had my midwife April do some cervical massage to see if we could get this labor going. A few hours later I started feeling the beginnings of labor. I knew intense labor was still hours away and tried to keep busy by finishing my special friendship post partum nesting quilt I had designed. I knew I wanted this quilt done before Alice came so I was in a hurry to finish it. I figured that this labor would progress similar to Denny's so I thought we would be having this baby around 8 or 9 pm. With contractions coming regularly I finally finished the quilt and was ready to start timing contractions to get a reference for how I was progressing. They were consistently about 25-35 seconds long, happening every other minute. I thought for sure I would be feeling harder contractions by then so I had my midwife come over and check me. I was 4cm dilated and 90% effaced. A bit discouraging, but I knew effacement was more telling than dilation(I went from a 5-10 in one hour with Denny). April told me and BJ to go for a long walk and then see how things started to feel. So we left my Mum and the kids at home and started our long walk. As soon as it was me and BJ alone on our walk labor started to pick up.(I really believe me and BJ's mental/emotional connection in labor effects how I progress. Every time we start to be in two different places-like BJ in the kitchen making food, me in the living room laboring alone, it seems my labor starts to slow down a bit, or not progress, but as soon as we are together again in every sense, it picks up. I feel that his support is different than my midwife supporting me or my doula. It is my favorite thing about laboring, the connection that me and BJ get to experience in such a unique way.)

We had to stop at a friend's house to go to the bathroom(thank you Sara!) and then we were back home. I was definitely feeling stronger contractions by then and was ready for my Mum and kids to visit a friend(Thank you Annjilla!) and for me to get in the birth pool(which of course wasn't set up yet because I didn't want the kids playing in it.) By now it was about 9pm and I decided to stop watching the clock because obviously labor was going to be longer than expected.:) It took FOREVER to get the pool set up it felt, but I spent the time swaying my hips back and forth. I especially like to lean over something and sway. Like I would lean over the side of the couch and sway my hips, or put my head on the seat of our cushy swivel chair and sway back and forth on my knees. It felt really good to have my belly hanging parallel to the floor. Alice was very low the whole time. We had my fabulous doula Sherry come about then. I labored in and out of the pool. I felt like I wanted things very quiet and calm. I felt bad that my birth seemed to me kind of boring for everyone else in the room because I was so focused inward. BJ says I apologized like infinity times about it. I just really wanted to be quiet and listen to my body. It is really hard to explain what I was feeling. It is an extremely amazing experience to be so in tune with what your physical body needs and is telling you. To move how it asks you to move. To get up or down. To get water or ice or something to eat. So often, as women we turn our bodies over to someone else to get our babies out of our bodies, when really we need to turn inward and just listen and our bodies tell us exactly what to do. It is an amazing thing.

So I kept laboring but I didn't feel like I was progressing. It was getting to be around 11pm so we had my Mum and the kids come back home. Jane got in the tub with me which was fun.:) It was a little bonding experience:). But I was glad when she got out and I could feel like I could labor again. While she was in the pool I didn't feel as at liberty to move and sway like I felt I needed to. The kids finally were getting to bed, and I had a little melt down. I remember talking to Sherry and feeling upset that I didn't feel like I was progressing and just telling her everything I was afraid of. It was a really important part of my labor because after I released those emotions I could start to progress again. BJ had the kids down and was by my side from then on. I was worried the kids would wake up and need him, but that never happened(THANK YOU HEAVENLY FATHER!). I was a little worried about my Mum being there while I was laboring because you get pretty dang naked at a home birth, but that ended up being fine. April was there by then, and with BJ I started to progress more.

They say with a birth tub it is nice because it becomes a sort of private sanctuary. Your husband might get in with you, but besides that no one else enters that space. It is your space, and a lot of women tell me that is a huge part of their labor. For me the tub was wonderful, but where I felt the most alone with BJ and with myself was in our bathroom. I could shut the door and really focus on what was going on. It is a small space and when BJ would be in there with me I felt like I could talk to him and tell him whatever(my deepest fears at that point in labor, or just that I hurt, or to ask him for a priesthood blessing, or whatever) and I didn't have to worry about anyone else hearing me. Labor can make you feel extremely vulnerable, and I liked that I could talk to my BJ in a safe and secure place.

So after awhile I sort of started feeling the urge to push. It felt weird though. Like I couldn't push where I needed to. When I would push it felt like all the pressure was in the front of my vagina instead of where the cervix opening was. I would push and it didn't feel wonderful like it did when it came time to push Denny out. I also still couldn't imagine what position I wanted to push Alice out in. With Denny I was sitting on the ground leaning back on BJ. With Alice I had no idea. Nothing was feeling right. After some painful contractions and confusing pushing I realized that my body wanted to get back in the tub. I was loathe to do so since I knew that the water was not hot anymore, and I get cold and go into shock kind of easy. But my body was CLEARLY telling me that to push this baby out I needed to get in the tub. So I crawled over and in with the help of I think Sherry and BJ? I can't remember. I moved around in there trying to find a comfortable position to push, something felt off. April checked me again and a lip of my cervix still was in the way. She tried moving it out of the way while I pushed, and that felt HORRIBLE. It was so painful that I let out a really loud scream(pretty much the only really loud one I did for that labor-I did make noise, especially at the end, but nothing like that painful "You need to stop doing that now!":). Sherry was exactly what I needed as a doula and kept telling me to move into a specific position. After a few position changes I could tell this was it. I ended up kind of half crouching, half leaning over the side of the pool, half kneeling(how many halves is that?:), with BJ squishing my hips together pretty much the whole time. After some serious pushing, I could feel her coming down. I couldn't see what was happening. From what I felt, it felt like she was made out of a million more bumps and corners than a baby needed. It felt like I had pushed her head all the way out two or three times, and that she felt a bit stuck at various times of her body coming out. I remember as I was pushing the head out it hurt so much that I stood up and everyone was telling me to get back in the water(with a water birth, the reason a baby can stay under water safely for so long is because they don't take a breath until they feel that temperature change coming out of the water). What was actually going on and why pushing felt so weird and confusing was(this is a bit gross, but how it happened, sorry) there was a huge bowel movement in the way not letting the baby come out. If I had been in the hospital I am not sure what would have happened. I probably would have had an epidural and then moving into a position my body needed would have been out. I probably would have been pushing for a LONG LONG time, and the dreaded C word would have maybe come up after too long of pushing. I remember trying to lean back and push at home, and it was not happening, so I can;t imagine trying to push Alice out on my back at the hospital. Movement was KEY. I also would have torn. I know I would have torn if I hadn't been in the tub, this time pushing hurt millions(not like with Denny or Jane at all). I was completely shocked when April checked me after the labor with Alice and I hadn't torn at all.

So anyways, Alice was out and I got to pick her up out of the water and hold her fast to me(3:45am). She was so peaceful! Her eyes were wide open and she was breathing pretty good. She needed a tiny bit of encouragement to breathe really well, but that was quickly remedied with a few puffs from the oxygen tank April had for that sort of thing. BJ was holding the both of us in the tub, and it was just lovely. It felt SO good to have my girl out! I felt like a completely different woman!:)

After my cord stopped pulsating, BJ cut it, and got out of the tub with Alice. I waited a little while for the placenta to be delivered, but it was not feeling like it wanted to do that in the tub. So I was helped into my shower and like a minute later the placenta was delivered, and I was free to shower and can I tell you that was one of my favorite parts! I got into some comfy pj's and into my own comfy bed with Alice while BJ showered and got clean. Alice started to nurse right away(which was a huge blessing, I am not the most talented nurser:). April, Sherry, BJ, my Mum, Alice and me were all in my bedroom as Alice was weighed and checked out. Her arrhythmia was completely gone! Yay! We all got "birth"day presents, and then it was time to go to bed.:) Before Sherry and April left they must have emptied the pool and cleaned up a bit. BJ finished taking down the pool the next morning. People think there is such a mess to clean up if you labor at home, but the midwife is usually pretty discreet I think , and I have never been left with a mess.

It was a long but amazing birth. And I would definitely do it again. With the arrhythmia, even though it was gone, I am sure they would have taken my daughter away for way longer than necessary, just to cover their own butts legally. Sherry and April and my Mum and BJ were perfect supports for me. I knew this was going to be an emotional labor, and I knew I was going to need the support they were perfect at giving. I got to experience that wonderful and unique connection with BJ again, and I got to experience that amazing connection with my own body. Getting into the birth tub at the end was definitely my body's idea, and it turned out to be soooooo necessary. After birth it usually hurts so bad to go to the bathroom, but I didn't experience any of that, and I know that was because I gave birth in the water too.

Anyways, I am NOT a good story teller, and my English and grammar skills are AWFUL, but here is Alice's birth story as best as I can tell it.

In the pool with Momma:)

In comes the Daddy

Our Fabulous Doula and Friend Sherry

Our Midwife is on Fire!

April Kermani CPM

The tired and amazing trooper..My Beautiful Mum:)

My Darling Littlest One

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

SO pregnant:)

Sorry we slacked off on this blog. We are in the last few weeks of my pregnancy and that is taking ALL our energy(well, the toddlers are helping with that too;).

I want to post a really good long post with lots of pix, but today you will have to settle with two really awesome and important articles on c-sections in America. Being currently pregnant this is an issue that deeply concerns me. NV has a 40% c-section average, and the rest of the country is atleast at 30% if not more. There has to be a reason why a huge majority of women can't birth their babies without medical aid. Something is very wrong, and I don't think it is the women.,0,7665456.story

Please read these. This affects everyone. It is really important.

PS.Having experienced a natural homebirth with my son, I have to add this AWESOME blog post about birth not being a scary thing. It is a hospital birth story. READ IT! It is really good.:)

Monday, May 18, 2009

FINALLY! Some sense from accross the pond.

On our family blog I posted about how appalling it is that no one has suggested nutrition or personal hygiene to prevent catching the swine flu.
It took an article from accross the pond to finally get the beginnings of sense.;_ylt=AsR0awAgZudwYe4i85zLEk7gcbYF


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Herbs and Farm Envy:)

So today I sorted my collection of herbs. I am a herbalist in training with the Dr.Christopher School of Natural Healing and I LOVE IT! I have a million herb books, which I cross reference constantly. With the super overcrowded doctors' offices and hospitals I LOVE having the ability and knowledge and training to treat a lot of the simple things myself when my family is ill (IE: colds, flu, allergies, fevers, ear infections, etc.). It is really empowering too when I go the doctor with my kids and can speak intelligently(well, for me) with the Dr. It also helps me avoid unnecessary drugs that doctors sometimes prescribe as a matter of habit (to cover their tushes mostly in case your child gets sicker:).

Anyways, just for your growing curiosity, here is a current list of most of the herbs I own and use in my household and some of the things I use them for.:)

(PS. I must add that I am not advising anyone medically. Read with judgement and prudence.:)


Yellow Dock-super source of iron, especially after labor
Valerian-AWESOME nervine- I suffer from super chronic insomnia
Turkey Rhubarb

Leaves(stems, flowers too):

Blessed Thistle-helps with milk supply
Red Raspberry-IT WOULD TAKE A PARAGRAPH TO TELL YOU EVERYTHING GOOD ABOUT THIS HERB! Strengthens all productive organs(male and female), excellent source of vitamins and minerals, expels mucus stored in the body, etc. LOVE IT!
Horsetail-super source of silica, which helps your body use and absorb calcium
Peppermint-yummy flavoring, also aids digestion
Skullcap-another superb nervine to help me calm down and sleep
Mullein-we use this one all the time for congestion, safe to use when pregnant and really does the job to expel mucus and help you breathe
Oatstraw-excellent source of calcium, my kids love it(I do too, it smells like a farm and I like that.:) Weird I know:)
Nettles-lots of iron, just a really great tonic herb
Comfrey-called the "bone knitter", we use the leaves internally in teas for building up bones and tissue.(Roots are recommended for external use only)
Spearmint-flavorful and kids tend to like it better than peppermint
Catnip-famous children herb, but good for lots of things. Digestion, teething, colic, calcium, etc.
Eyebright-eyewash, strengthens eyesight, rebuilds eye tissue.
Yarrow-EXCELLENT herb, said to be the one herb to help survive the flu plagues in the last days(sound like something we need now?:).


Slippery Elm Bark-great gruel for ill children who need something nutritious. I also use this in a few recipes I have for different things.
Chaste Berry
Barley Grass-I put a bit of this in my smoothies for extra vitamins and minerals
Ginger Root

I also have some herbs growing in my garden:

Lemon Basil
Greek Oregano
Italian Oregano
English Thyme
French Thyme
Lemon Thyme
Lemon Balm
Bee Balm
Sweet Marjoram
Two types of Lavender
Italian Parsley
St. John's Wort
Sweet Basil
Aloe Vera
Dandelions(excellent source of iron and minerals and vitamins you know:)

I am such a beginning gardener and have planted everything right on top of each other practically. I did space them out knowing they would grow, and I tried to put them in places according to what the little tags said as far as how tall they will grow, but I am afraid my garden is mostly a happy jumble.:)

I cut a whole bunch of herbs today to dry. I am so excited to use them in cooking, and teas, and herbal dream pillows!

We also are growing some vegetables in an effort to be more happy with what we put in our bodies(and we just really love gardening-this is where the FARM ENVY comes in.:) What with GMO foods, and chemicals, and pesticides, etc...lets just say I feel happier knowing what exactly is going in my family's bodies. I got to tell you too, food you grow yourself tastes MILLIONS better than food from the store. The cucumbers we harvested last year were AMAZING! It was so wonderful to not have a super thick coat of wax on them to uh....savor with their yummy crunchiness.:)

Here are the vegetables in our garden this year:
Cucumbers(two types)
Swiss Chard
Lemons AND GRAPES!(which aren't technically vegetables, but they grow in our garden too!:)

Not a huge amount of food, but our backyard is very small, and we are trying not to do too much since I am pregnant this year.:)

BJ and I both want to keep expanding our garden every year until we have at least an acre or two to farm on.:)(obviously we are going to have to move for that to happen, but all in good time dude! It is in the plans.:) We love the idea of growing as much of our own food as we can. I have had so much fun wandering around the blog world looking at people's farms, and how they are making naturally healthy changes in their lives too. Sometimes I feel very alone in my beliefs about herbs and what constitutes healthy wholesome food. It is hard talking to people about why I choose home birth and other natural medical options. The blog world has opened up new opportunities for making friends who feel the same as I do all over the world! I have found blogs where people have shared adventures in moving to Japan to learn organic gardening, and different degrees of living sustainably. I love reading the blogs by farm mothers who are taking the challenge to raise their children in a more sustainable and naturally healthy way. I love reading their adventures with learning how to raise chickens(it is appalling what constitutes a store bought egg-it can be up to eight months old for instance-ew.), and other farm animals. Their was one farmin' momma who seems to have been anti-farm animals, and then someone told the animal humane society that she was sympathetic to animals and ended up with a camel, among other animals.:) John Dunne is famous for saying, "No man is an island." I have thought about that a lot lately as I consider the impact I do or do not make on the world, and those around me. I am so grateful to have this medium of blogging to hear others voices sharing my same beliefs in a way I fail to communicate.

If you are interested in some of the AWESOME blogs I have been finding covering all sorts of topics(mostly sustainable farming:) here are some of my favorites: This farm's story is really awesome I love this website because the author is so personable. She responds to all the replies to her posts. This blog is awesome and gets me excited about going Non GMO
This blog has some really cute ideas of how to get your kids involved in the garden This guy has written a really beautiful article called FOOD FREEDOM, I really recommend reading it, you go down on his blog a bit to find it in the May 7th post.

Ok, so like all those blogs are about gardening to some extent. I guess that is where my thoughts have been this weekend. I want my piece of land where I can grow all my own food and have a beautiful orchard, and ginormous u-pick herb garden for the public. I want my cashmere goats and horses and Southdown Babydoll sheep. I love heirloom veggies and heirloom chickens. I just love being outside and working in the dirt. I have had a passion for gardening since I was really young. My Mum can tell you all about how I would pour over seed catalogs as a ten year old and order all sorts of things, from butterfly bushes to sunflower seeds. I was always begging for more space to garden.:)

Well, that is enough garden chat from me. I have found I blather on quite a bit in my passion and have really loved reading other people's blogs who write much more prolifically than myself. There is a lot of beautiful writing talent out there in the world! Thank you all for sharing!
Have a healthy week!

PS.I am so sad, my pix are having trouble downloading today-boo. So pix with the next post, I promise.