Just because I refuse to double-dose my kids with red dye #40 and Monsanto-Franken-fructose-filled “treats” on October 31, doesn’t mean I don’t want them to have fun. In fact, Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. Why?
Originally published in 2012
A while ago I wrote a piece called, “Is Reiki Legit?.” With all of the new-age-y, “energy” based healing options out there, it’s super easy to get inundated with the hoopla of it all, and wonder what to believe. I’m no stranger to miracles or magick. But as someone who came to understand my own gifts in such an organic way, I struggled for an outside world label to help me understand what I was doing. I was led to Reiki after having some really profound distance healing experiences with my son, (who is now recovered from severe autism).
The Moon influences the way we feel. Think about it. Notice when your emotions are high or low, when you feel more-so reflective, dreamy or passionate, and then take a look at the shape of the moon. Or find out what sign it is flowing through at the time.
Of course, astrology being the first science, there is a great deal of information about how the stars above inspire the way we think, feel and act. The Moon tends to have a more noticeable effect on us Earthlings because it is so close. (I’m aware of many theories about how and why the moon was created including the idea that our current moon is a hologram. But, I decided to make this post short). Read more
Here are some ideas: Read more
Looking back at this post after four years of unschooling, I am grateful to say that Dougie reads and comprehends at a college level ( at age 10), and gets to spend so much time learning through nature. He cares for chickens, cooks his own food, has written books, animated films, and so much more. Unschooling is really about removing the obstacles that society sets for children who are trying to find themselves in this world. please let us know if you have any or need any unschooling tips.
As a kid, I refused to wear jeans. From the ages of 9-13, stretchy pants were IT for me. It was a comfort thing, mostly. I’m ultra sensitive to the touch of scratchy fabric. Still. But, I also needed to express my differences. I spent most of my days just on the outskirts of the “in” crowd, and was totally okay with it. My husband grew up expressing his differences in the ways lots of boys do. I’m not at liberty to spill exactly what that means. But, somewhere in our charts de destiny — we have been dreamily aligned to raise a “different” child. But, believe me — we didn’t set out to do anything outside the “norm” when it came to starting our family. We did the doctor appointments, the pampers, the birthing classes. Soon enough, that fizzled though. And, even before my little Dougie’s health began to…
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For years, I’ve dreamed of welcoming a child into this world surrounded only by LOVE, music, warmth, and the most supportive people in our life. Just imagining that security of HOME inspires me. I hoped for this with Dougie too. And, for all I knew at the time, I truly did my best to create the most natural space for my son’s grand entrance. It is my deepest feeling that birthing a child this way can be the healthiest way to begin their life. When done correctly, I feel we can reduce and eliminate common risks. In fact, in the planning alone, an expected mother can learn to prevent, adjust and overcome so many of those risks. Nine years ago, I had no idea that women were giving birth at home, let alone without the help of midwives, nurses, doctors, doulas and experts. In fact, I never even knew what a midwife or doula was until my son was already about 2, and I dove into the world of natural wellness. And, now there’s no going back from the wisdom I’ve gained. My intention is to make the birth of our next Love Muffin one of our most deliciously blissful experiences.
What “Unassisted” or “Free Birth” means to me
I’ve spent the last 5 ½ months brewing a baby beauty in my womb, and the 8 years prior prepping my body for the adventure without the intervention of the medical profession. I’ve had no tests. No prodding. No diagnoses. No medications. Nobody weighed me or told me what to eat.
But I’ve had loads of help. I’ve spoken with soul sisters, nurses, midwives, doctors, mothers, acupuncturists, hypnotists, energy healers, nutritionists and friends. And, I’ve consulted loads of books and spent uncountable hours researching to find information that makes sense and helps me feel comfortable in understanding the natural journey of pregnancy and birth. I may have been born with the physical power and intuition to do this without any help at all, but I sure didn’t remember that. I needed an awakening on the matter.
Because I’ve had so much help, I can confidently plan a birth experience that doesn’t include the assistance or intervention of medical professionals or their chemicals/drugs/medications and machinery. My baby will birth herself (himself), and I will be the body, mind and spirit who fully allows this natural miracle.
I am teaching myself to trust myself in the deepest sense. I am re-learning the remarkable power we have as humans to create life. I’m going through major shifts in my own spiritual growth – picking up pieces of myself from across time and space lines, and facing shadows and fears head-on. When I was pregnant with Dougie, I felt that my doctor was really there to direct how I should be feeling and acting and I was grateful for that. But, this time, it’s pretty freaken awesome to allow myself this deeper inner knowing that comes from the desire to fully understand and express my beautiful human power. And really give my child my ALL.
The multiple internal ultrasounds I was “required” to have with Dougie, irked me. Physically hurt me. And, left me with fear and anxiety that I am just now healing. Doctor visits during my first pregnancy often left me crying. I chose a very well -known and rather progressive Chicago group of women gynies who definitely meant well. I was mostly bothered that they steered me away from my favorite foods, (salmon and avocado… too much calories and fat and mercury), put me on bed rest for quite a while, constantly put their hands inside of me for way too frequent visits (due to a false risk which was determined by a misdiagnosed miscarriage at 5 weeks), and really didn’t show me the compassion I craved. In fact, I heard the word “NO” a lot from them. I was stoked to be having my first baby, and I really craved “help” from someone who was just as stoked. I felt emotionally lost, but logically guided into which steps to take. And, I reasoned that having a healthy baby was the most important thing, and that all of the exams were leading me to that. I took birthing classes and learned healthy breathing, but when I arrived at the hospital to give birth — the professionals there, over-encouraged drugs and forced me into bed to “measure my contractions.” After 10 hours of being told, “don’t try to be a hero,” I said yes to the drugs. Then, the drugs backfired and only caused temporary paralysis in my legs and a full body rash but no pain relief. The measuring of my contractions backfired too and only caused extra weight on me. It was the most amazing experience of my life, clouded by so many uncomfortable interruptions.
Having a healthy baby is the most important thing. But, I went about creating that in the wrong way. I didn’t educate myself on how birthing really happens.
I’ve held that first birth experience in my muscles and skin. I’ve known there was something very very wrong about it. And, now, thanks to the child-within, this forthcoming birth is a fully intentional one. One where I design the setting and make the choices for moving forward. To me, a free birth means that together my baby and I are in complete control. I get to to allow my body to bring our baby into this world. I get to listen to her/him. She gets to move and shift and so do I. And I get to pay attention to that. Serious attention. I will shift my body around physically as I intuit because our bodies know how to sit, stand and how to position perfectly for the birthing of each little blessing. I will be free to ask for the kind of help I need if I need it, and trust that even if I am completely alone, I will have the tools. Perhaps, I will even need to ask to be left completely alone. It’s a Free Birth. Anything I say — goes. The key to success for me is in the preparation of really learning everything I can about my own body and needs and abilities. What a different place to be than the one I spent most of this life in.
Can I Really Do This? Overcoming Fears
With my son, none of the interventions worked the way the professionals planned. So having them there seemed like a distraction and a nuisance. I was made to tell them when I was going to “contract” and “push.” I was asked many questions and was motivated to please them. But, when it came down to it — my baby came freely and relatively painlessly with only about 30 minutes of “pushing. “ I did that. During early “labor,” I found huge relief by yoga-ing on a yoga ball. I did that until I said yes to meds. Intuitively, I asked if I could use the bathtub, which was in the hospital birthing room, and was told “no.” But, I did that. I knew as the time came for Dougie to arrive that the water would make it much more magical and comfortable. I had “Simon and Grafunkel” playing from a speaker overhead, and I remained as focused as possible on the music. I did that and it helped. My husband was there the whole time in support of me. My son arrived in a surge of BLISS that I will always remember. I did that. We did that. He swallowed some fluid, and I was happy to have professional support in removing that fluid from him. But, I also believe he swallowed it due to my positioning and the drugs in my body. So, can I do it this time without the distraction of the medical industry? Hell Yes I can!
Hell Yes I Can: Self Hypnosis and Mind Set for Free Birth
I’m a Hell Yes Person! I wouldn’t plan an unassisted birth until I find that HELL YES for it deep inside of me. That knowing that I truly can do it. For me, that means creating a mindset that blows through whatever fears I have/had about birthing so freely. Fear tightens. Fear stops the flow of blood. Clearly I cannot birth freely if I’m in fear. And, of course I had fears. Fears that something unexpected could happen that was beyond my scope of power to solve. And that list is quite long.
So, stepping into my Hell YES, I create mantras for myself. Mantras that speak directly to what I want from the experience. I will repeat affirmations like “My body is all knowing and wise. I have every tool needed for giving birth blissfully.” And, “My baby is healthy and happy and will enter the world smoothly and comfortably.” And, “ I will know just what to do when the time to birth comes, and I will trust my intuition above all else.” And, “I am blessed with the complete knowing of how to bring my healthy baby into this world.” Throughout the day, as I do a million other things, I’ll pause and talk to the baby. And, saying really simple things like “you are perfect” really helps me too.
Hypno-birthing is a practice that empowers women to birth as perfectly as they dream. It has worked wonders for a few of my friends who took classes and used self-hypnosis throughout pregnancy and birth. One of my super mama soul sisters affirmed herself of a speedy birth alone with her hubby, and her baby came so quickly and smoothly that there wasn’t even time for the midwife to arrive. Another woman told me that it completely helped her manifest a pain-free birth. An older friend who has brought five children into this world shared that there was never any pain. Certainly my life continues to show me proof that I can attract just what I set my mind on. And, nature gave me 40 weeks to practice. I’m so grateful that my friends have shared their hypo-birthing books and literature. It is a great source that I continue to read.
Resolving What Can Go Wrong
Sure our bodies were created for birthing beauties. But, how does a woman know HER body can do it… without help? We all think about this. But, it’s a perfect opportunity to educate ourselves, and help us make decisions on what kind of help we want to welcome into our space. I think it’s empowering to ask for help. It’s very different from simply giving our power to “professionals ”– which is what I did with Dougie. We can have an amazing birth experience amongst a team of western medical doctors and nurses if we allow ourselves to completely tune-in to our magical intuitive nature while giving birth.
If you take the time to learn about what happens inside of your body and with the baby as he/she makes his way here, you will understand how to create the safest, healthiest birthing experience.
Proper nutrition helps our bodies build strong babies! Simple as that. We can eliminate tons of risks like early birth, low weight, developmental delays and even problems with physically “pushing” and birthing naturally. Think of all of the other “issues” completely eliminated by having your baby born on time, weighing in at a nice plump “normal” weight, born vaginally, and without added mama stress!
Laura Stanley, home birth educator, advocate and mama says that anthropologists observing healthy tribal women who eat well –even 100 years ago, claimed to never see a complication or death. Of course it was also their complete knowing that they could birth freely. It was simply the way. In our society we anticipate problems. And, many of us may not be connected to why we anticipate problems.
I ask myself — what did tribal women eat? What was different about food 100 years ago? What was different about our bodies and stress levels? How can I solve this in a modern world? Holy Easy Sauce! Yes, soils are more and more deplete of nutrition, food is gmo’d up the wazoo and I’m working full time and definitely contending with some environmental toxins – but superfoods are rocking my world. I simply eat the most nutrient dense food in the best combinations that I can. I love spirulina and chlorella, fermented fish oils, maca, bee pollen, reishi, raspberry leaf, coconut kefir, sea veggies, avocados, green smoothies, hemp, chia, fermented vegetables, coconuts and salmon. Lots of amazingness to choose from. I use whole-food based raw, organic mineral, vitamin and protein supplements and definitely remain satisfied and listen to my instincts. If I’m craving meat I eat it. If I’m craving salad I eat it. If I’m craving cookies, I try to get the healthiest sweetness or alternatives available because every craving has a reason. So much of my food is coming straight from a garden, fresh and abundant in enzymes! 100 years ago, hungry, tired pregnant women didn’t have the temptation of fast food that depletes nutrition. They didn’t perhaps have the option to even crave the wrong kind of milk. No worries about added hormones or antibiotics in their food. Now, we just have to be a little more conscious of what we put into our mouths and babies bodies. You can see a little more about what I’m eating here.
Breech Babies Wrapped Cords and C-sections
Beyond nutrition- related complication prevention, I like to think of all other “complications” as potentials for varied experiences. Some babies are simply born breech. They have no “problems” living. They are simply more comfortable coming out this way. My brother was born breech, naturally. Daily yoga practice and “downward Dog” ing can help your baby get in the right (way easier) position. Hypno-birthing teaches a position called “the polar bear” which also helps babies’ heads and bottoms get into the easiest position for birth. That’s butt up, head down. I spend time each day assuring my baby and myself that he/she is in this position. I visualize it too.
You can also manually check your baby’s position, and stay connected with just what you’re feeling as she tumbles around.
Many babies do get the cord wrapped around their necks. It’s very important to know this even if you are planning a hospital birth. When planning an unassisted birth, dads and moms need to be prepared to calmly unwrap the umbilical cord. And, remember –as long as the cord and placenta are attached, your baby is receiving some oxygen into her blood stream.
At least 25% of women experience C-Sections. And, many of them do so for reasons that can be prevented by practicing some techniques mentioned above. You can also prepare your body to birth by practicing yoga stretching and muscle toning. Squatting and hip opener exercises are great for this. Also, using coconut oil can help your skin and muscles stretch without tearing. I use coconut oil (as well as blends of organic oils) both internally and externally. I’ve had no stretch marks with Dougie and don’t foresee any this time.
When a baby can safely pass though the birth canal, she receives nature’s first inoculation from illness – though her mother’s vagina. She will get to be exposed to the proper bacteria to help set her immune system.
Necessary C-sections save lives. And, by educating yourself, you can more deeply understand if and why you will need one.
We plan on having a fetal stethoscope on hand, and we’ve already been checking our wee one’s heartbeat. Changes in heart rate can indicate problems and you can be right on top of this. If your baby is in distress on her way out, there is a good chance you will know so by checking her heart rate.
I also think it’s smart to be prepared to help the baby if he or she swallows or gets fluid stuck in their mouth or throat. As they take their first breaths, this can happen. But, also a mom’s positioning can help her baby enter without swallowing. Doug and I know infant CPR.
There are many indications of infection that can make it difficult for your baby to birth without medical assistance. And, if we really tune in, we can work to know this ahead of time. I had a friend who noticed this as her water broke, and she decided to go to the hospital. She had a sludgy, very smelly “water” that wasn’t baby poop. She had also been sick during pregnancy. So, it wasn’t a huge surprise to her.
Going to the Hospital
There are plenty of valid reasons for going to the hospital, and having a hospital “plan B” for sure. To me, western medicine is best used in trauma situations, and I am grateful we have hospitals and doctors for that. Many midwives can take care of a breech birth naturally. I met one who has delivered more than 200 breach babies.
We will have a midwife and hospital back-up plan in case we need it. If not being used to save a baby’s life, I believe these interventions are more risky than helpful.
Reading Birth Stories
There are countless stories about why birthing at home was the proper choice for many families, even in what seemed like “medical” situations. In-tune mothers have been able to push out their babies far quicker than a doctor could prep for emergency surgery, and in effect save their babies lives. When I read these stories I feel that so much of their success depends on how much they believe in themselves. If they were overcome by fear, and unable to focus, they may not have been able to do it. I don’t attach to birth stories, but to the essence behind them that inspires me to really focus on exactly what my baby needs. That seems to be the connecting thread of the stories. Women, bold enough to do what they know is right for their babies. Amazing Mamas.
Who knows exactly what is going to happen on the day our baby is born. You can’t plan nature. All I know is that whatever happens will be divine. And, that our experience up until this point has been divine.
Are You Planning a Blissful Unassisted Birth? If so, You must completely empower yourself to understand what’s going on with your body. Please contact us for any help in your planning phase including what to eat, affirmations for success and completely blissful experience.
I feel more amazing than EVER. There’s this inner sense of BLISS that keeps me KNOWING and CONNECTED. Dougie tells us “HER” name is VIOLET, and we agree. Although this tiny being is but the size of a grape at 11 weeks in womb, we know that “she” is a soul mate. Someone we have long known and long awaited.
Violet who represents the highest frequency Healing Light. The Violet Flame of Transmutation. Vision. Connection. Protection. ENLIGHTENMENT. I asked Dougie what would happen if the baby is a boy, and he says ” She is not a boy, she is my baby sister, Violet.”
Violet has been coming to me in dreams since I met my husband. And, as time passed, she’s been showing herself to me outside of dreams too. Years ago, while swinging on a park-swing in Chicago, I saw and felt her by my side. She told me her birthday is December 2013. And, so it is.
To top off our excitement, several of my best girlfriends are also expecting bundles if BLISS soon. Sharing this Journey with them, even from afar, inspires me to make this the ROCKINGEST time of my LIFE.
I’d love to share with you some of the things we’re doing and choices we’re making to keep the Bliss flowing.
Mom’s Health and Food
You know I’m all about eating right for your needs and that food has been my medicine for ages — helping me recover from candida, fatigue, migraines etc, and helping my son Dougie pull out of autism. Now, my body is someone’s home for her first 9 months of life. This is a seriously amazing opportunity.
So, here’s what I’m eating and why:
Every supplement is raw and organic.
Daily Smoothies (up to 1 qt throughout the day but it varies)
- Spirulina Plus (Body Ecology brand): Great source of predigested, easy to absorb super protein with REAL LIVE probiotics. Helps keep my digestive bacteria in balance, as candida yeast can rise during pregnancy. This super food is also full of vitamins and minerals that go directly to your developing baby. The probiotics living in this food help to create vitamins in our bodies. There is even evidence that these “bugs” are responsible for making B12.
- Chlorella (Healthforce Nutritionals Brand: Nutrient Dense super food that has a load of chlorophyll, and has even thought to deflect toxins from harming our bodies.
- Maca: An adaptogenic super-root that we have been introduced to through Peru. It has the ability to regulate hormones, and like any other adaptogen, give your body exactly what it needs for balance. It also oxygenates our blood, and helps neurotransmitter communication. Maca is also said to help produce mother’s milk for mamas. It tastes great, a little like malt, and offers a nice grounding energy to balance out the expansive green foods mentioned above.
- Cod Liver Oil: (I’d do krill oil if I had it here in Costa Rica) High quality fats are needed for the baby’s brain development. I find when I don’t have this, I intuitively feel something is missing. It really gives me a sense of ease throughout my body.
- Vitamineral Green (Healthforce Nutrionals Brand): Covers a broad spectrum of vitamins and minerals all in food form.
- Ancient Earth Minerals (Body Ecology Brand): Exactly what it sounds like. This supplement offers a top-notch source of humic and fulvic minerals. Things that are now missing from most of our soils and foods. It works to support thyroid and adrenals.
- Chia Seeds: Fiber! But also these beautiful seeds have a way of soothing stomach and joints too.
- Hemp Seeds: Another great source of protein.
- Hemp Seed Butter: What a yummy source of fat of fat and protein.
- Reishi extract (Dragon Herbs/22 Reishis): Perhaps my favorite Herb. As an adaptogen Reishi really supports every bodily system. Reishi works on our physical bodies, but also has a distinct role in increasing our spiritual connection and overall “spirit” for life. I’ve been told by Chinese doctors that they can tell when a mama consumes Reishi during pregnancy.
- Reishi Tea: I feel a more yin support ( core support/kidneys) when I drink Reishi Tea. A little vanilla and stevia and it takes the place of coffee for me. Sometimes, I use Reishi Tea in my smoothies. Sometimes drink it warm. Reishi also keeps our candida index down.
- Coconut Kefir: Amazing source of probiotics and mineral. Gives me energy. Helps build the baby’s inner eco system and immune system.
These ingredients will be blended with coconut or avocado and frozen berries or frozen plantain from our trees in Costa Rica.
Other Delicious Raw Organic Power Foods
- Cultured Veggies (Cabbage, Beet, minerals added): Helps digest everything else. Tastes Great and filled with probiotics too.
- Earth (Vitamineral Green Brand) another delicious form of high-quality minerals that tastes great on warm foods like eggs, sautéed veggies, soups.
- Young Coconut water and Coconut Meat:
- Coconut Oil: Healthy fat with amazing healing power for thyroid and more. This oil can be heated without becoming toxic, so its the only oil I use for cooking.
- Every color of veggie!: I’m having huge salads and feeling very drawn to the taste vegetables! Yum!
- Black berries and strawberries:
- Local goat cheese: Ask Violet. This stuff tastes like Heaven to me right now. I’ve read not to eat raw cheese when preggers. This to me, doesn’t seem logical. In it’s raw state, cheese has the enzymes needed to digest. If there were pathogenic bacteria on the cheese I chose to eat, In wouldn’t chose it. But, I am not suggesting that you follow my lead on this one. I can tell a difference between raw and pasteurized cheese. I cannot even digest pasteurized cheese. Again, this offers some fats and proteins.
Delicious Cooked Foods on the menu:
- Egg Omelets (Made by Dougie): Served with veggies and cultured veggies. I’m normally not an egg fan, but I’m loving them a few times a week. We keep them a bit runny and raw.
- Fish Cakes, Fish salads: Local Costa Rican caught small white fishes (lowest mercury) blended with spices and herbs. I’m having fish a few times per week too. I’d have it every day if I could keep up with myself.
- Rice noodles with home-made sauces and dressings
Treats and Sweets
I went gluten free again officially in January. It totally helped clear me of back and joint pain and I literally felt like a veil lifted. I intended to have a gluten-free pregnancy too. But, had a few slices of home-made organic pizza here in Costa Rica. I totally LOVED it! I think Violet did too. We’ll see how the rest of the time goes. Because we found a few places who make gluten-free treats that are sweetened with fruits.
- Almond flour banana-nut Cupcake
- Raw Banana Ice Cream
- Raw Chocolate Bar
Foods I’m not Loving
Some of my normal favorites are not so awesome right now. I’m not able to digest them very well, and my body is just saying no.
- Brown Rice
- Beans of any kind
Violet’s got me going deeper and playing with yoga much more than usual. I find slower, longer poses and deep stretches are giving me energy, keeping me flexible and pain-free AND helping my digestion. I have a notion that yoga during pregnancy will make for a more comfortable labor and birth. Not to mention increase oxygen flow to the baby and help with her development.
My last yoga class in California, before we headed out to Costa Rica, left me feeling strangely unbalanced. I couldn’t hold a pose. I couldn’t breathe fully down to my core. I kept tipping over during Tree Pose. The pregnancy definitely changed me.
Now, I’m yoga-ing for about 3 hours a day. My body leads me into Cat/Cow, Down Dog/Up dog, forward bends and light back bends. I just listen to what I need and with each stretch my body feels even more BLISSED. I’m lightly focussing on hip openers, blood flow and strength and endurance. The slower pace feels like its allowing me to heal my body even further. Who would’ve thought? I used to think pregnancy was about giving your body to another person. I know. I know. But, now I see that she is giving me so much healing as well.
We’re feeling an un-assisted birth will be the best for us (and we did have one). So it’s even more important to connect on a vibrational level with the soul we are welcoming. To make sure we are fulfilling her needs and wants. To make sure that the experience will flow in a healthy way. Positive affirmations have helped me a lot. So has Kirtan music like Krishna Das and Snatam Kaur. I take time throughout the day to pause and create and recognize the flow of LOVE between Violet and me. I’ve been internally talking to her about her positioning and her absorption of nutrients as she grows I send each bite of food down with a gratitude blessing and intention for each food or plant’s medicine to reach her.
I share Reiki with her too. I’m making space in my day to meditate for longer periods and really have a more complete sense of Violet’s needs. Intuition is up now, and it will be my strongest tool for preparing for this miracle.
Can’t wait to share lots more!
Need Help with pregnancy eating or planning an unassisted birth? Contact me for a consult or coaching package.