Last Tuesday I got my first confirmation that my birth journey has officially begun. My midwife declared me 1-2 cm dilated and noted the baby was riding low, good indications I would deliver sooner rather than later. I could walk around for a couple of weeks like this, or bust into active labor at any moment.
Instead of nervous, I feel excitement welling within, and I’ve been hustling between naps to finish all the things on my to-do list. Which has happily dwindled down to the bonus section of “would-be-nice” but “not required.”
Now that I’ve arrived at the last bit of pregnancy, I’ve officially declared it a huge success & have been reflecting on what a complaint free condition this has been. I deeply believe this has everything to do with the modest but monumental practices of care that I have assimilated into my pregnancy routine.
Here are the key aspects to my pregnancy routine that have contributed to a smooth pregnancy:
Practices That Made It Easy
Midwifery Care – Each appointment is a full hour, where I can build a trusting relationship with my midwife, Kelli Johnson. She answers my questions & allows me to share my feelings without judgment while performing all the necessary medical tests & procedures. I can call her anytime of the day or night & she’s part of a large network of families that recycle their baby gear, so I’ve come home with several boxes of baby clothing from her.
Reiki – Reiki is a technique for stress reduction & relaxation that also promotes healing. I made sure to get this energy treatment weekly to help clear my body of imbalances physically, emotionally, mentally & spiritually which enabled me to handle my fluctuating hormones, connect with my baby, sit more comfortably in my body and work through life’s everyday stress with ease & grace. Private sessions with Amber Melendy at Shine On Yoga
Network Spinal Analysis – Gentle spinal adjustments combined with unique breathing techniques to reconnect me with parts of my body that shift throughout pregnancy. My pelvis and lower back loved me after each session. As Dr. D’Anna always says, you have to “Find it to fix it!” This weekly treatment prevented the aches and pains that most pregnant ladies complain about.
Hypno Birthing Meditations – When my older sister had her last child, I was blessed to be her birthing partner and took a series of classes with her on Hypno-Birthing. Then I witnessed her painless “labor” where she went within and focused so intently, it looked like she was sleeping while her cervix dilated to 10cm. It was impressive & empowering. My friend Sune handed down her Hypnobabies Home Course, which I have been listening to practically every night before bed. There are classes you can take in town – check the Central Florida Birth Network for info.
In these sessions, I am taught to surround myself with only positive people and messages, to create a positive view of childbirth and the expectation that my birthing with be a beautiful, peaceful experience. There are sessions dedicated to eliminating fear, labor’s worst enemy. Fear and anxiety can create adrenaline production in the body, causing labor to become dysfunctional, a common reason for Cesarean Section surgery.
Essentials I Couldn’t Go Without
Organic Healthy Food – Thank goddess I own Dandelion Communitea Cafe. I am able to eat delicious organic food, homemade with love by people who care for me anytime of the day or night. Since I run the place, I know the ingredients all meet my high standards and are SO good for me & my baby.
Community – An expectant mother needs additional support to lift things up around the house and listen when you start to feel a little blue. As a single mom, I had to patiently navigate some of the heavy lifting aspects, but my community of sisters & brothers really pulled through for me, helping me move, mow my lawn, cook me food, keep me company & support me endlessly, all while telling me how beautiful I am the whole time. Good people!
Coconut – Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil for my body (no stretch marks!), coconut water to keep me hydrated & energized (no leg cramps!) and organic coconut milk to keep me in healthy fats.
Painless Childbirth – This book & accompanying workbook guided me through my pregnancy, and helped me work through issues that needed healing from childhood and personal relationships. My number one recommended reading!
Pregnancy Vitamin Tea – grown, harvested & prepared by my midwife Kelli Johnson, along with a variety of homemade and amazing herbal remedies.
Audubon Park Community Market – My weekly ritual for the week’s essentials: a fresh batch of local eggs from happy hens, a locally grown vegan meal from the ROOTS booth, fresh squeezed juice, some of Ginger’s salsa and garden veggies. It’s also a time to catch up with friends while a local musician croons in the background and people monitor the progress of my growing belly.