Posted by Crystal

I never thought I’d be one to consider childbirth without drugs. I think it’s safe to say that I’m a bit of a woosy when it comes to pain. I do however, TRY to live a more natural lifestyle. Never been the type to be too extreme, but I’d definitely choose natural home remedies before any kind of drugs. I believe in eating healthy, organic as much as possible. I juice regularly, and do a cleanse about every 4 months (when I’m not pregnant of course). I’m also a huge advocate of drinking a meal replacement protein shake every morning for breakfast (my favorite is the Isagenix Isalean shakes) to be sure I’m getting plenty of protein, vitamins and minerals.

So when I was pregnant with my first, I considered going natural…

…for about 2 minutes.

With my second I didn’t consider it at all, but just so happens my epidural stopped working just in time for me to push out a 9 1/2 lb baby.

I thought I was going to die. Very painful, but then again, not quite as bad as I had imagined. I think I was scared more than anything. Plus, the recovery was MUCH easier for some reason. This experience also gave me the confidence that maybe I COULD do it naturally.

Now most people, including myself would say, “why endure pain if you don’t have to”?

Well that was before I took the time to research it a little more. Started by watching the documentary, Business of Being Born. Here’s the trailer, you MUST watch it.

I realized that my past desicions were all based on ignorance and fear. I never took the time to actually learn about childbirth, I was doing what everyone else seemed to be doing without second thought of the alternative. Natural childbirth was never even something my doctor wanted to talk about.

I’ve learned there is so much more to having a baby naturally than just pure horror and pain. Not that I know from experience… YET, but I’ve heard it’s the most amazing and empowing experience a women could have.

Not only do I want to have that experience, but I’m dealthy afraid of that epidural. I would dare say that getting that tube shoved up my spine was the hardest part of the whole thing for me, and my back has never been the same since. I still have pain there and get a sharp tingly feeling anytime I’m massaged in that spot.

Here are a few interesting facts about natural childbirth.

  • Quicker recovery for mother and baby
  • Shorter labor
  • More effective pushing, shorter pushing time
  • Less tearing of the perineum
  • Lower Cesarean rate
  • Less chance of damage to baby�s brain due to drugs or misused forceps or vacuum
  • Less chance of bodily harm to baby from forceps or vacuum
  • Less need for interventions such as internal fetal monitor, continuous monitoring, IV, catheter
  • Mother can move freely and get in comfortable position
  • Mother can squat to push, which makes pushing easier and shorter
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Baby is alert and reactive to environment
  • Baby is more coordinated
  • Baby can latch on better and more quickly for breastfeeding moms
  • Mother is in control of her body and can use instinct to birth the baby
  • Mother is unmedicated and can bond more easily with her child
  • No risk of prolonged pain from botched epidural or from Cesarean wound
  • No long-term negative developmental or behavioral effects on the baby

Information from Natural Childbirth.

To tell you the truth, I did feel a little disappointed after giving birth my first time. I was expecting so much more. I thought… that was it??? I didn’t really do anything. I thought I would be left with an overwhelming feeling of, WOW—- I’m pretty darn amazing :)

Don’t get me wrong, every mother is amazing for all that comes with motherhood starting with the 9 months of pregnancy. That alone is something to be forever cherished and praised. I just can’t help but feel that I’m missing out on a life changing experience.

A few things I’ve learned from having babies in hospitals and using traditional doctors.

  1. You don’t get ANY support when you’re in labor and they definitely don’t promote natural childbirth. It’s get in, get out, as fast as possible.
  2. Making the decision to go natural is something you need to decide on well before you enter the hospital. You can’t go in thinking, “we’ll see how it goes”. You will most likely go for the epidural when no preparation or commitment is involved.
  3. Coaching is a must, weather you hire a Doula, invite your mom or sister to be there, or simply take classes with your husband so he knows how to best support you through the labor.

So I’ve made my decision and I’m sticking to it. I’ve already been seeing a midwife, her name is Melissa Mayo who has been delivering babies at home for over 20 years. I’ve also found a great Doula, Becky Overson who has 17 years experience as a massage therapist and specializes in supporting women in labor.

My husband supports my decision whole heartedly and I know I can count on him for additional support. I’m so excited about this new endeavor but scared out of my mind. I’ve got 4 months to prepare myself mentally, so I’ve been reading a ton on natural childbirth and different techniques like hypnobirthing.

I will be sure to document this experience and share it with you all. What I need right now is major support and positive affirmations to keep me focused on the goal. Please, no horror stories :) Thank you so much!

Posted by Crystal

Hey all my lovely friends. How is your summer going? Can you believe it’s almost over? Feels like it just started.

For us it’s been great. Lots of things going on thats for sure. Sean and I just got back from a nice little trip to Las Vegas to celebrate our 7 years of marriage together. Thanks to Sean’s parents we were able to leave the kids for a couple days and enjoy some alone time.

We stayed at the Vdara Hotel which is located on the strip next to the Bellagio. Sean decided to splurge and surprised me with a corner suite, which means we had two walls full of windows giving us an amazing view of the city. Perfect view of the Bellagio fountains too, which is my favorite part of Vegas. I would definitely recommend the Vdara Hotel, it was beautiful, reasonably priced and had extremely comfortable beds.

I didn’t take a single picture, can you believe that? I didn’t want the hassle of hauling around the huge camera bag AND my purse, so this morning I found the perfect solution.

Snugglens $99.99

Isn’t it cute?

It works as a purse, diaper bag and camera bag! How cool is that? I figured I’m going to be needing a new diaper bag soon, and thought this was perfect. I can stick some diapers and wet wipes right on the top, and still have room for my wallet, camera, and even an extra lense or a bottle if I need one. It was a little pricely in my oppinion, but I figure since it’s 3 in one, it was worth it.

I got this cute little strap to go with it.

So anyway, I think this will make bringing my camera places, much easier.

Next thing on the list of things I wanted to share with you is a fun contest Hapari Swimwear is having.� The contest prize is $2500 and a trip to Florida. All you have to do to enter is email them a picture of you wearing one of their suits. Email it to [email protected] They are posting all of the pictures on their Facebook page and they said that your chances of winning increase by the number of “likes” or comments on your photo. So if you head over there you can cast me a little vote if you want :) I’ll definitely return the favor if any of you enter. Just look through the 12 pics and you’ll find mine in there. See more details HERE.

Have a great weekend!!!

Posted by Crystal

Oh how I love that show. It’s amazing to see what the body is actually capable of.

The other day I was looking through my year book and found this picture.

Nice how I’m the ONLY one not paying attention.

This picture brought me back to those high school days. Boy, do I have some funny stories to share.

Watch this little video I made and you’ll see what I mean.

Posted by Crystal

Yep, that’s me 9 months pregnant. Not really looking forward to getting that big again, but I do wish I was 9 months pregnant right now. Could the time go any slower when pregnant?

I tend to have big babies. Lily was 8 lb. 3 oz. and Oliver was 9 lbs 4 oz. I got asked all the time if I was having twins when I was pregnant with Oliver. Aw, sure made me feel good getting comments like that. When you feel like a whale, there’s nothing better than perfect strangers confirming that you look like one.

Posted by Crystal

Here’s a little story I MUST share with you. It took place back when Lily was just a new born and I only WISH I had it on video.

“You dare me to drink this bottle of breast milk.” Asked my father-in-law as he raised the 4-ounce baby bottle in front of the whole family. Everyone looked disgusted as he opened the bottle preparing to drink. He thought he was playing a joke on everyone.� Little did he know the joke was on HIM.

We were all over for a nice Sunday meal, which my benevolent good mother-in-law puts together for us from time to time. Earlier that night, Tony, Sean and I had planned it. We filled a baby bottle with soymilk so that Tony could pretend as though he was going to drink my breast milk.

Sean and I secretly made a whole new plan of our own. We switched out the bottle of soymilk with a fresh bottle of breast milk, which I had so generously prepared earlier that day. We let the whole family in on the joke, without Tony’s knowledge of course.

As Tony slowly lifted the bottle to his mouth, we all looked at him in awe. Was he REALLY going to drink it?
Tony thought he was about to drink soy milk, but we all knew what was really in that bottle. We stood by trying hard not to show what we all knew. I glanced over at Sean, amazed at how he kept the joke going. He was always much better than me at keeping a straight face.

Tony pounded that 4-ounce bottle like it was a cold glass of water on a hot summer day. Everyone was in complete shock. Then they burst into laughter, which quickly turned to disgust. Sean and I could not believe we pulled it off. We laughed so hard we were crying.

Seconds after Tony guzzled the breast milk he suddenly realized what had just happened. His face turned white, his eyes began to water…

Then it happened.

The milk came right back up. He looked like a fire hydrant bursting. The milk sprayed in all different directions, gushing from his nose and mouth.

Once he had successfully �spit up� (because that�s what you call it when it�s breast milk) all traces of the milk, he stood over the kitchen sink, dry heaving as everyone in the room laughed hysterically.
Without saying a word, Tony cleaned himself up, walked over to the table and sat down.

I walked over, put my hand on his shoulder, looked him straight in the eye and said�

“I feel like we’ve just bonded.”