A simple blog about seeking the Lord, savoring life and joyfully serving my family.


Friday, January 30, 2015

DOs and DON"Ts of Healthy Eating


There is a fine line between obsessing about what goes into our bodies and wisdom over how we choose our food. Our family savors our snacks and meals but we find balance in viewing food as fuel for daily living.

Our family loves to watch the cooking show Good Eats on Netflix. Alton Brown is the chef. In one of the episodes he explains how he lost 50 lbs using a simple plan of 4 lists. They are basically DOs and DON"Ts of healthy eating. We are currently enjoying the simplicity of Alton Brown's plan and if you are interested in watching Alton explain his success using the 4 lists, visit the link below...
Alton's Diet Plan

We respected the simplicity of Alton's plan so we adapted it for our family.

     Adoring's Adapted Plan of Four Lists


daily3x/week1x/week0x/week
fruits
sprouted bread
leafy greens
nuts
carrots
apple cider
   vinegar drink
coconut oil
oily fish
yogurt
broccoli
sweet potato
avocado
green smoothie
fermented sauerkraut
Kefir or Kombucha
beef
venison
pasta
dessert
fast food
soda
processed meals
canned soups
“diet” anything
MSG
high fructose
       corn syrup


We hope you will see this as a starting point for your own 4 lists. What do you feel you must feed your family daily? Are there certain things you would like to give them at least3 times a week? What must be enjoyed in moderation or not at all? Of course, there are exceptions (occasional visit to Chick-fil-A)  and for theses times we remember Hebrews 13:9 says "Your strength comes from God’s grace, not from rules about food..." We practice this grace in our lives by using these lists as guidelines to help regulate healthy eating.
Grace and peace,
Adoring Family


    


Thursday, January 29, 2015

How to Make Healthy Eating Easy

My husband and I attempt to provide the best for our family and eating is a huge part of that. We view food like we do anything in our lives. We only want to the best we can afford. We don't like a lot of clutter around our house and we don't like a lot of clutter in our diet. We keep things high quality and simple.


"Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." 1 Corinthians 10:31


Here are the Adoring Family's 6 ways to make healthy eating easy:

1. Clean out your fridge and pantry. The goal here is to eliminate processed foods and refined carbs. If you keep it in the house then you will be tempted. I do not want to you to succumb to temptation during a moment of hungry weakness. Plan healthy meals and snacks. Seek out clean eating recipes on Pinterest and try a few. Purchase fresh foods such as fruit, yogurt, nuts. Try to think of healthy alternatives to your favorite unhealthy snack. If you crave something salty and crunchy, try air popped popcorn. Are you seeking creamy sweetness? Try Greek yogurt sweetened with honey.

2. Take note of how certain foods makes you feel and what they are doing to your body. This trick has given me great success. I love ice cream but it makes me feel sluggish and causes digestive issues. I know that eating ice cream is not going to give me energy. If I see a big bowl of ice cream as a bowl of processed food that will upset my tummy then it is easier to say no thank you. This takes me to my next point...

3. Give your taste buds time to acclimate to "real food". It will take a few days (probably about 4-7) but you will adapt and come to enjoy fresh, healthy food.  I was delighted to discover that organic, sprouted bread is more palatable to me than overly processed white bread with cheap ingredients.

4. Be a picky eater! You will still have the opportunity to treat yourself to that delectable slice of flourless chocolate cake as long as you indulge in moderation. Become familiar with the foods you truly love and eat those. I wouldn't buy a pair of ugly shoes just because they are on sale so in the same manner I don't make a habit out of ingesting something I don't truly enjoy.

 4. Avoid situations where unhealthy food would beckon you only for the first few weeks of your new diaeta. Eventually you will have the will power to resist but it will be difficult at first so do not even go there. I know this is difficult and if you simply cannot avoid these situations seek the least processed option and avoid sugar. Of course, we do not wish to be rude so if there are no alternatives by all means take part in whatever is served. I would rather wreck my eating habits than offend my host.

6. Hydrate. We drink a lot of H2O around here. In order to up my intake of water I usually add a splash of juice to make it more enjoyable (fresh is best but bottled is fine as long as it is 100% juice). I also enjoy infused water. My suggestion is to try water infused with orange and rosemary or cucumber, lime and mint. My favorite drink of all is sparkling water. I L.O.V.E. Perrier water.

This post has already gotten too long and I need some snuggles from my girl! I have so much I more would like to share so stay tuned...

Grace and peace,
Adoring Family

linked:
Hip Homeschool Moms.com

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Workout Routine With a Newborn

Now that I have a sweet, little 2 month old and have been given the all clear to resume exercising, I have put together a light fitness routine. As you know, I was a certified personal trainer and fitness instructor before this last baby came along. I have tried many types of exercise programs but the one I found to be most effective for me is one that involves cardio intervals.

Cardio intervals allow you to keep your heart rate up over an extended period of time by doing short bursts of cardio exercises coupled with short rests between. This allows you to keep your heart rate up longer than if you performed the put the same amount of effort into one long set of cardio training. The result is maximum fat burning with less exertion, something this girl can smile about! Speaking of fat burning, muscle burns more calories than fat which encourages me to build strength training into my routine.

Here is my cardio/strength training program that can be completed while my little ones are doing this...

 
Quick Cardio Interval Training
1. Sprint in place for 30 seconds
2. Rest or maximize your workout by doing 15-20 curls with 3- 5 lb weights
3. Mountain climbers for 30 seconds
4. Rest or perform 15-20 shoulder raises with 3-5 lb weights
5. Jumping jacks for 30 seconds
6. Rest or do 15-20 skull crushers using 3-5 lb weights
   Repeat entire set.

The second day I will replace the short arm workout with a leg workout ie. squats, calf raises, deadlifts. If you feel tired, please rest to avoid overexertion. Be sure hydrate throughout this set and after, especially if you are nursing.  Reward yourself with some clean, delicious protein within 30 minutes.

This is what works for me but please discuss this with your doctor first :D
Diet is an integral part of fitness, we all know this. More on that in my next post!


Grace and peace,
Adoring Family

linked here:
mommy monday

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

How to Be a Happy Wife


I have heard it said, "Happy wife, happy life." I think the premise here is for husbands to do whatever it takes to make their wives happy in order to ultimately be happy themselves.

As a wife, I strive to have a happy atmosphere in this home so I take full responsibility in cultivating my own joy. Joy is a fruit of the Spirit. In His presence is fullness of joy. We find joy when we hope and trust in the Lord and in the discipline of contentment and thankfulness. My prayer today is that my cup of joy be so full that it overflows and trickles into their cups.


Our home is quite noisy, I want it to be a joyful noise unto the Lord. I write this today as a reminder to myself that I want my husband, my children to rise up and call me happy. Happy wife, happy life.

Grace and peace,
Adoring Family

linked here:
Wake Up Wednesday

Monday, January 26, 2015

How to Have a Happy Pregnancy


Pregnancy can be the most joyous time of your life but it can also one of the most challenging. Heartburn, digestive issues, backaches, muscle pain, a growing belly and those are just the physical aspects. As a mom over 35, my "high risk" pregnancy could have caused much anxiety if I let my thoughts go anywhere they wanted. How can we find joy during a time of pain, waiting and uncertainty? The answer is to choose joy.
Lot's of joy right here!
Focus on the end result.
The good Lord is knitting a sweet blessing in your womb. What a privilege. I know it is hard and can be painful. I don't know if it was my age (I'm high risk y'all :D) or just the fact that it was my fourth child but this pregnancy was painful! My hips were killing me, some days I could barely walk.
 I would remind myself that these present sufferings are temporal but will produce an eternal reward as 2 Corinthians 4:17 says. I would think about that darling, blessed reward and picture myself kissing my sweet baby.


Love your belly.
I wish I had taken more photos of my baby bump during this last pregnancy. You may not think it is beautiful and you may not feel beautiful but I assure you, you are! The only thing more beautiful than a woman who has that pregnancy glow is the beautiful infant she will deliver. Love that belly! You may miss it someday. True story :D

1 day before baby 4 came.
 Give thanks with a grateful heart.
Thanksgiving produces joy. Thank the Lord for your precious blessing.
 We are called to rejoice, to pray and give thanks.
Life is what you make it. Happiness is a choice. Choosing joy is a discipline. You work at it just as you work at running a marathon. Ask any runner and she will tell you it get's easier as you train. The discipline of choosing joy is no different.


Exercise and eat right.
Understand this: I know you are tired. I would think, I can't use the only energy I have to exercise, who is going to unstack the dishwasher or give the kids a bath? I am here to testify that the energy you put into exercise you will get back. Exercise = endorphins. Endorphins = happy! It is important for you fuel your body with clean, nutrient dense food. Your baby will thank you and your body with thrive. Avoid energy zapping sugar and refined foods. Of course you want to discuss these things with our O.B. or midwife first ;)

Draw your strength from the one source of true joy and strength-Christ.
Nehemiah 8:10 says the joy of the Lord is our strength. You can turn that into an uplifting chorus to sing when you are weary. Ask the Lord to give you strength. Psalm 46:1 "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." Lamentations 3:22-25 says,
The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I have hope in Him.”
25 The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
To the person who seeks Him.


 Memorize God's Word.
Times will get tough. As this was not my first go-round, I knew this. I decided to memorize verses for encouragement during those times. I would ask the Lord to get me through this brief moment and then recite some of these verses.

"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us." Romans 8:18

Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. James5:17

 "I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants,
offer your body as a living sacrifice. Deuteronomy 30:19

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. Romans 12:1

 16 Rejoice always; 17 pray without ceasing; 18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name. Hebrews 13:5

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. Philippians 4:8
Each of my pregnancies presented their own challenges. I was put on be bed rest with my first two due to a blood clot inside the uterus. My third was easiest but I was teaching water aerobics and a barre class up until a month before I had her. Still, I was pretty exhausted after teaching and also caring for two little ones! My fourth was the most painful and exhausting but I praised God for every ache and pain. I was so thankful and happy to be unexpectedly pregnant! I didn't always choose joy, but I am thankful for the times I did.
1 Thessalonians 5:24 
 "Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass."
Grace and peace,
Adoring Family

Saturday, January 24, 2015

5 Tips For Your Newborn's First Month


1. Relish every second. The first few weeks of a newborn's life are an incredibly joyous time but they will fly by. It will be 8am, you will blink twice and it will be 8pm. Trust me, I have experienced this 4 times.


2. Hold that baby. Let her fall asleep in your arms, not a swing. You will NEVER get this sweet time back. Kiss her, cuddle her, squeeze her every chance you get. Psalm 90:12 teaches us to number our days. Remember that as you bond with your precious blessing.

3. Give yourself grace. If you homeschool take a break (more on homeschooling with your newborn in another post). Your dishes may get backed up, the carpet may need to be vacuumed and the floors mopped. It's okay. Everyone will be admiring your precious newborn when they come for a visit and will not care a thing about your un-mopped floors.

4. Receive help graciously. If your church offers meals, gladly say thank you and enjoy them. One of my favorite things to do for  a new mom is prepare a meal because I know how appreciated they are! If you grandmother wants to come sweep your floors, let her. It blesses her to help you. Mark 9:41 "For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward."


5.Take pictures and videos every day. Take tons of pictures and videos. Hire a photographer or try taking professional looking photos yourself. There are numerous tutorials on taking newborn photos on Pinterest. Don't stress about though and don't try to make every photo perfect. Just snap away so you can remember your baby's first weeks.

Enjoy this fleeting, blessed season.

I love this excerpt from the poem "Babies Don't Keep" 
 The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
For children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep. 
by Ruth Hamilton
 
Grace and peace,
Adoring Family

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What to Expect for Second Time Moms

Friday, January 23, 2015

10 Tips For a Healthy Pregnancy

38 weeks

1. Apple Cider Vinegar. Apple Cider Vinegar promotes regularity and aids digestion. Every day I drink one glass of water with 1 tsp. each of ACV and raw honey.

2. Psyllium Husks. Psyllium Husks are found in Metamucil. If you purchase them in their powdered form you will have no additives and pay quite a bit less. Psyllium husks aid in elimination. I would drink a Tbsp. mixed with almond milk or juice at least three times a week. Be sure to drink plenty of water!

3. Ballet Barre Exercises. High intensity and low impact strength training. Perfect for pregnancy. There are many YouTube vids to introduce you to this fun method of exercise. Talk to your O.B. or midwife before trying a new exercise program.

4. Water Aerobics. I am a firm believer that water aerobics are THE reason I was able to continue my level of fitness throughout my pregnancy.

5. Coconut Oil. Increase energy levels by ingesting this form of medium chain fatty acids to optimize the baby's development. I also used coconut oil topically to prevent stretch marks. Happy to report that it was a success on both accounts.

6. Chicken stock. The gelatin and minerals are highly beneficial to mama and baby.

7.Ezekial bread. This sprouted bread is the only kind of bread that didn't clog up my system during pregnancy. I enjoy a slice every day.

8. Say no sweets and white bread and white pastas. If you must indulge in bread or pasta, choose whole grains.

9. Red Raspberry Leaf Tea. Personally, I waited until the 35th week to start drinking this tea. The tea is said to tone the uterus and make contractions more productive.

10.Green smoothies. To insure I kept my iron levels up I drank spinach smoothies as often as I could. Recipe coming soon!


28 weeks
Grace and peace,
Adoring Family
 
 
This post is shared here
 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Thriving During the First Trimester

3rd Baby, 1st Trimester




The first trimester can be a bit of a challenge whether you are a first time mom or a fourth, like I. Because I have a family to serve, I decided I would make provisions ahead of time to insure a smoothly run home even when mommy was run-down. In a few simple steps I felt prepared to face my first trimester with grace.

1.Determine daily and weekly chores you are responsible for.
My daily responsibilities are meals, homeschooling, laundry and dishes. Weekly chores include, (but are definitely not limited to)  sweeping, mopping, dusting, cleaning out the fridge/pantry.

2.Assign each day a chore so you can get it all accomplished with out exhausting your energy levels. Here is an example:
 
Weekly
Monday: Meal plan and clean out fridge/pantry
Tuesday: Classical Conversations (our homeschool group, more on that later)
Wednesday: Dust entire home  
Thursday: Pay bills and clean bathrooms- toilets, floors, counters
Friday: Sweep, mop

Weekly meal planning
Sometimes we have the same thing every week and sometimes we mix it up. During the first trimester it was easier for me to stick to the same basic meals. Grocery shopping was simple and prep was almost automatic.
I like to prepare all of my meat for the week on Mondays. I am already dirtying up the kitchen so why not make it an ultra productive time? This way daily meal preparation is much easier and if my energy levels are low, I can easily throw something together using my precooked meat. I call my cooking style "slow and low". I simmer my food on a low heat for a long period of time. This allows me to fill up two pots with chicken or beef and let them cook on low with little effort on my part. I only have two pots to clean and I have meat for the rest of the week.



Monday: Stuffed Potatoes
Tuesday: Taco Tuesday with chips, salsa and guacamole plus a side of fresh pineapple 
Wednesday: Our version of hamburger helper using Annies Organic Whole Wheat Shells and Cheese, spinach salad and fresh fruit
Thursday: Baked spagetti with raw carrots and green beans
Friday: Salmon patties with mashed potatoes and asparagus 
Saturday: Stacked enchiladas with beans and fiesta salad
 
 
 
3.Seek help. If you have children, are there ways they can assist you in completing the daily items in your home? Responsibility is good for children and they will feel accomplished knowing they are serving their family.

Daily
Make beds
Dishes
Laundry (put a load on after breakfast, transfer to the dryer after lunch and put away after school)
Wipe down surfaces
Declutter home for 15 minutes. You can break this up into 5 minute segments and involve you family. This is essentially tidying up and putting things away. I am attempting to train my children and myself to put things away as we go but somehow there are always miscellaneous items floating around.
 
How the kids can help...
Make their own beds
Unstack  dishwasher
Fold towels and put away their own clothing
Clean their bathroom (my son sweeps and my daughter wipes down surfaces and my youngest likes to wipe the floor)
Take out trash
Feed chickens
My son will sweep and my daughter will wipe down the table while my youngest and I stack the dishwasher and put lunch away. We sing while work. The Joy of the Lord Is My Strength was one of my favorites when I felt like I was dragging.

 Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Psalm 95:1




4. Commit your ways unto the Lord.
Proverbs 16:3 says "Commit your works to the LORD And your plans will be established." Pray over you list.
Remember that all of life is worship and seek to glorify God during this time of life. Also remember that "Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass." 1 Thessalonians 5:24
Draw your strength from the Lord because."I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13
Ask the Lord for strength and wisdom to help you during this very short season. Remember the words of Paul in 2 Corinthians 4:17 "For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison,"

2nd Baby, 1st Trimester

Tomorrow I will talk about maximizing energy levels and fitness during pregnancy.
Until then, grace and peace.
Adoring Family

linked:
www.hiphomeschoolmoms.com

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Our Birthing Center Experince




For our fourth baby, we chose to give birth at a birthing center. We felt comfortable with the accessibility of a hospital should something go wrong. The birthing center had infant resuscitation devises and birthing tubs in each room plus more equipment than we could have in our home. This birthing center was also covered by our health insurance.

The prenatal visits, birth, postpartum visits and the baby's first 6 weeks visits were covered in the price of the birth at the center. Each visit was informative and relaxed. I loved the warm environment and friendly staff. The birthing center had a luxurious, bed and breakfast feel. There are several midwives on staff and the center made sure I had a prenatal appointment with each of them. I never felt rushed and my children were always welcome. I felt complete freedom during my labor. They gave advice freely but were respectful of our wishes and gave us full control over our experience.

This was the peaceful scene that greeted us when we arrived the day we gave birth.

They were diffusing "Calm Baby" and lavender. We added a few drops of clary sage to help make the contractions more productive and hopefully speed the labor process. It was a beautiful experience and a peaceful time. Admittedly, I was a bit nervous. There was an element of apprehension as I anticipated another natural birth but the aromatherapy had a calming effect. It was also a comfort to know the midwives were so gentle and attentive to our well-being.

 The center is about 45 minutes away from our home. As the day grew closer I began to get more anxious about the drive. The memory of my quick delivery with my last child was lingering in my mind and I was uneasy about arriving in time to give birth. Three weeks before our baby was born, we actually went in thinking we would be coming home with a baby. The staff were so kind and patient. I was immensely disappointed when we went home. I had severely powerful Braxton hicks contractions that fooled me into thinking it was "time" on numerous occasions after that.
The day before our precious one's arrival.

 The night before our baby was born, I was convinced our baby was coming and my husband better call the fire department because we wouldn't make it out the door! Thankfully I am married to a calm, discerning man who gave me a glass of water and waited it out a few minutes. Alas, my contractions stopped and we drifted off to bed, disappointed yet again. He said we are all going to the birthing center in the morning to be "checked". I called ahead to inform the center of our arrival and our entire family loaded up and went in. They checked me and I was dilated to a 4. The midwife on call decided to attempt to progress the labor.

Getting excited.
We get to see our baby sister!


We called my father-in-law and the sweet man and his sweet wife drove forty five minutes to pick up our kiddos and take them back to our home in our van. He then drove our van back to us so we could come home in our own vehicle. Sweet, sweet man. I was so happy to have our little family together in that birthing room as we prepared for the labor to come. As Psalm 8:2 says, "From the mouth of infants and nursing babes You have established strength..." I did draw strength from my joyous little ones that day.

 

My midwife concocted three herbal tinctures and put me on the breast pump to see if that would regulate my contractions. Indeed it did. It was thirty minutes and my contractions became stronger and more regular. My midwife asked me if I wanted her to wait in the room with me or if I preferred to be alone. I like my solitude so I told her I would call her when I was ready. She and the PA came in often to check the baby's heart rate and mine. I was not hooked up to wires or I.V.s so I was free to walk around (which I did and I must say it helped with the pain and descending the baby).


My daughter created this lovely Scripture art to encourage me during labor. We printed several free Scripture pintables from Pinterest. These were very uplifting and comforting. My children traced their hands on the back of the Scriptures and wrote love notes that I will treasure always.

My contractions became stronger and I was encouraged to have the midwife break my water. I was not ready to take this step as I had read that breaking the bag of waters could produce more painful contractions. The pain I was experiencing was already different, more severe than when I had my last child. I read that the breast pump can cause the uterine contractions to be more painful. I'm a believer. The pain I experienced when I was dilated to a six was synonymous with the pain I experienced with my last birth during the transition phase. So, ladies, I know how it feels to want to deliver that baby but if you can wait and let your body progress on it's own, do. That being said, I wouldn't change a thing about my birthing experience. I'll tell you why in a minute...

As darkness began to fall, I decided I was ready to have them break my water. I started the playlist of worship music I created for this very moment. I held my Scriptures with my children's' handprints in one hand and my husband's hand in my other. I recited Zephaniah 3:17, "The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing." It wasn't as bad as I anticipated. My midwife said I was just about to go on my own. 45 minutes passed and I knew it was time to push. My husband called for the midwife and her assistant. As they came in I asked if I should get into the birthing tub they prepared for me. One look and they knew there would be no time. I was in excruciating pain and I felt I could not go on. I asked them what I could do because I did not think I could do this. My husband said the baby was crowning and to push. I pushed with every fiber of my being. Twice. Our baby girl was born at 6:17 pm.
She was a chubby little sweetie!


This baby has made many people very happy. You see, the reason I wouldn't change a thing is because she was born on my husband's grandmother's birthday. We were all delighted but she was overjoyed. She said that baby was the best birthday gift ever. They now share the same middle name and birthday.



 "Whenever a woman is in labor she has pain, because her hour has come; but when she gives birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy that a child has been born into the world."
John 16:21
"He will love you and bless you and increase your numbers. He will bless the fruit of your womb,''
Deuteronomy 7:13



 We were given the option to stay the night but we were aching to get home to our other babies. We couldn't wait for our children to greet their new baby sister. The staff could see this was not our first rodeo. The baby was healthy and nursing well, my body was recovering at a rate of speed that amazed even the midwives. They released us around 12:00 am.

Midnight road trip!
The girls were elated to see their baby sister. A tornado could not have woken up our son from his slumber however, he was over the moon the next morning!

Our joy is complete.

I am thankful for the Lord's hand in all of our birthing experiences. I enjoyed each experience in a different way. The main differences between the hospital and birthing center were the freedoms the birthing center offered. They would inform us of the decisions we needed to make and graciously sit back and let us contemplate our action. At the hospital we were typically not asked, the staff would act in the way they thought best. If we wanted something contrary to the hospital's normal practice we would usually be greeted with opposition and strange looks. At the birthing center our wishes were respected and honored without hesitation. I can appreciate the fact that the hospital staff help many patients and feel they are acting in the best interest of all involved. A natural birth is not for everyone nor is laboring at a birthing center. I do recommend you consider a birthing center. It is nice to give birth in a place where only mommies and babies are the priority and you don't have to think about a bunch of scary germies from other patients in the hospital. Natural birthing is also my preference because the recovery time is so much quicker.

Grace and peace,
Adoring Family

Friday, January 16, 2015

Natural Birth vs. Medicated Births

Natural vs. Medicated Births

 


The good Lord has blessed us with four children and each of our birthing experiences have been completely different. Wonderful in their own way, but different. The first three were in a hospital and our last was at a birthing center.



The first birth started with my water breaking at 3am and contractions never progressing. Cue the Pitocin. And the extreme pain. I got an epidural when I was dilated to a 2-3. I pushed for about 45 minutes. I didn't exactly know what I was supposed to be doing and I could feel the contractions enough to know when to push. The meds from the epi made me so nauseous that I threw up after every. single. push. My sweet husband (poor guy) was there to hold the bowl for me. Finally, we experienced our first miracle of life. It was the most beautiful thing I have ever encountered. Same goes for my husband. I sobbed tears of joy. It took about ten minutes for the baby to latch on but when she did, she nursed well. The waiting room was full of family from both sides as this was the first grandbaby for both sides. Recovery was terrible. I could barely walk or use the bathroom (I had to have a catheter because of the epidural). It took days to get over. However, I was in deep love with my baby girl. She weighed 7.6 lbs. Pain scale was a 10 until the epidural and then it is hard to say.



Unto us a son is given!

 The second birth, my son was getting too big and they were afraid I would not be able to deliver him without a C-section. The doctor suspected my water had already broken and I was admitted at 7am and put on Pitocin. The doctor came in around 10:00 to see if I had progressed. He broke my water at this time. I told the OB I wanted to try to give birth without pain meds. Ha-ha. 10 minutes later (maybe it was 5) I was still talking to the OB and the contractions starting coming hard and strong. I quickly changed my tune and told him I wanted the epidural. He looked surprised as he left to order it. While he was gone the baby started making his way into the world. The nurse had to catch him but not before I begged for some pain relief. She gave me stadol. Didn't love that one bit. It made me feel drunk. Who wants to be drunk during the most beautiful experience of life? Had I only known how close I was to giving birth I would have refrained. She literally game the shot as I started pushing the baby out. However the recovery was much easier without the epidural. And I wasn't nauseated this time. It was easier to use the restroom after and the days after recovery were easier as well. The waiting room was full of people during and after the birth. I was wheeled to my recovery room and it took me a while to become fully coherent. Once the stadol wore off I noticed my son's dimples and I was smitten. He was 3 weeks early and weighed 7 lbs. Pain scale 10.


During my pregnancy with my son I began the path to health and by the time my third birth rolled around I was seeking to live a natural lifestyle. I studied the Bradley method and was adamant about giving birth naturally. I taught water aerobics the entire time I was pregnant except the last month. I did exercises out of the water as well. I ate well and drank Red Raspberry Leaf Tea. It was the Christmas season and I woke up knowing that that day was THE day. I had a list of chores I wanted to complete and I also wanted to  bake Christmas cookies with my children. I read once that when you go into labor to bake cookies without a timer. When you start to burn the cookies you know it's time to go in. I called my friend Jocelyn and let her know I was in labor. By this time contractions were 3 minutes apart and she told me to go the hospital. By this time the cookies started burning. I brewed a strong batch of Red Raspberry Leaf Tea and drank it as hot as I could stand it. I then went to pack a few last minute items in my hospital bag. During this time I had a very painful contraction and I had to get on my bed to ride out the pain. I believe this was transition because I remember thinking I couldn't do it and would need pain medication. My husband walked into the room and saw my face. He said it was time to g to the hospital now. His brother, who had come to watch the kids, agreed. I cried. I didn't want to leave my family and my cozy home. I finally consented and got in the car. As I was sitting in the car the pain completely stopped. I remember seeing my belly contract but there was no pain. I thought it was false labor and told my husband we should not go yet. He said we would go anyway. On the way he mentioned that he forgot his hat. I told him he may as well turn around and get it because this was NOT it. He refused and I am so glad he did. Once we got to the traffic light my contractions came on hard and strong. We got to the hospital at 3:00pm. It took about ten minutes to get to the labor ward because I had to stop and go to the bathroom along the way (remember I drank all that tea). I told them I thought I was in labor and the nurse wryly said "We'll see." I guess I didn't look like I was in enough pain! They gave me a gown and I changed while my husband went to get our things. The nurse came in and as soon as I sat on the bed my water broke. She checked me and her eyes got as big a saucers. She said I was dilated to a 9.5 and that the baby was coming. My husband walked in and came to my side. I was surprisingly calm and felt the Lord was with me. The room was a frenzy. Staff running, an administrator trying get my information and another nurse trying to give me an I.V. which I refused. They convinced me to get a hep-lock but before the could even start the baby began to crown! Wow, that ring of fire! I pushed about 4 time and that baby was out! It was 3:20.

The recovery was amazing. I walked to my recovery room. She weighed 7.2 lbs. and had the quietest, sweetest cry I had ever heard. Best experience ever. On a pain scale it was a 7. I was begging to leave the hospital before the 24 hour period was up.

My next post I will talk about my most recent birth experience with number 4 which was at a birthing center. I will contrast my experience at the hospital and the birthing center.

Until then, Grace and peace.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

German Pancakes

When my husband and I were first married we stayed at a quaint bed and breakfast in a charming, little German town. The antique shopping was abundant, the culture inviting and the food, divine. We were served this fluffy dish one morning with a side of crisp bacon and fresh fruit. My husband and I were determined to recreate the experience at home.
 
 
 
Here is the recipe:

GERMAN PANCAKES "EIERKUCHEN"

8 Farm fresh eggs
2 cups milk (I use almond milk)
1/2 cup melted butter
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 tsp of baking soda
3 tbsp. sugar or maple syrup
dash of salt
Sprinkle of powdered sugar
additional butter 1/4 cup

Preheat oven to 400. Place 9x13 baking dish into oven with 1/4 cup butter to melt. Combine all of the ingredients except powdered sugar in a blender. Pulse until all of the ingredients are combined then blend until no lumps are present. Pour into buttered 9x13 pan. Bake about ten minutes and then dust with powdered sugar. Bake additional 3 minutes. The pancake will be bubbly but will settle once cooled a bit. Serve with maple syrup and fresh fruit.

Do you have a "Go-to" breakfast recipe? German Pancakes would have to be my favorite breakfast to serve my family and guests. It is a unique, simple, quick, "real-food" recipe. I always have the ingredients on hand and they get rave reviews every time I serve them. Did I mention they are simple and easy? A must for this mom of four!