Friday, March 16, 2012

The Spiritual Side of My Home Birth

I'm not sure if I've spoken about the spiritual side of my homebirth plans, I can't recall. Pregnancy brain?! Probably Possibly. Guess it doesn't hurt to discuss it again. It is one of my favorite topics, afterall :) . . .and I just received some great news that I'm dying to share.

I am Catholic so I had planned  or rather desired, that might be a better word, to have the Legion of Mary enthrone a blessed statute of Mary in my home during the time of my homebirth. I had casually brought up my idea to the Legion Leader a couple months back at a get together. By the time I got around to speaking to her again to make the plans last weekend I discovered that the statue was already spoken for for the week of March 25th. I'm due March 27th, I was hoping to have her by then. But I thought I tend to run overdue, so it might still work out afterall. I was assigned to have her the first week of April--for Easter. That would be nice. I may not have her for the birth of my baby, but very shortly after while I'm home caring for and cuddling my new little one I'd have her there with me--and not to mention the honor of having her for Easter! So I resigned myself to this idea.

Well, dear readers, I just got a call this morning saying the original lady cancelled her appointment for the enthronement on the 25th and that I could have her afterall! I could have her from the 25th through Easter!!!! I was ecstatic at this news! Thank you Lord, my plan wish came true afterall!!

So now I need to clear her a spot on my mantle. Maybe buy her a few fresh flowers, or pick them from my garden already beginning to bloom with  all this crazy warm weather we've been having :) On the 25th she will brought to my home and enthroned while reciting the rosary and saying some prayers.

Thank you God <3

Monday, March 12, 2012

Evening Primrose for Labor

I have a history of "overdue" babies--three of my five labors were induced. This pregnancy I am being proactive. My midwives and my doula both suggested trying Evening Primrose. It doesn't start labor but assists in softening the cervix in preparation for labor.

In addition to labor, Evening Primrose has an array of uses for women's reproductive health issues. Natural Family Today states that, "Evening Primrose Oil, also referred to as EPO, is oil from the evening primrose plant. Evening Primrose is one of the oldest known plant remedies to be used for pregnancy, and was used by Native Americans. Evening Primrose is not just for pregnancy. It is commonly used to ease uncomfortable symptoms of menstruation, ovulation, and menopause, among other things. Some women have found it particularly effective in boosting fertility and achieving pregnancy. It’s also safe for use while breastfeeding."

How to Use Evening Primrose Oil to Start Labor

According to the National Institutes of Health, evening primrose oil is high in prostaglandins and contains gamma-linolenic acid, a type of omega-6 fatty acid. Prostaglandins soften the cervix so that it is ripe to begin dilation and effacement as labor progresses; they are naturally produced in higher amounts by the body in preparation for labor and delivery. The use of evening primrose oil to start labor has been around for a long time, and many midwives swear by this technique when helping pregnant patients prepare for delivery. Evening primrose oil does not directly trigger the start of labor, but works by softening and ripening the cervix. This allows the baby's head to engage in the pelvis, encouraging dilation. Not everyone agrees that evening primrose oil will help to soften the cervix.


  1. Visit your obstetrician for permission to use evening primrose oil to start labor, and to make certain your membranes are intact. The introduction of any substance into the vagina, or through the cervix, after a tear or rupture in your membranes may result in a serious infection that could put you and your baby at risk.
  2. Take two 500 mg capsules of evening primrose daily, as soon as 36 weeks' gestation. This will help slowly ripen and soften your cervix, but will not cause you to go into preterm labor.
  3. Increase the amount of capsules you are taking each day to three or four when you reach 38 weeks' gestation. Decrease your dose if you experience nausea or diarrhea, which are two common side effects of evening primrose oil.
  4. Insert a capsule into your vagina before bed each night throughout the last few weeks of your pregnancy. This should be done immediately before bed, as your body heat will dissolve the capsule and the oil will leak out of your vagina if you walk around.
  5. Use evening primrose oil as part of a perineal massage. Have your partner help you with this, if possible. Numerous studies, including one published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, show that daily massage of the perineum during the last month of pregnancy reduces the likelihood that an episiotomy will be needed during delivery.
I bought my bottle at Walmart for $5.88. My doula used this method and says she swears by it :)  We'll see what what happens!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

On the Art Front

Well if wasn't bad enough that last week I weathered a cold, that cold turned into head congestion which contributed to an ear infection on Sunday morning . . . 36 weeks pregnant with an ear infection is a bummer. But all is well. I saw a doctor, got some prescriptions, and while the pain is gone I still can't hear out of that one ear. Other than slowing down my blogging mojo, I'm for the most part back up and running again--just a little deaf (*smiles*)

On the art front, I have news that I received a new commission! My local community college--the same one that gave me my "commission artist" start--contacted me to do another portrait for a benefactor. It's such a beautiful feeling when I have broken the paper in with the first pencil sketchings. . .

This is my make shift art studio . . . my living room. Having little kids that need eyes on supervision I have to stay in the midst of the action. No tucking me away in my own little private art studio sanctuary. Or atleast not for now! One day when the kids are older I'll have all that :) But my duty is a mother and an artist so I do what I have to do to get the job done--which means staying in the war zone to create my masterpieces!

I also get to share that during a midwife home visit last week, I "sold" a photo copy of my drawing of Mother Teresa to my midwife. She posted it on the Tens Moons Midwifery Facebook page!  Take a look . . . Sweet :)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Paper Roll Twisted Oak Tree--Take 2

I wasn't lying when I said I was going to make myself one of the Paper Roll Twisted Oak Trees. I've just run into some minor creative set backs that have had to be resolved. For one, I used some brown packaging paper I had on hand instead of  paper bags. However, the paper isn't as thick and sturdy as that of a paper bag so that has caused some issues. I have been coating it numerous times with Mod Podge to help stiffen it up a bit. I still need to add a few more layers especially on the backside.

It still doesn't have the durability to withstand hanging yet. I probably should have placed wire inside the twisted paper as the tutorial suggested--especially being as I made mine super large (too large?). As of right now I have the tree tacked to a piece of cloth to both hold the branches in position while I'm coating them with the Mod Podge, as well as to keep the glue off my table while working with it. My kids are getting in on the action--and anytime kids are involved it's gonna get messy. It also serves as a gurney when we need to transport it off our table for dinner :)

Secondly, I've had this cold this week that has really set me back in every area of my life. Today is day 4 of the cold and I'm finally beginning to feel some relief. The cold cloud is beginning to rise finally.

Thirdly, leave it to an artist to take what was supposed to be a simple, quick, uncomplicated project and complicate it! I found this picture online:

I love all the color! It adds a little spunk. What if I added color to the tree instead of keeping it all brown??

Or even something like this:

Adding a little artistic variation to the leaves and such . . .

As you can see I took something easy (as usual) and went and complicated it all up! :) I just see soooo much possibility in this project. And I haven't even gotten to adding our names to the "Family Tree" yet and how I plan to do that.

So there is still much work to be done and creative problem solutions I need to figure out. I am determined as ever to finish this project before the baby comes--which means real soon! The final product will have to wait for Paper Roll Twisted Oak Tree--Take 3. . .