In this series of blog posts, I share you my personal effort towards sustainable change. To get caught up, read Week 1: Cyber Purging, Meditation and Exercise and Getting Healthy Week 2/3: Listening to my Body and An Early Reveal of a “Before” Picture.
For me, it was time to listen to that little voice in my head that was speaking the truth. Here is one thing I know for sure:
When you do not listen to that little voice in your head, your body will scream at you in some way.
You might get a flare up of back pain, regular migraines, fatigue, hives or if you are like me it might manifest in sore throats and psoriasis. Your body will let you know! In some ways, you are lucky that your body does this because you can see what you are doing to yourself and hopefully wake up. I share this blog post with you because I want you to know that you can absolutely set intention and make changes in your life. When I ended 2012 with the intention to make change, I focused on diet (eliminating wheat and coffee), exercise (barre3 and yoga) and sleep. I ended up making the best change of all in the end. I started somewhere and ended up in an unexpected place with truth and peace in my heart.
In 2009, my sister went into labor prematurely with triplets at 23 weeks gestation due to a detached placenta (exactly four years ago today). She had been to the emergency room for abdominal pain a couple of days earlier and was sent home with “gas pains”. When she started bleeding and was admitted to the hospital, she was faced with the decision of how to terminate the pregnancy. Something in her blood levels miraculously changed and she was given the option of delivering the babies via C-section. Babies are not usually revived before 24 weeks but they made an exception for her babies born one day short of that marker. My sister was on the operating room table for hours and almost died. She had about 8 pints of blood transfused into her body. When I heard the news on the phone that she was having the babies I cried, “It’s too early!! Mom, they are not going to make it!” Continue reading
Classes include textbook, rainbow relaxation CD and a rewarding experience for you, your partner and your baby. Cost is $325 for 5 weeks. The next series start date will be in December 2013. Sign up here.
HypnoBirthing ® is a rewarding, relaxing, stress-free method of birthing that is based on the belief that all babies should come into the world in an atmosphere of gentility, calm and joy. When a mother is properly prepared for birthing physically, mentally, and spiritually, she can experience that sort of joy, birthing her baby is an easier, more comfortable and often, even pain-free manner. Through a well-thought-out program of deep relaxation, self-hypnosis, and education, HypnoBirthing ® returns to a woman the art of birthing in a way that allows her to summon her natural birthing instincts and to birth her baby in safety and with ease. In HypnoBirthing ® the birth companion is an integral part of the birthing process, enhancing the entire bonding experience. Continue reading
At 38 years old Kat and her husband, Josh, welcomed twins into their family. The Portland couple’s story to parenthood began five years ago, however, and took them through a series of disappointments and even tragedy before they found a happy ending.
Kat was never the kind of woman who felt her clock ticking. Infertility was a foreign thought.
But when she and her husband, Josh, had difficulty conceiving Kat found herself setting out on an unexpected journey, which ultimately led her to Oregon Reproductive Medicine and Blossom Clinic in Portland, Oregon. Continue reading
I recently had the opportunity to chat with a former patient about her amazing twin vaginal birth with her two boys. Every mom is a super mom no matter how their babies come into the world, but if you desire a vaginal birth with your twins, here is an interview to inspire you. Click here for an additional twin birth story or click here to see an inspiring video. Continue reading
During pregnancy a woman is giving her resources to her growing child. Then the reserves of qi (lifeforce) and blood are further expended during childbirth. Because her body has been taxed and emptied through the birthing process a new mother is more vulnerable to wind, cold or damp invasions if she is not careful. On the positive side, it is a prime time to rebuild and presents an opportunity to reset her constitution if she takes care to nurture herself along with her new child. Post-partum treatment focuses on warming and tonifying the new mother. Think of it as relighting the pilot light. The optimal time to start reintroducing heat is five to seven days after birth as long as there is no infection. The name for this is mother warming and can also be referred to as mother roasting. In many cultures warming techniques are used as routine care after birth. This may include hot stones, water bottles, warm oils or fires. In Chinese Medicine moxa, also known as mugwort, is burned above the belly and low back to reintroduce substance into the lower abdomen. Moxa is very tonifying as it has the ability to reach into all the acupuncture channels and meridians.
Mother warming is a one time nourishing treatment to give woman the substance to start to heal. Don’t miss an amazing opportunity to start your new motherhood strong.
The MediClear Cleanse is user friendly. In this cleanse, you eliminate foods that are commonly allergenic or inflammatory for 15 days. Continue reading
I often refer my pregnant patients to the website of Debra Betts, an acupuncturist in New Zealand who is an expert in Chinese Medicine during pregnancy and labor. She ahs an amazing PDF of Acupressure for Natural Pain Relief.
Usually, my patients have acupuncture treatments beginning at around 34 weeks to prepare for their labor.
If there is a breech baby, they begin treatment ideally at 34 weeks so that we can attempt to turn the baby before it descends into the pelvic cavity. We do this treatment in combination with Optimal Fetal Position exercises. If you are in your third trimester, I encourage you to visit her website.
Liz Richards, L.Ac.
Infant massage is a great way to build the bond between parents and their children. Massage teaches your baby relaxation at a young age, an important tool that your baby can use throughout his or her life. By spending more one-on-one time with your baby during massage you will be able to recognize your baby’s cues more quickly.
Some of the Benefits of Baby Massage:
Sunday November 14th 10-11 am: Getting Started, Legs, Face & Tummy
Sunday November 21st 10-11 am: Arms, Back, Stretching & Putting it all Together!
3135 NE 15th Ave Suite A (Fremont and 15th)
$125 All Supplies Included
Tiffany Ueltschi, LMT, CIMI, Doula
*Please Note: Massage Workshops are limited to 5 parent/child pairs. Additional workshops will be added depending on interest. Twins very welcome!
I gave birth to my second son, Leo, on Mother’s Day 2007 via VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean). In this society, where the c-section rates in hospitals are high and rising, having a VBAC is indeed a big accomplishment. Most of the time when I tell people that I had a VBAC, they look at me with surprise. People do not realize that you can have a vaginal birth after c-section. There is a misconception that there is danger around this. To honor Mother’s Day today, I reflect on my VBAC experience and would like to share a little of my story with you.
During both pregnancies, I carried my babies in the posterior position (face up or “sunny side-up”). In the posterior position, babies are more difficult to birth due to the inability of the cranial bones to cross over as they do in a normal birth with the baby face down, or anterior.
With my first son, his head was also asynclitic, meaning that it was tilted to the side and not in line with the birth canal. I had the cards stacked against me and I ended up with c-section after 52 hours of labor. I made the mistake in all of my birth prep of not reading one thing about c-sections. I am not sure if it would have reduced the grief I had felt afterwards, but maybe I would have been better prepared for it. I was devastated afterwards.
This is how my first labor went: I went 41 hours with no drugs and dilated to 10 cm with a lip. My cervix swelled and went back down to 6 cm. When they prepped me for the c-section, the epidural was so strong it numbed my diaphragm so that I could not breathe. It was probably one of the darkest time of my life. After the birth I was exhausted and my milk didn’t come in for five days. We had to supplement with formula through a tube attached to my breast, which was difficult considering he was also attached to a machine with lights for jaundice. All of the additional tubes were not what I had desired, to say the least.
It wasn’t until my second pregnancy that I could really start working through the grief from the first birth.
During my second pregnancy, you can believe me when I say that I tried everything to get my baby to turn. I swam, sat on birthing balls instead of chairs, did acupuncture & moxibustion (which works incredibly well for breech babies), and even crawled on my hands and knees down the stairs, which is an amazing feat in itself!
During the second pregnancy I joined an online support group called ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network). Being a part of the Yahoo ICAN support group online helped me realize that there were women all over the country being coerced into c-sections when they could have most likely had a healthy vaginal delivery. It was astounding to hear story after story of women in small towns (and big cities) being misinformed and/or scheduled for a c-section due to the doctor’s schedule.
Realizing that my c-section was not forced upon me helped me heal a little. In the end I realized that I had not failed, nor had the labor failed me. It also gave me hope that many women were having VBACs and that it was completely safe for me to try and have a vaginal birth. I worked towards recreating my birth story with the help of Kristen Olberz, nurse and Certified Hypnotherapist, here in Portland, OR.
I am proud to say that in the end, after 17 hours of hard labor, I birthed my baby sunny-side-up. I pushed him out with his face looking right up at me! I do not think that I could have succeeded at my VBAC without the amazing midwife and nurses at Emanuel Hospital here in Portland. They were right there with me the whole time. I was so happy that it was actually happening. When the huge crowd of nurses and doctors walked in, ready to help receive the baby, my husband and I looked at each other like, “It is really happening?!?”- we couldn’t believe it.
In the end the physical recovery was more difficult after the vaginal birth due to the pelvic stretching that had to happen to push out my OP baby. But the psychological recovery was worlds away from the first time with my c-section. I was so happy! I have so many fond memories of my laying-in period with Leo snuggled in the crook of my arm. My milk came in easily and I was able to rest at home soon after the birth.
It took us a week to name our baby and in the end we named him Leonardo Victor. I want him to know when he is older that his mom was strong like a lion when she gave birth to him and that he came into the world victorious!
Contributed by Liz Richards, Acupuncturist and Owner of Blossom Clinic.