Friday, November 18, 2011

Cold and Flu season is here!

(Above is my mom meticulously measuring out her tinctures to make herbal medicine. I learned what I know from her and always noticed how happy she was when she was putting her concoctions together.)

Here we go! We are already in the thick of it, germs that is! Silas was born just about three weeks ago and this week poor little Serafin came down with Croup! Ugh. Not fun. Fingers crossed the little one doesn't get it.

Anyway, this unlucky turn of events has inspired me to write a blog entry, perhaps just to vent a bit or remind myself that there is stuff that I can do! In this house we do our best to stick with old school remedies that promote good immune health and healing. I have so many herbs in my kitchen, but these are our staples and the easier things to find for those that don't really want to go looking to hard, . . .

Echinacea Tincture (both children's and adult): Helps boost immune system
Elderberry Tincture, (or dried Elderberry Berries which make a nice tea if you add honey) another immune booster and is filled with Vitamin C
Meadowsweet Tincture: For headaches

Chamomile: Great for settling the stomach as well as helping you sleep
Cat Nip: Not just for your cats! An excellent stress reliever as well as sleep aid
Lemon Balm: Another stress reliever, this one doesn't make you sleepy though.
Mullen: lines the bronchial tubes during a dry cough
Nettles: A nourishing source of iron and calcium, also a diuretic.

Olbas Oil: Helps loosen cough
Arnica Oil: Great for bruises
Lavender Oil: Helps relax, reduce stress and relieves headaches
St. John's Wort: Wonderful for releasing tight muscles or reducing nerve pain.
Tea Tree Oil: Good for disinfecting nasty cuts, also treats vaginal infections, such as yeast or BV

Lemons: good for Vitamin C, mixed with Manuka honey
Manuka Honey: Used to treat many ailments and is a very high quality raw honey
Homeopathic Meds for cold and flu: various, mostly for the little ones

Book Recommendation, . . .

I also have to plug a book of which I consider a natural parenting bible, Naturally Healthy Babies and Children written by herbalist and midwife Aviva Jill Romm. It has a wide variety of suggestions for many common childhood ailments. Of course I wouldn't trust just anybody, but my Mom was an avid follower of this woman and her books, she would always rave about her and at one point even met her in the herbalist community. So if my mom gave her the thumbs up, I do to.

You can check out her other books here. Her book on pregnancy got me through my nine months of gestation with both kids and I do recommend her her book on Vaccinations; her thoughts are honest, always backed up with clinical research, and resinate with my inclination to be aware and cautious when deciding to administer vaccinations.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Silas' Birth in all it's glory!

Silas Mikel Dorrington: Born October 30th, 11:19 AM, 7 lbs, 11 oz

I woke up around midnight on my due date. I had gone to bed early that night, I knew labor was coming soon. My body was tired of being pregnant and I had aches and pains everywhere. The surges woke me up, they were not the practice surges that I had been experiencing for the last few weeks, they were a stronger, lower wave that made my body sing.

I looked at the clock, I watched them come and go for about an hour. "Give it an hour" my midwife had said, "then call me". Yup, it was definitely labor. I went upstairs to tell Gary, I was excited. "Are you sure?" he said. During the next surge, the upright position I was in made it a stronger one. "Uh huh!"

I called our midwife, Ellen, it was a little after one in the morning. "Good morning!" I said to her, "It's starting, and I just wanted to keep you updated." She advised me to try and get some rest, start filling the tub and that she would see me soon. Gary and I went downstairs, he made the birthing bed and started filling up the tub. We both laid in bed while the tub was filling up. I was breathing through the surges. They weren't that strong yet, but I did remember thinking, "How the heck am I going to do this again! Here we go!"

I was listening to the water filling up the tub, then Gary started snoring, I was obsessing over every little sound, I needed to be alone and get into the zone. I took a candle with me up to our spare bedroom. I called my friend Mel who was going to be at the birth, told her it was going to be soon. I was emotional, I was missing my mom.

When I got off the phone with her I closed my eyes and drifted in and out of sleep, my surges building in strength and my body getting ready to birth. I remember letting go and just thinking of them as energy. It helped me relax and let the surge move through my body. Gary buzzed up at some point to let me know the tub was ready, I felt better knowing that everything was in place. I breathed through the surges. I moaned through some. I just laid in bed on my side and let my body do what it was mean tot do. It was amazing.

Around 7:00 I went back to our bedroom. The surges were getting stronger. I had been drinking a ton of fluid so I was going to the bathroom a lot. Every time I would stand up, Silas' head would push down and my surges would get stronger. I called Ellen again around 8. "Their getting stronger, but I just don't know when it will be. I will keep you posted." She asked me what I was doing. I told her just laying on my side. She asked me if I had tried the tub and I told her I really didn't feel like moving much. She said a good indicator would be when I felt like getting up and moving around or getting in the tub. She was right. An hour later I was ready to move.

I called my friend Mel, I still thought the birth was going to be a while, I told her to bring a book and we could hang out, she was on her way over. I got into the tub. Labor intensified. The tub really got things moving. The water felt wonderful, the weightlessness. I had Gary call Ellen again, she was going to head over. Before Ellen and the other midwives, Jamie and Hannah, arrived I told Gary I wanted some family time. He went and got Serafin and brought her into our bedroom. Of course she wanted to get into the water. He stripped off her clothes and plopped her in. I continued to labor and she played around me. Gary showed her how to poor water on my back while I had surges. I felt so close to my family.

Out of nowhere, something in me unleashed, I began to wail for my mom. I heard my voice, it felt like an ancient wail, such a primitive sound coming from inside me, not a cry, not a sob, a wail. I had never wailed like that. I had been holding it in, afraid to let it out, afraid to feel it. I missed my mom so much. I knew I had to feel it, I knew that feeling it would allow me to open up and release into birth. I don't know how long I wailed for, but I knew that at some point I started to come out of it. I was back to being with my surges and family again.

I started to get too hot, so I got out and layed on my side. Ellen arrived. "I think this is it." I said to her. "I hope he comes soon". I added as I moaned through a surge. "You look like a woman in labor to me!" said Ellen. "I hope it's today" I added. "Oh, I think it's going to be today." Replied Ellen. It was 10:00ish. Hannah arrived. They were bringing in equipment. From then on it becomes a bit of a blur.

I got back into the tub. I began moaning. I remember sensations. I was so in my body. They had put a cold wash cloth on the edge of the tub which I couldn't pull my head away from, it felt so good. I remember them checking the babies heart rate. I remember them prompting me and telling me how good I was doing. At this point Gary was upstairs with Serafin, he was coming down and checking on me on and off. I could hear Serafin jumping around on the floor above us. I moaned. I was in laborland.

I remember Jamie arriving and then Mel. I remember feeling Mel's hands on my head, massaging my scalp. I remember Hannah saying "breath him down". Then I felt the bodies natural urge to push. "Let your body do the work, go with your body" Ellen told me. My body was doing it. The next surge was here, I was toning, I remember hearing Jamie toning with me. A deep, loud "Om" is what it sounded like. Jamie's voice was music to my ears. Somehow, her toning with me made me feel like I was not alone. Like she was right there with me, laboring along side with me. I felt like I had angels around me.

I remember Ellen saying, "I think it might be time to get your Dad here". He was supposed to take care of Serafin. I actually had to think about it for a minute, I still thought it was going to be a while (don't ask me why!), then I agreed. Gary came downstairs, I could hear him on the phone with my Dad, a surge was coming, "ooooooooooooooooooooooooooo" I heard my voice say, I felt my body bare down and then suddenly felt Silas' head crowning. "Get off the phone!" I shouted to Gary. "His head is coming!" More moaning.

My clit felt like it was going to tear in half. I felt myself tensing. My midwives suggested either I or they put pressure on the area. I reached down and literally pushed down on my sons head, away from my clitoris. Relief. Another surge. His head came out. More relief. He was here! I couldn't believe it. Jamie reached down and got him from the water. Silas was born in the caul, which means he was born in his water sac. This is said to be good luck. Jamie pulled the membrane off his head. "I'm glad that's over!" I remember saying.

Somehow we got situated in the water and they gave me Silas, he was crying that beautiful newborn cry. Gary brought Serafin in and I felt surrounded by so much love. My Dad arrived a few minutes later and came in to meet his grandson. It was an amazing birth. After a little resting time in the water, Dad took Serafin upstairs again so that I could birth the placenta. I was eager for it to be over and done with and a bit impatient with that part. Jamie assured me that sometimes it takes a while. She gave me some herbs to help with the surges and then after a good push, I felt it gush out. More relief.

I was then helped into bed and looked over; my vitals, my yoni, everything. Silas then had his turn. He was born at 11:19, weighing 7 pounds 11 ounces. Ellen made me an omelette, I devoured it. I was then ready to rest.

It's funny, when I read over the events, it all seems so simple. In fact, it was simple. Leading up to the birth was so complex for me, I kept playing mind games with myself. Preparing, dealing with my grief, letting go of expectation. Once I was actually in the birth, I just let go. What an amazing feeling. I am still glowing from my birth experience. I feel blessed to have been able to feel and experience such a wonderful life changing moment. For me, both times that I have birthed have been an empowering and amazing experience. I have never felt more in my body and more letting go into whatever the universe is offering me. Thank you to the people that surrounded me with so much love and light. My family, my friends, my beloved midwives. I truly felt that I was surrounded by angels. I am one lucky mama.