My journey into the natural world began when I first got married. I was still in college so I went on birth control pills in order to prevent a pregnancy. Then I developed all the side effects in the book! I hated the pill and all my doctor did was switch me to a new pill every time I went in to the office and complained. And with each new pill came a new side effect. I began to do research online and found many other women with the same issues I had and many who turned to natural forms of birth control. As I delved deeper into this form of birth control, I began to find posts about herbs and alternative medicine. That was enough to pique my interest. Then my husband started having stomach problems and I got herbal books and found natural treatments for him. I went completely off birth control at the beginning of 2009 and began taking red raspberry leaf and chastetree berry for reproductive health. By this point, I had learned to do thorough research before taking any medication. I was also diagnosed with eczema around this time and learned to avoid parabens and other harmful chemicals in soaps and lotions.
Now fast forward to March 2010. This is when I found out I was pregnant. The first thing I did was call my regular OB/Gyn and schedule and appointment. I went along with all the initial tests and was ready to have my baby at the hospital and probably with an epidural like everyone else. At my first appointment, I remembered that my old primary care doctor had told me not to worry about my scoliosis, which was discovered when I was 16, until I was pregnant or hit menopause. So I asked my OB about this and she said it wouldn't affect my pregnancy. however, the pregnancy could cause my spine to curve further and whether or not I would be able to have an epidural would be determined by what type of curve I have, how curved my spine is, and what the experience of the anesthesiologist on call was. That was enough to get me thinking about what would happen if I showed up to the hospital in labor, ready to get an epidural, only to be told I couldn't have one. I then decided it would be best to be prepared for a natural birth in case I wasn't able to have an epidural. I began doing research online about scoliosis and epidurals and came across a wealth of information on the risks and side effects of epidurals. I was horrified to find out some of these side effects and decided that I wanted a natural birth. I told my husband about my findings and my desire to have a natural birth and, at first, he thought I was crazy. When he told his aunt and other women, they all told him I was crazy and all the women we knew said they couldn't have done it without an epidural. However, once we got more information and found out that tons of women have natural births, my husband realized this was normal and that, if all these women could do it, of course I could do it too.
In order to be better prepared, I began to do research on natural birth online and checked out some books from the library. In my research, I came across the Bradley method of natural childbirth and decided a Bradley class would be the best way to get prepared for my natural birth. At this point, my husband was on board with my decision and said he would do anything that would help me achieve my goal. I also discovered that our local birth center, Labor of Love Birth Center, accepted Medicaid. I was on Medicaid due to having lost my job and had never dreamed I could birth anywhere besides a hospital. In my research I found that a birth center would be the best place for me to birth. As first time parents, we did not feel comfortable with a home birth. However, we were now unhappy with my regular OB office and wanted to find a new one and I've always hated hospitals and could not imagine having to be in one when the baby was born. We toured both the birth center and the hospital my OB was affiliated with and the decision was clear. At Labor of Love I would have more support and education geared towards helping me accomplish a natural birth. In July, at 21 weeks, I had my first appointment at the birth center and, in August, we began Bradley classes. We learned so much during this time and I also decided that I wanted to breastfeed since it was the best for my baby.
Sometime during my pregnancy I came across an ad for Bum Genius and another ad for Bummis cloth diapers in Pregnancy magazine. I was cloth diapered as a baby but my parents had the old fashioned flats with pins and plastic pants which they had to wash by hand. These new diapers with wraps and velcro seemed interesting to me and so I did some research online. That's when I realized there are hundreds of options out there. It took me many hours of research but after seeing the benefits, I decided I wanted to cloth diaper my baby as well. When I told my husband it was better for the baby's skin and how much money we would save, he was all for it and we decided we would start with pocket diapers, specifically with Bum Genius. Unfortunately, he lost his job unexpectedly towards the end of my pregnancy and we almost gave up on the cloth since we couldn't afford the initial investment. I was soooooBummis/Tots Bots Easy fit she won on a blog giveaway!
On November 19th, our baby boy, Daniel was finally born! I had the natural birth I had been striving for. I was able to breastfeed Daniel right away, although not without challenges. The one size cloth diapers didn't fit right away so we used disposables until he was about 1 1/2 months old. We never planned on co-sleeping but ended up doing it when we found ourselves exhausted in the middle of the night with a cranky baby who ate non-stop and we all ended up sleeping better that way. During my pregnancy I had also decided I wanted to be a baby wearing mom and right around this time I ordered my Moby Wrap. Daniel loved riding in it since day one and it has been a lifesaver at times!
I have grown a lot and my way of thinking has changed so much on this journey and now I am proud to be a natural birthing, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, baby wearing mom! I am also on a mission to find safer, more natural options for my family when it comes to food, cleaning, and personal care, as well as looking into alternative medical treatments. It is my goal to slowly eliminate harmful chemicals from our lives and move towards a much healthier lifestyle. I will be posting on here about our journey to better health as well as any information I find that I feel will be beneficial to others. I hope you enjoy reading my blog and that you find the information I post on here helpful in making decisions on what is best for you and your families.