Our newest little bundle of joy is now 6 weeks old and since I’m starting to get some of my pre-pregnancy energy back, I think it’s time for a much needed update on some things I’ve been doing during the last several months.
I have been busy learning about healthy, natural birth and baby care from Kristen at naturalbirthandbabycare.com and am pleased to say that I had a great, all natural birth! I’ve had natural births with all my babies, but this was the shortest and most intense labor I have experienced. I also prepared by reading “A Guide To Motherhood” by Katherine Tarr. It’s a small book, but covers all kinds of pregnancy topics, including a healthy pregnancy diet, herbs and teas to take to strengthen your body before, during, and after birth, and pressure points and positions to help with pregnancy and labor pain and baby positioning. It even has a list of items needed for a home birth, which I decided to collect and keep on hand just in case we got a snow storm or I thought I couldn’t make it to the hospital (I DO NOT want to have a baby in my car!) One of the best things I got from the book was several ways to prevent hemorrhage after birth. Since I hemorrhaged with my last birth and had to have a shot of pitocin to stop the bleeding, I really wanted to prevent it naturally this time. With a combination of good diet, gentle birth, some herbal tea and a tincture from Trilight herbs called Hem Halt, I didn’t have any problems after the birth! I also used a formula from them called CirculaTone to help with my varicose veins during pregnancy.
I have also been working on a Permaculture Design Course from PermaEthos to increase my understanding of permaculture and earn my permaculture design certificate so that I can more knowledgeably design beautiful, functional, abundant food production systems.
I’ve been trying my hand at making some homemade items and selling them to family and friends who want to try them. It’s been great to make these healthy things and have the money to pay for the supplies by selling some of what I make! I spent September and October trying one new recipe each week. In addition to my Homemade Vapor Rub, which I’ve been making for years, I made Boo-Boo Balm, Baby Bottom Butter, Mama Belly Butter, Chocolate Body Mousse, Lavender Deodorant, Laundry detergent, Dishwasher detergent, and Peppermint and Citrus Chapstick. I also made Elderberry syrup and Sage honey. I also canned about 75 quarts of applesauce and 60 pints of apple butter as well as a couple dozen jars of pear sauce and caramel-vanilla pear butter. Whew, no wonder I was tired!
I did learn a few ways to optimize the little time and energy I had during my pregnancy. Here are a few:
- Set goals for what you want to accomplish for the month (such as trying a new recipe each week, or reading 1 book).
- Print out recipes or projects you want to try and put them in a binder with page protectors. Pulling up Pinterest every time I need a recipe is just too distracting! You can even rate your recipes as you try them. =)
- Make a list of things to do each day. Don’t sweat it if you don’t complete everything, just write it on tomorrow’s list- this saves me lots of thought energy.
- Do something you enjoy every day- write it on your list so you can check it off. =)
- Rest when you are tired- stumbling around trying to get things done when you are exhausted takes twice as long. If you can’t sleep, use the resting time to read to your kids or yourself, or listen to a podcast or some relaxing music. I finished 3 novels I wouldn’t otherwise have made time to read in my first trimester because I just didn’t have the energy to be on my feet all day.
- Get outside, even when you don’t feel like you have time. I have found that getting some fresh air and sunshine boosts my energy and mood more than pretty much anything else.
- Eat well. Take time to prepare wholesome meals and snacks so that you don’t end up eating junk and crashing after a few hours. I like to make large batches of brownie bites and trail mix to have on hand as well as doubling favorite meals so I don’t actually have to cook new food every day.
- Plan meals. (I am really quite bad about doing this, but when I do, my days go much more smoothly and my family is much happier.)
- Ask for help. I found that my 5 year old daughter was more than happy to help with cleaning and shepherding her little brother and sister when I simply asked her to help me. My husband has also been a wonderful help. Even my 2 and 3 year olds took on some little chores and helped in whatever ways they could. It really blessed me (and continues to bless me since they are still helping out!) and gave them a sense of purpose.