10 Tips For Natural Birth

Hi there sweet momma to be (or papa because let’s face it, my man researched for me because I was too busy being all kinds of pregnancy extra.)
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I bet you’ve come across this because you are about to have a little human enter this world and you need some birth hacks that will save the day.

While I sincerely hope to put this all in a precious, bound, collection one day in the future, people are having babies now, so I thought I’d paraphrase for you.

There is a TON of books and articles and posts everywhere you look. You could go right now and spend your nest egg on books at the local book store that would coach you on everything from pregnancy fashion to how to puree a chicken nugget.

I’m going to focus on maximizing the impact and minimizing the time spent weeding out the details.

Here we go:

1. Relax. Your incredible body isn’t going to mistake how this whole thing works. Sure, there are factors that could arise because this is humanity and there is margin for things being funky, but on the whole, we’ve been birthing babies since the first one was born and while I cannot promise your birth will be like any of my five, I can promise you that you get to choose how you approach it. Calm moms have all the fun. Pregnancy ball and chill, sweet friend.

A tense body will get in the way of things loosening and softening and dropping. I like to use the term “press in”. We’ll get to that, but for now, relax.

2. Move. In the days leading up to your baby (and really the entire pregnancy), be active. As active as you feel like. Take walks, breathe fresh air, let the sun hit your skin, and just move. Salsa dance with your partner in the living room. Park at the back of the parking lot at the grocery store.
There’s a reason old wives tales say to vacuum and make whoopie. Moving loosens up your hips and pelvis.

The thing I didn’t know about movement until my 3rd child was that while it progresses labor very well, it also detracts from the mind focusing on discomfort. When you’re moving, you’re not laying on your back thinking about how you feel.

3. Eat and drink. Unless you are under restriction for good reason from your provider, eat and drink. Birth is a marathon and not a sprint. Your body and your baby still need water, protein, etc. It’s about to Hulk out and it needs fuel.

4. Relax your bottom jaw. We tend to tense up at the beginning of contractions. I know I did. But in my 5th delivery, my smart husband told me to just let my bottom jaw hang open. Game.Changer. pal. I was able to keep swaying or moving or just not panic. It worked far better than any other coping tip I’ve tried.

5. Get into the water. There is just something about a bathtub or a pool that is soothing, and the added bonus of taking your weight and baby’s off of your ever-expanding pelvis is unmatched. Try your bathtub or a birthing pool wherever you are laboring. You can maintain rhythmic movement in water and progress with much less intensity.

6. Shhhh. If you’re not in labor yet, let’s play a game. First, make a high pitched sound. Note how your entire body tenses up? Now, make low sound from your gut. See how that relaxes your body and especially your abdomen? Low and slow wins the race.

7. Stay off of your back. Laying on your back forces your baby to work against gravity. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

8. Just say no to IV fluids unless something is wrong. Fluids will make you and your baby swell a bit. Do I need to explain that one further? Nah.

9. When you “literally can’t even”, it’s probably go-time. There is a special word in the stages of labor called “Transition”. This is what happens when it’s time for baby to head on out. It also coincides with some crazy thoughts. For most women it’s definitely work laboring, but when your mind becomes irrational saying “you can’t do this. get drugs. you’re going to die. it’s too hard” that’s usually right about that time. Tell someone when you get crazy in your mind and see if it might be time to settle into delivery.
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10. Press in. The rhythms of labor are long lost on TV and movie deliveries. We all picture ourselves on our back screaming in pain while we push on a ten count. If you dint’ know this already, when your baby is ready, your body will push for you. It’s crazy, but it’s real. So as you approach this glorious unfolding, press in. It’s okay to feel it. It’s good to sway and move and trust your body if it tells you to squat, get on all fours, lay on your side, or sit on the potty. Relax that bottom jaw, breathe well, and press in. Because the truth is, in mere moments, you’re going to be holding a life you got to carry and the feeling of birthing that person is unlike anything else this world has to offer. You will never regret it and you’ll be love drunk about it forever.
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p.s. Contractions feel like period cramps. They start small and build. If you’ve ever had a strong period, you can do this birth thing. Trust me.

For Every Kid’s Mom

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Childhood can be interesting and parenthood can be hard.
So much character concentrated into one tiny body.
Like your favorite soda, or my ginger berry kombucha…

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She’s not even 3 and climbs any and everything.

Shake it too much or let it sit for too long and things are likely to get a bit wild.

But someday… Someday that body will grow and the compression will ease. The character will be refined and ready to do what it was created to do.

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The child who never stops talking will be an excellent communicator and someone who makes others comfortable by carrying the conversation when needed. They will convey important messages with their abundance of words.

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The one bouncing off of the walls will have energy to take on tasks most would run from and come out with some to spare.

The sensitive one? Compassion. Empathy. The ability to hear others even if they aren’t saying much.

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As a mom, what I can do now is encourage them to channel that intensity of highly concentrated character into productive areas for their growth, fun, and personal successes.

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Then, when God calls them to the plate, they can let it out with full force.

We don’t need to “fix” or children to fit “normal”. We need to make space for them to take up space and help them to focus their energy for good.

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And hey, don’t be too hard on yourself. They mom on ET had an alien living in her home for a week and never even noticed.

It’s okay to really like your kids. It’s okay to just enjoy watching them grow and it’s okay to encourage them to keep going even when they feel awkward, wrong, out of place, in the way, etc.

We are all on the learning curve!

Hacks That Work : Thieves Dish Soap

How many times Pinterest pins do you have for a “hack”? You know, a way to make a product work in a different way, last longer, save you money?

I’m guilty.

But as I was lost in the scroll a yesterday, I saw a “hack” using a very toxic product as bug repellent for children. This product is full of synthetic chemicals, synthetic dyes, and fake fragrance. Knowing what I know about how bad those things are for my kids (because a mother with a child like mine learns to read labels pretty quickly), and knowing that I am the gatekeeper of my home, I want to share hacks here that actually work for you, your kids, their bodies, and your budget.

Believe me when I tell you that you are worth it! Learning a new thing! Your kids are worth it. Their overall success in their personal health WILL be based on what YOU do as their parent. They will buy the brands you buy. They will take care of themselves the way that you take care of them.

No pressure. Am I right?

Now, none of this is to “mom shame”. I used to buy the household items for .23 cents with 3 coupons double stacked.  I quit working when I was 5 months pregnant with our first child 11 years ago. I understand making it all work in the parameters of the pay check.

And, I’ve also been standing there in the grocery store looking at 5 different “clean” brands that wanted to charge me an arm and a leg and my wedding rings only to find out that their ingredients weren’t much different than the big toxic brands.

Today, I am thrilled to introduce you to a product from Young Living’s Thieves line. Thieves Dish Soap is a plant based, essential oil infused, liquid dish soap. It is highly concentrated, effective, and safe for our homes. Yours and mine, friend.

In this vlog, I’m going to show you how to hack this product to:
– make it last 3 times as long,
– make it bubble so that you get all of the clean kitchen sink visuals
(because plant based products are so awesome they can clean without bubbles! Bubbles in typical products are from a synthetic agent in order to present that look of “clean” we are taught to want on every Ad for cleaning since the history of ever!)
-and make a truly wonderful product work for your budget.

What do you think? Simple enough? Budget friendly for a product that actually benefits your health while you use it?

Wanting to get your hands on this as fast as possible? I can help you with that: HERE and as an added bonus, when you grab you thieves products, you’ll also have access to a wonderful community of people just like you who are working on their wellness one cabinet of chemicals at a time!

DIY – Essential Oil Vapor Rub

One of my favorite parts of learning about how my body works has been making non-toxic support tools for our family. This chest rub is a favorite of ours. Infused with pure essential oils that boast menthol for a wonderful cooling sensation that can really open us up so we can breathe deep.

We love to apply it on the bottoms of our feet before we put on our socks during the day or before bed. We also love to apply it to our chests and backs.

This rub is diluted due to the coconut oil and ready for our kids. I’m so thankful to have options to support them that I can use as often as needed that are side effect free.

What do you think of this recipe? Let us know in the comments.

click here for more on Essential Oils 

 

Taylor

There is something so powerful about a young person who is willing to let the circumstances of others break their heart to a place that they are compelled to act. Don’t you think?

 


We see so much on an almost moment to moment basis that we feel helpless to help or change. We press on attempting to not feel it. To not let it break us. I would argue, however, that it is when we allow the things we cannot change to break our hearts, that we see the fullness of the one who can change anything with a single thought. 

And that is what I saw a year ago as I sat across the table from Taylor and listened to her explain her time in NYC.

Taylor is my niece. She has spent her entire life right here in East TN as the only daughter of her hard working, Christian parents. In many ways, she is a bright light to our family and maybe just a tad spoiled rotten. (She’s a wonderful kid… er… woman and deserves every bit of the spoiling)

Most kids like her are looking to their future to see how it can serve their needs. Especially when heading to college. It’s the “finding yourself” phase of life. And while you wouldn’t meet her and think she’s anything but a quiet, sweet, good girl with a loud laugh, she’s anything but “average”.  She is definitely in the “finding herself” stage, but it’s where she is looking that is making such an impact.

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Last Spring, Taylor acted in faith and accepted an invitation to attend summer mission with CRU.

CRU is an international campus ministry. With over 2,300 campuses in the U.S., it is also the largest campus ministry in America.

 

Now, maybe you’re thinking that it wouldn’t be such a leap for a young woman to head to New York for the summer with friends to do some service projects and enjoy seeing the sights. I can assure you, that is far from what happened to my niece last summer. Sure, they saw some of the tourist stops in the big apple, but their days were spent actively looking for those who needed to know peace and hope on various college campuses. Even the choice to go presented the first challenge. 

To start, you’ll remember how I said that she is a very cherished member of our family. The eldest grandchild and a very special God wink amidst the aftermath of deep tragedy. Even getting us to be willing to let her go, was her first hurdle. Five weeks in New York? That’s a far cry from a weekend retreat.

 

She actually initially mentioned going to China. I think she may have a future in sales because she sure did set that up to make NYC look a bit less intense. (I’m kidding. I think.)

But, as we all know, when the Lord opens any door, no man can shut it.

And, while it’s not my story to tell, I will never forget the only time I’ve ever seen my brother in law “get something in his eyes” as he held the room in the kitchen and told us briefly how her choice to follow her King had impacted him in ways that changed him.

Our children do that, don’t they…. change us. Over and over again.

The next hurdle was the funding. $4500 is a lot of money for a junior in college. (Though it does provide her room and board for her entire stay of 5 weeks)

Especially given that she wouldn’t be getting a pay check while away and her current job would only last until the end of the semester. If we’re honest, most college jobs barely provide the money to drive to them. They are more about experience with people and responsibility, etc.

Again though, the Lord had opened the door and down to the very last minute, it felt like, her funding came in from many generous hearts moved to participate in this call on her life.

So she told us.

She told us about the 15 people who made a decision for life in Christ.

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This is Lourhae. A student who accepted Christ while talking with Taylor and her friend Erin at Columbia’s campus.

She told us about the other 205 seeds of good news planted. And, she also told us about a professor who was so visibly shaken by the presence of the Lord that he shouted at them demanding that they leave.

As we listened, I didn’t know if I was scared for her, worried she’d experience a crisis of faith in the face of so much brokenness and warfare from the enemy, proud of her, or just thankful she made it home somehow with a deeper drive to tell one more person that Jesus deeply loves them.

I don’t know about you, but as a mother, I want my kids to “find themselves” like this. To have their hearts broken for the broken. To be compelled to be courageous and speak boldly the cure for the malignancy of the soul. To trust God again for safe travels, provision, his Spirit to move for those called unto his name, and the money.

I want my children bold for the impossible because that is where their King will show up. That is where hearts will grow and change and they will experience Him. In the simplicity of just being available to him. He is able all on his own.

This summer, when most in her class will be heading to grad school and careers, Taylor has decided to again respond with a “yes” to the call to spread the good news at campuses in New York.

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How can we help her?

We can pray. We can ask the Lord to stir hearts to give of their prayer time and their finances. We can pray for her while she is there also and for hearts again to be stirred for Christ. For the plans of the enemy to silence this ministry team of students to be thwarted and for the Spirit to speak to these young adults for the glory of Christ. He is the one who never leaves one behind and as I sit here comfortably in my bed behind a screen, those traveling with CRU this summer will accept the commission in Matthew 28:16-20 of spreading the good news – the gospel – to every nation.

I cannot help but think of Billy Graham as I write this. It has only been days since he left this world for Heaven and I believe that God is moving among our youth to take up the baton and run the race to the finish.

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What we want to do is make options available to you to support her trip. I know firsthand that if I can help my family while helping others, it’s a good thing. I also know that a lot of you are very curious about Young Living and essential oils but maybe haven’t had the push you needed to order yours.

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During the entire month of March, every single person who orders a Premium Starter Kit (Any of the options available: Oils, Thieves Cleaner, Ningxia Red, or Savvy Minerals make up) through me will be a partner for Taylor. I will donate my full commission from each Kit ordered at $50 each.

This means that if this message reaches 90 people who have been on the fence about supporting themselves and their families with Young Living essential oils and oil infused, clean, non-toxic products, the trip will be paid in full.

 Premium Starter Kit Options + Prices:
(All Diffusers have a 1 year warranty)

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Premium Starter Kit with ARIA diffuser $260
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Premium Starter Kit with Rainstone Diffuser (Runs for 8 hours) Diffuser $205
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Premium Starter Kit with Dew Drop Diffuser $160

 

Additionally, because life is better together, when you purchase your Starter Kit, you will be joining a community of oilers ready to walk out this wellness journey with you. We run a private Facebook group where you can find everything from how to support your throat in winter to how to keep the summer bugs at bay.

+ Learn More about the different Premium Starter Kit Options HERE

March 2018: Purchase a Kit, join a community, fund a ministry.

Need to know more about Essential Oils?Click Here

The link to order your Premium Starter Kit is HERE 

The link to donate to Taylor’s trip directly isHERE