As women, we all know or think we know what birthing a baby will be about. A few potty streams on a store bought stick throws us into a never-ending spiral of trips to the bathroom, doctors appointments, vitamins, books on babies and birthing. Not to mention the onslaught of inquiries and advice after the news is spread to our close friends and loved ones. The excitement of the baby moving, the drive to “nest”, and the pre-birth insomnia. But we’re enamored. This tiny little life is basically all we think about for 10 months! Yes, 10..
Little did I know when I first found out I was pregnant (at 11 weeks 5 days) that the pregnancy really wasn’t 9 months, but 40 weeks! What?? I had to give up drinking that long? An extra 4 weeks? I’m silently giggling inside. My baby was a, SURPRISE!! Yes, little did I know that I was even pregnant, hence the 11 weeks 5 days. I had no nausea, no cramping, no NOTHING. It was the New Years Eve party that I drank champagne to extent and woke up with a hangover that wouldn’t go away for 3 days. Something was wrong. What was going on?
So, after racking my brain and not wanting to succumb to going to the Doctor’s office, I reluctantly bought 2 packs of pregnancy tests. If I was pregnant, I was going to be darn sure that I was. And there, 6 tests later, they were all positive. To keep this blog light and drama-free, let’s just say at first, I was happy, but in a melancholy way. I knew my 6 1/2 year boyfriend, 10 years my senior would not want it. But I made up my mind to try and make the best of things no matter what happened.
I called my mother, who immediately told me to get pre-natal vitamins. I went out and felt awkward. There were a few to choose from, but I had to get the ones with folic-acid. Wasn’t that the whole thing about it? Later after research, I realized the supplement would help provide my little one with strong bones and a fully- developed spine. Ok, so these were important.
The next few months I agonized over “What to Expect when you’re Expecting”. I ate a lot. A LOT. Hey, I was hungry! And couldn’t wait for my ultra-sound to determine the sex. I had to start shopping!
Being that I had never really gone to college and dropped out of high school when I was 17 and got my GED when I was 18, I had always worked retail jobs, or jobs that were unsatisfying. I’m a bit of a free-spirit when it comes to commitments, and don’t like rules and structure too much. But I knew with a baby coming, and a non-committed father I had to do something to further my career so that I could really stand on my own two feet when it came. So I enrolled at a local Medical Academy and started on my Dental Assisting degree.
So I went to school full-time and worked part-time retail. I was tired. I received more support from those people that I don’t even speak to anymore than anyone else through that difficult time in my life. But I was changing and growing along with my little bundle, who by the way was a Girl! I was thrilled! I wanted a girl so badly, and to be honest I had a dream before the ultra-sound that it was and I already had a feeling. But there she was. Measuring right in on schedule and perfect.
I had, in the beginning, gone to a gynecologist at a fancy Doctor’s office. But it seemed so cold and un-welcoming. I spoke with my aunt who was and always has been a naturalist. Always confronting life with open arms and from a natural stand-point which I loved. I consulted her, and she suggested finding a mid-wife. I thought long and hard about this. What was my birth plan? Did I even have one? Not really, and growing larger by the sweltering July days I was already screaming, “I’m ready to be done!”
So I thought, in a hospital, they may take her away from me automatically. Fill her eyes with ointment, clean her, stick stuff down her throat, take her temp, measure her, etc, etc, etc. Not to mention that I’d have to stay at the hospital till they dubbed me and her “ok”. That didn’t sound like something I wanted to be subjected to, nor did I want to subject her to it. No. I wanted to hold her. I wanted to experience birth the way it always has been. Au naturale. So it was decided. A natural birth. I mean seriously, what did people do before these monstrosities called hospitals were built?
So I set out to find a mid-wife, and better-yet found a birthing home 8 minutes from my house! They offered me solace, they offered me support, breathing lessons, and comfort. It wasn’t till after the baby was born did I realize how much. And being in the atmosphere of a natural approach to things, I wanted to implement that into my everyday life. I wanted the best for my little girl. I didn’t want synthetic dyes, overly-processed food, or anything fake in her life. So I tried (as best I could on a meager wage) to reuse, recycle, and come at life a lot more differently.
On August 5, 2009 my little Ella was born. She was so beautiful. She was so perfect. She was exactly what I dreamed she would be. I was in awe, and somehow couldn’t find the correct emotions to feel because I was so overwhelmed. She came out after 10 hours of labor and they set her right on my chest. I held her. I was suddenly covered in an emotional turmoil.. I’m a MOMMY! How did this happen? How could I be responsible for something so tiny and perfect? I thanked God, and I cried.
This brings me to the idea. I want to provide mothers and babies with natural choices in life. I believe we shouldn’t be subjected to what the mainstream thinks birth, child- rearing, and marketing tell us it should be. It should be about connecting, providing, and making your life all about BABY. And this is the beginning of my journey to do so. There aren’t a lot of resources when it comes to this area, and I will be doing lots of research, as well as posting recommendations, writing uplifting blogs, and talking about products (even some of my own!)
I would love for you to join me on this quest. Not for perfection, but for a little earth-friendly inspiring and resource for a better tomorrow for our little ones!
Here is where I gave birth: http://laboroflovetampa.com/
And I will talk more about everything in upcoming posts. Until Then.. Keep smiling!
All photos are courtesy of ME!