Sage’s Home Birth Story

I’m posting my second birth story because I think women’s experiences of birth are essential to share.  This is true whether the birth went perfectly, was miserable, or anywhere in between.  In sharing our birth stories, we share our power as women and are able to process, learn, and grow. 

Having hung around the birth community enough, I feel the need to say that I share this to educate and inspire, not to belittle any other birth experience.  I want women to know they have choices in their providers, in their birth environment, and I don’t think women usually even consider this until they are pregnant at which point they just assume they should do whatever everyone else has done!  But birth is an event that we’ll never forget and has lifelong impacts on mothers and babies.  It’s important to choose your birth team wisely!  Your birth team and environment may look completely different than mine (and that’s great — I totally understand my path is not right for everyone), but I hope you researched and investigated your options for what is best for YOU.

As with my first home birth, I opted to receive co-care.  This means I went for prenatal visits with a team of hospital-based midwives in addition to my home birth midwife.  I was thoroughly screened to ensure that I am healthy and a good candidate for home birth.  In addition to my amazingly experienced midwife, I also had a doula, my brave mother, my incredibly supportive husband, and my 3.5 year old daughter attend the birth.

(Oh, and one final note! All high-quality images are courtesy of Barefoot Smiles Photography.  All other photos were lifted from a home video or came from an iPhone which explains the disparity in quality!)

Sage’s Home Birth Story

This pregnancy was another positive experience overall. There’s nothing that can compare to the feeling of another life growing inside. There were no complications aside from some intense bouts with allergic reactions that I’ve never seen the likes of before!  At one point I spent over a month with a swollen face and extremely itchy hives.  Not fun.

IMG_0930

The last weeks of pregnancy also threw some curve balls – my 3 ½ year old came down with a viral illness in week 38 and my beloved grandma passed in week 39.  I thought there was a very real possibility that I’d be in labor during her funeral as my first born came 5 days “early”. Continue reading

Super Simple DIY Diaper Spray

As you might have guessed, we are a cloth diapering family.

From day one, our baby has had a fluffy bottom and she’s still going strong at 13 weeks.

IMG_8747 Continue reading

Calming and Cleansing Baby Bath Herbs

The soft, sensitive skin of our babies deserves extra special care.  So many body products contain chemicals that aren’t as safe as we’d hope.  You can see how your products rank on the Environmental Working Group’s Cosmetic Database.  More than 74,000 common products are evaluated for their safety including their risk to contributing to cancer or development of allergies.  It’s a pretty impressive resource!

The site also provides tips for specific chemicals to look out for and avoid in each age group.  For example, in babies, be sure to avoid diaper creams that contain BHA, Boric Acid, or fragrances.  Better yet, make your own diaper cream by making plantain salve!

Similarly, it is quite possible to make some of your own products for baby’s bath time.  Today I’d like to share a simple recipe for calming and cleansing baby bath herbs. Continue reading

Two Months in to Our New Adventure

The Light Footsteps Family has been busy enjoying the transition to a family of three.  I’m not sure how so many other women bloggers manage to keep cranking out posts once they have a new baby.  Guest bloggers, perhaps?  Anyone interested in doing some here? I’d take ’em!

Hopefully sometime in the new year I’ll be able to start posting more regularly again.  Recently, I thought I’d have a lot of new content soon as we were planning to close on a new 23-acre homestead tomorrow, but unfortunately, it has fallen through yet again.  I’m not sure if we’ll keep waiting around or start looking at new properties again.  This certainly has been a long search.

In other news, today is Baby Light Footstep’s 2-month birthday!  I wrote her a letter today that I thought might be fun to share here.  I hope you enjoy reading the highlights of our first two months, too.

62

Continue reading

Why We Chose a Homebirth

I received some encouraging feedback after posting my birth story.  It led me to write a more detailed post about some of the reasons that we decided to birth at home.  It’s hard to summarize such a complicated and emotionally-inspired topic, but here are some preliminary thoughts…

Why We Chose a Homebirth

I wasn’t always comfortable with the idea of birth.  Like many, I was indoctrinated into a culture that presents birth as something painful, terrifying, and prone to disaster.

I closed my eyes when we were shown a video of a hospital birth in 8th grade health class.

I remember another teacher returning after maternity leave and explaining that, “No, birth was not fun, it was like pushing a watermelon through a donut hole.” I tried to imagine this, but the donut always fell apart…

I thought I probably would not have children as a young adult.  If I wanted kids, maybe I would adopt. Having babies naturally seemed like it was just too much to handle.

Until I thought about getting pregnant myself, I don’t think I had ever heard a single positive birth story.

bizbeingborn-2And then I watched “The Business of Being Born”.  The scene of a woman swaying in water, her older child and husband standing nearby, is still fresh in my mind.  Suddenly, without any sound, without any indication of anything really, she reaches down and pulls up her baby.  My mind was blown. Birth did not have to hurt. And certainly birth did not have to be traumatic!  Continue reading

The Birth of Baby Light Footsteps

I feel a little strange making this post public because I am actually a very private person and this is a very intimate topic!  However, over the months that I was pregnant with Baby Light Footsteps, I became very passionate about birth and women’s birth experiences.  I want to share this story to add to the voices of women who are telling positive stories about birth.  Birth does not have to be driven by fear, it does not need to be scary, and it can be done without the use of drugs.

These sentiments are much different than what we are commonly exposed to in the media and what we often hear when we are told others’ birth stories.  Every birth is a blessing and I would never want to take away from someone else who experienced birth differently than me, but I am honored to share the story of my daughter’s peaceful and empowering homebirth.

Please also note that my decision to homebirth was researched extremely carefully (obsessively, really) and that my decision to (and preparation for) birth at home is not explained here.  Please email me if you’d like to discuss the decision further, or maybe there will be a future post about why I decided this was the safest choice for me and my baby!

One of the many captions scattered around the house in the month before the birth!

One of the many affirmations scattered around the house in the month before the birth!

Continue reading

Nests and Nesting

nestsI am so thankful to have this time of nesting. It has been a period of profound spiritual development, deep insights, and lots of preparation.  Continue reading

Blessingway Beads

At some point during my pregnancy, I learned the term “Blessingway”.  I believe it was because I saw an ad for this book (Mother Rising) in an issue of The Mother Magazine (a nice resource for alternative-type mamas, by the way).

Essentially, the idea of a Blessingway is similar to a baby shower, but emphasizes preparation and support of the mother rather than just the baby.  Instead of an event that centers around the giving of material gifts (which admittedly, are very helpful before a baby!), the importance of a woman’s journey to motherhood is also acknowledged.  Continue reading

Super Easy DIY Moby-type Wrap for Baby

For me, the effort to live more simply will also come through in the way I try to raise baby Light Footsteps.  So for example, that will mean cloth diapers, an attempt to avoid excessive scheduling, breastfeeding, baby-led weaning, and baby wearing (amongst other things, of course!).

In addition to being the method of transporting babies for many millennium before strollers, baby wearing advocates cite numerous potential benefits including:

  • reduced infant crying
  • better ability for parents to learn and respond to baby’s cues
  • ease of breastfeeding
  • increase in parental confidence
  • increased ability to do chores, walk, etc. while keeping baby near Continue reading