I Need You to Know That I Loved You.

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I need you to know, more than anything else, that I loved you.

I was so scared. I have never known fear as great as the day I found out that you would be coming to this world. But I loved you. So much. I still love you and I will always miss you.

There were so many things I wondered, worried and agonized over. Almost every waking moment, and many of my sleeping ones, I ran over every possible scenario that I could think of. How much of that did you feel? How much of my stress caused you harm? Could you feel my love too?

Never have two little pink lines been so terrifying. I am so sorry that there were no tears of joy and squeals of laughter. All babies should be welcomed that way. You weren’t any less beautiful, miraculous, or amazing. I was so angry when I realized I was pregnant. Not at you, or because of you, but I was angry at how it could be possible for a responsibility and a privilege so great to be given to someone like me, who had no way of providing, protecting or loving you the way that you deserved. The way every beautiful, precious, miracle of a baby deserves.

Your amazing beating heart flickered there on the screen for me. It was weak and you were small but you were fighting. You lived, if only briefly. I wanted not to worry. I wanted to be joyful but instead there was just gut wrenching fear.

How do I explain who your father is? What he is? Where he is? What he did? How do I conceal that you even exist to protect you? The world is small and eventually he would have found out…how do you trust a broken governmental system to protect the most vulnerable among us? How could I provide for you? How could I walk away from you every day to leave you in daycare? How would I afford daycare? How do I face each day, being the mom you need, stretched too thin, with no financial resources? How do I deserve you? How will it feel for you to watch your siblings leave to go see their father and you won’t have one to go to? What will you say? How will I explain it?  Will my love be stronger than the pain he caused? Am I a good enough mom? How will I afford any of this? How do I face my fears, acknowledge them, and let them go? How do I trust that the world will be here for us when the world has felt so dark?

Darkness. Everywhere things just feel dark. How could all of this happen? What did I do to deserve this? How do you keep faith in humanity when things keep going wrong. Consistently, irreparably wrong? I have always been a positive person. Looking on the bright side. Trusting the good in people. In the world. Little by little, the world is changing me. How do I stop it from changing me? How do I stop from becoming dark myself?

I tried to be brave for you. To think of the beautiful birth you would have. Would you be born wide awake and curious like your sister? Huge and quiet with one eye open like your oldest brother? Or would you sleep through a fast and furious birth like your youngest brother? I imagined wearing you in a wrap and nursing you. I imagined rocking you and holding you and our quiet days together, when your siblings were with their dad.

Were you the little girl we’ve all been hoping and waiting for? The sister that’s been longed for? Were you going to teach me that I am stronger and braver than I give myself credit for? Would you show us with your beautiful smile, your sweet grasping hands, those deep soulful eyes, and that indescribable baby smell that despite the darkness in the world, that each amazing, beautiful life possesses the power to bring meaning and light?

I will never know the answers to those questions. Your little heart stopped beating and you, my brave, sweet baby, with your short powerful life, will leave me forever wondering about you. Missing you. Loving you.

I am thankful that you have been spared the fears and possibilities that I agonized over. I am grateful and relieved and yet pained with guilt, remorse, pain, and loss. But above absolutely anything else… I love you.

-Mom

A Suprise Visitor – Featured in the Local News

Today, Garrett and I went out on our first outing to the Chiropractor so that I could get some needed adjustments. I also wound up having him looked at and the Chiropractor, Matt Herres, very gently examined Garrett’s spine while he slept on me. Considering his size and also what a tough time he’s had handling bowel movements I thought it was worth a try having him looked at.

Garrett definitely had some tender spots and Matt was able to gently adjust them (Garrett slept through it all). What was most surprising is that literally within a millisecond of being adjusted Garrett had a bowel movement in his sleep without any screaming and squawking – which has been typical. Also, since we’ve been home he’s had several more and seems to be handling things so much better. A big thumbs up for chiropractic care for babies after birth.

When we arrived home I was surprised to see a local KNDU news van outside my house. A reporter by the name of Allison Cordova was here to interview me because of the TIME article. It was kind of a hectic/crazy interview since I was in no way prepared for it but I decided, “why not?”

I am just laughing at the actual news report which I find fairly typical for the quality of news in this area (we are used to Seattle news) but at least Home Birth is making the news again. Out of all of the questions I was asked and the footage that was taken I found it funny what was chosen to be put in the segment.

I also had to laugh out loud with the last line, “despite some fearful moments she is happy with the outcome.” That’s not exactly what was said but I guess I’m not shocked that the focus was on fear. Actually, when I was prodded about my fears for this birth I basically said that no, I didn’t fear this birth at all. I spent my pregnancy focusing on any fears that I might have and working through them so that they wouldn’t crop up during the birth. I then elaborated that I would be more fearful of having a natural birth in the hospital than having a baby at home because of the temptation of wanting an epidural if it was handy. At least that is what I tried to get across with the rest of the conversation that wasn’t included. Surprisingly, I never even thought of an epidural during the actual birth, which was surprising to me. There was actually a lengthy interview, none of which was used in the video footage.

Anyway, I still haven’t had a chance to write out the birth story yet but for the record it was a fantastic experience and I am ecstatic with the outcome and would do it again in a heartbeat. Here is the story that was featured and the footage. I can’t say I’m thrilled with the results but at least Home Birth is making the news again.

Link to KNDU site: http://www.kndu.com/global/story.asp?s=8882118

Pasco Woman Gets Interviewed in TIME Magazine

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PASCO, Wash.– The famous saying ‘”there’s no place like home”, has a new meaning for a Pasco mother. Jessica Reid says home, is where she gave birth to her son.

“We had the baby in a birth pool, so it’s like a big inflatable tub and it was actually right here,” said Jessica Reid, who recently gave birth.

It was less than a week ago, this mom spent seven and half hours in labor, now it’s back to basics for her and baby boy Garret Michael.

For going the natural way, Reid was interviewed by a freelance reporter from TIME magazine. TIME was looking for a woman giving birth at home for the first time.

“I’ve had the epidural and so I know what it feels like, and yes it’s wonderful, but I think in some ways there’s something missing,” said Reid.

Reid says the interview was done over e-mail and at the end of July a photographer from Portland drove to her house to take her pictures.

Like the article, Reid agrees the number of women giving birth naturally is low.

“I don’t think that there’s many women that feel that they have the power within them to give birth naturally, I think that society has convinced them that they can’t,” said Reid.

But before making decisions Reid did her research on the web and books, and she had a midwife in the birth pool with her.

“You know my biggest fear was that I was gonna get to the point where I’d want an epidural, which is why I didn’t want to give birth naturally in the hospital,” said Reid.

Despite some fearful moments she’s happy with the outcome.

Drum Roll Please…

I am here to announce that our baby was born on Friday, August 15th at 2:58 in the afternoon and it is a ….

BOY!!

We feel so blessed and are so happy with our new little guy. I have so many things to say and I have no idea where to start.

To begin we have named him Garrett Michael Reid and he surprised all of us by being born weighing a whopping 11 pounds and 3 ounces, 22 inches long with a 15 cm head. He was born at home, in water, with the assistance of my wonderful midwife Sherry and her two assistants, Dorise and Susan. Thanks to Sherry I was able to birth my gigantic little guy without tearing! I am so glad I did not know how big he was going to be. Having no fear over his size definitely allowed me to birth him without complication. I fear that had he been born in a hospital he would have been an emergency c-section or at the least, I would have had an epesiotomy. His head was born under water but Mike had to support me while I stood to birth his shoulders. I’m not going to get to the birth story today but labor began around 5 in the morning (I’ll have to look at my notes) and he was born at 2:58 so it was a short labor. I can not tell you how relieved I was considering that his sister, Camden, was born after 58 hours of labor. Thank you Red Raspberry Leaf Tea! The birth was so wonderful and I am so happy with how things turned out and feel so blessed to have been able to have and give my son the birth experience I have always wanted.

I took new pictures today and yesterday but haven’t had a chance to upload them to the computer yet and Garrett is sleeping on me so I’ll have to do that later. For now here are a few pics. Thank you Emeth and Shelby for being at the birth to help and to take pictures and I’m sorry to Lisa and Shilowe who wanted to be there so bad and weren’t able to.

When I share the birth story I will include pictures of the birth.

Here he is!!

Garrett Michael Reid

TIME Magazine – “Giving Birth at Home”

I was given the wrong date for the original publishing of the TIME article that I was featured in. It is August 8th, not the 18th. The online version of the article came out today and it will hit the newsstands tomorrow.

I have copied the article below or you can see it online at TIME.

For most pregnant women, a key part of their birth plan involves how they’ll get to the hospital. But more and more moms-to-be are skipping that step and planning to deliver at home. Old-school birthing is back in style, with well-read women forsaking obstetricians for midwives and epidurals for warm baths. These women want to give birth in their own bed or tub, with none of the medical interventions that have become staples of modern childbirth, like contraction-inducing medication and C-sections, which now serve as the grand finale in nearly a third of U.S. births. “For a normal, healthy pregnancy, the hospital environment is overkill,” says Jessica Reid, 27, a stay-at-home mom in Pasco, Wash.

Reid had her first baby in a hospital but plans to have her second–due in late August–at home. “Interventions that neither the mother nor father wish to occur are more likely when surrounded by people who view pregnancy as an illness or labor as inherently dangerous,” she says. “I consider birth sacred and a joy, and I intend to birth my baby in a way that reflects that.”

Not since Ina May Gaskin’s natural-childbirth advocacy inspired a generation of home birthers in the 1970s has the practice been such a hot topic–or so hotly contested. While home birthing still accounts for less than 1% of U.S. births, there’s a movement afoot to license more lay midwives to attend home births. Concerned by this development, the American Medical Association (AMA) is urging lawmakers to curb the home-birthing movement, including having the licensing of so-called direct-entry midwives–who do not have nursing degrees–overseen by a state medical-practitioner board.

One of the biggest champions of home birthing is former talk-show host Ricki Lake, who produced the 2008 documentary The Business of Being Born. Lake and other activists contend that fear of litigation has led to more women in labor being tethered to monitors and forced under the knife. And pro–home birthers are pushing the notion that choosing where and how to give birth should be regarded as a civil rights issue. “Legislating against home birth is totally un-American and unfair,” says Joan Bryson, who has worked as a midwife in New York City for 17 years. “We rank 42nd in the world in live births, and we spend more money than anyone else. You can’t blame it on home birth.”

Most planned home births are assisted by a midwife, although some extremists favor so-called free birthing, with no attendant. Home-birth midwives say they accept only low-risk patients, which excludes women with diabetes, high blood pressure, multiple births or any other risky condition. Most midwives–who typically charge from $1,000 to $5,000 per birth, significantly less than the cost of a hospital delivery–travel with basic emergency medical equipment, including oxygen, resuscitation gear and medication to stop hemorrhaging. And all insist they practice preventively and know when–and how–to get a woman to a hospital.

Take, for example, the case of a prolapsed umbilical cord. In roughly 1 out of every 300 births, the cord slips down into the birth canal before the baby does and risks cutting off the baby’s oxygen supply. Kitty Ernst, an expert on midwifery at the Frontier School of Midwifery and Family Nursing in Hyden, Ky., says midwives are trained to push the baby’s head back up off the cord and hold it there–the same way an obstetric nurse would–and get Mom to the hospital as an operating room is being prepared for her. “Your hand gets pretty tired,” she says of this emergency procedure, which she adds can take as little as five minutes if the hospital is across the street.

But it’s those precious minutes that have obstetricians alarmed. “Unless there’s ready access to certain emergency personnel and equipment and even surgery, you’re potentially endangering babies’ and moms’ health and lives,” says Dr. Erin Tracy, an ob-gyn at Boston’s Massachusetts General Hospital who authored two anti-home-birth resolutions approved by the AMA in June. “We’ve all seen scenarios where mothers came in, after very major blood loss, in a very catastrophic state,” she says. “By the time they arrive in the hospital, you’re sort of behind the eight ball in trying to resuscitate these patients. The same thing with neonatal outcome.”

Doctors argue that what may seem like a low-risk pregnancy can go very wrong at the time of delivery–and that making home birth easier to access could lead to a huge step backward. After birthing moved to hospitals en masse in the 1950s, the maternal mortality rate plummeted, from 376 per 100,000 live births in 1940 to 37.1 per 100,000 in 1960. The most recent statistics show 15.1 deaths per 100,000. Many doctors fear that mortality rates will go up with the rising incidence of home birthing, but there are conflicting data on this. A study published in 2005 in the British Medical Journal found that home birthing had a similar mortality rate to that of low-risk hospital births; other studies have suggested a two- or threefold increase in the incidence of neonatal death.

In the absence of clear data, obstetricians in the U.S. are concerned about the recent push by direct-entry midwives to receive licenses so they can practice their craft without fear of prosecution. This summer, Missouri reversed its 25-year ban on non-nurse midwives. Twenty states have similar legislation they are either introducing or planning.

Meanwhile, many obstetricians are trying to meet women halfway, through hospital-affiliated natural-birth centers. These centers are often located near regular hospitals and boast low episiotomy and C-section rates. The decision about where to give birth “is not black and white,” says Lake, who is on the board of a $7 million birthing center set to open in Manhattan in 2010. “It’s amazing, the technology we have. But we are losing the value of normal, natural birth.” Nationwide, the number of birthing centers is growing by about 5% a year. But what might seem like an ideal solution has run into roadblocks, as a few prominent centers have closed in recent years because of high malpractice-insurance costs–which means many natural-birth seekers will still have to choose between hospital and home.

Original Article was featured in TIME Magazine at the following link:

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1830388,00.html

Exciting News – TIME Magazine

Today I got some very exciting news. Some crazy things fell together and I have been interviewed to be in an article that will be featured in next month’s TIME Magazine! Their article addresses the AMA/ACOG resolutions that encourage legislation against lay midwives and home birth. TIME wanted to speak with women who were going to have their first home birth. Tomorrow, a photographer is being sent to my house to take pictures to go in the article. It is all very exciting and I am so happy to be able to speak out on home birth. The magazine is set to hit the stands on August 18th.

The picture above was taken today by my friend Shilowe. I will update the rest of the pregnancy photos that she took of me today at some point tomorrow.

Below is the resolution put forward by AMA (American Medical Association) and ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists):


AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION HOUSE OF DELEGATES

Resolution: 205

(A-08)

Introduced by: American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

Subject: Home Deliveries

Referred to: Reference Committee B

(Craig W. Anderson, MD, Chair)


Whereas, Twenty-one states currently license midwives to attend home births, all using the certified professional midwife (CPM) credential (CPM or “lay” midwives), not the certified midwives (CM) credential which both the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM) recognize[1]; and

Whereas, There has been much attention in the media by celebrities having home deliveries, with recent Today Show headings such as “Ricki Lake takes on baby birthing industry: Actress and former talk show host shares her at-home delivery in new film” [2]; and

Whereas, An apparently uncomplicated pregnancy or delivery can quickly become very complicated in the setting of maternal hemorrhage, shoulder dystocia, eclampsia or other obstetric emergencies, necessitating the need for rigorous standards, appropriate oversight of obstetric providers, and the availability of emergency care, for the health of both the mother and the baby during a delivery; therefore be it

RESOLVED, That our American Medical Association support the recent American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) statement that “the safest setting for labor, delivery, and the immediate post-partum period is in the hospital, or a birthing center within a hospital complex, that meets standards jointly outlined by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and ACOG, or in a freestanding birthing center that meets the standards of the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, The Joint Commission, or the American Association of Birth Centers” [3] (New HOD Policy); and be it further

RESOLVED, That our AMA develop model legislation in support of the concept that the safest setting for labor, delivery, and the immediate post-partum period is in the hospital, or a birthing center within a hospital complex, that meets standards jointly outlined by the AAP and ACOG, or in a freestanding birthing center that meets the standards of the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, The Joint Commission, or the American Association of Birth Centers.” (Directive to Take Action)


Fiscal Note: Implement accordingly at estimated staff cost of $1,929.

Received: 04/28/08


[3] http://www.acog.org/from_home/publications press_releases/nr02-06-06-2.cfm, accessed March 18,2008

Red Raspberry Leaf Tea – What Every Pregnant Woman Needs


Red Raspberry Leaf Tea is an herbal tea that should be in the kitchen of every pregnant woman and even those who aren’t (it’s actually good for everyone).

I should preface this post by saying that I was not a fan of tea, herbal or otherwise prior to learning about Red Raspberry Leaf tea. I have never, ever cared for tea and have never found myself compelled to drink it because every time I’ve tried it I thought it was nasty. I am also LDS (Mormon) and we don’t drink caffeinated teas in general so it wasn’t until I became pregnant again that I discovered herbal teas (which are completely acceptable from an LDS perspective). I have to admit that drinking herbal teas still takes some getting used to for me. I am finally starting to actually enjoy the earthy taste of the Red Raspberry Leaf tea (which tastes NOTHING like raspberries, by the way) and it is actually something I am starting to find comforting. I also find it easier for me to drink it iced and with a fresh orange squeezed into it rather than drinking it hot. So, without further adieu please take the time to read about this fascinating herb and all that it can do for you and your family.

History of Red Raspberry Leaf:

Red Raspberry Leaf (RRL) is a pale green leaf produced by the Raspberry plant. The use of Red Raspberry Leaves dates back to ancient Greeks and Romans and has a rich history of being used to treat a wide variety of ailments. Some of the illnesses that they used RRL to treat include: the flu, gum disease, rubella, upset stomach, hangover, diarrhea, fevers, vomiting, menstrual problems, inflammation, etc. The most popular use of Red Raspberry leaves is for pregnancy.

Red Raspberry Leaf Use in Pregnancy:

Many of the complications during pregnancy can be traced back to the mother’s diet, which typically lacks in vital nutrients and minerals that she so desperately needs during pregnancy. Women wise to these needs have recommended herbal tonics during the childbearing years for thousands of years to help both mother and baby experience a healthy, normal pregnancy and birth. Herbal tonics are both safe and effective and they help to improve overall health and prevent any major problems from developing. They also boost the supply of vital minerals and vitamins, increase energy and improve uterine tone. It is important that herbal tonics (teas) be used regularly. Like exercise, they provide far less benefit when used sporadically. That is not to say that it won’t provide benefit if taken on occasion but to reap the full benefits herbal tonics should be taken at least 5 days a week.

One of the most important herbal tonics to take during pregnancy is Red Raspberry Leaf. This is not tea made from raspberries. It is an herbal tea made from the leaves of the raspberry plant. Red Raspberry is the best known, most widely used and safest of all uterine and pregnancy herbs. Most of the benefits that are attributed to Red Raspberry Leaf tea are traced to the nourishing source of vitamins and minerals found in the plant and to fragrine (an alkaloid which gives tone to muscles of the pelvic region and the uterus itself).

Beneficial Vitamins and Minerals Found in Red Raspberry Leaf:

-Rich concentrations of vitamin C

-Vitamin E

-Easily assimilated calcium and iron

-Manganese and magnesium

-Vitamin A

-Vitamin B complex

-Many minerals including phosphorous and potassium

How Red Raspberry Leaf Helps the Pregnant Mother & Baby:

The increased vitamin A intake, in the form of carotenoids of RRL can aid the women’s immune system as well as facilitate healthy skin and bone development for the baby. The Vitamin E helps to promote better circulation in the mother whose blood volume dramatically increases during pregnancy. RRL contains an easily assimilated form of calcium. An increased availability of calcium is necessary in controlling nerve response to pain during childbirth and in aiding bone development in the baby. The presence of fragrine allows the uterus to contract more powerfully and effectively during labor. The high vitamin and mineral content helps to replace those that are lost via blood loss in delivery. The alkaloids that are present will also aid in toning the uterus after birth as it returns back to its usual size.

Other Pregnancy Related Benefits of Red Raspberry Leaf Tea:

-It increases fertility in both men and women (drink for a few months while trying to conceive).

-Prevents miscarriage and postpartum hemorrhage by helping to tone the uterus thus creating a relaxed (atonic) uterus.

-Eases morning sickness

-Reduces pain during labor and after birth: By toning the muscles used during labor and delivery RRL eliminates many of the reasons for a painful delivery and prolonged recovery. It does not, however, counter the pain of pelvic dilation.

-Assists in the production of plentiful breast milk

-Can help make labor faster: RRL works to encourage the uterus to let go and function without tension. It doesn’t strengthen contractions but it does allow the uterus to work more efficiently

-Studies show that women taking RRL have a reduced incidence of artificial rupture of membranes, forceps delivery or cesarean

Other Uses for Red Raspberry Leaf:

-Treating the common cold or flu (Treat with a RRL fast. Drink only the tea while your symptoms persist. Once your symptoms are gone return to eating fresh fruits/vegetables.)

-Treating sore throat

-Treating diarrhea (Drink 6 cups a day to treat diarrhea)

-Regulating a menstrual period and decreasing heavy periods (Drink 2-3 cups per day. After 2-3 months you should obtain a regular cycle.)

-Treating Acne: It can act as an astringent on irritated skin by tightening the top layers of skin which effectively reduces secretions, relieves irritation and improves tissue firmness.

-Can be used as a mouth wash to soothe mouth and throat irritations

-Can lower blood sugar in those suffering with diabetes (Those with diabetes must take care not to take RRL in too high of doses or it could actually cause their blood sugar to drop too low).

Possible Side Effects:

Red Raspberry Leaf has been used for thousands of years and is notoriously safe during pregnancy. From the studies that have been done, no side effects were found. Anecdotally, very little side effects have been reported with its use but like all things, side effects are possible and it is not always best for everyone. The following side effects may be possible:

– Mild loosening of stools

– Nausea

– Some doctors recommend not using RRL during the first trimester or limiting yourself to one cup per day. From my own experience, the advice of my midwife and the experience of my friends we have all taken it during the entire pregnancy without any side effects. But again, you are responsible for your own health and if you are concerned seek advice from your caregiver.

Where to Buy It?

Red Raspberry Leaf can be purchased in tincture form (alcohol based), capsule, pre-bagged or in loose leaf form. I recommend loose leaf form because you are most likely to get the best absorption and it is the cheapest form but for those who can’t stomach the taste capsule form is a good alternative. You can buy the loose leaf tea from most health food stores or online.

Some Online Sources:

Compleat Mother: Loose Leaf

Frontier Herbs: Loose Leaf, available in Organic and in Regular

StarWest-Botanicals: Capsule Form

Red Raspberry Tea Blends:

Red Raspberry Leaf can also come in a blend with other herbs and these are great. The additional herbs have their own benefits and they also complement and enhance each other. My own midwife has her own special blend that she uses and sells through her herbal store. She sells two kinds, what she calls a Full Time Pregnancy Tea (to be used during entire pregnancy) and a Six Week Tea (a blend you use for the last six weeks). All of these other herbs have their own benefits but this post would be much too lengthy to elaborate on them. You can easily make your own blends by purchasing the herbs separately or you can buy a prepackaged blend. There are many prepackaged blends on the market as well.

You can order from Sherry’s store, if you wish, and she can ship it to you. She is based in Oregon and her store is called Naturally Yours. Her phone number is 541-575-1241 and the address is 135 West Main St., John Day OR 97845

Sherry’s Full Time Pregnancy Tea:

Organically grown: Nettles, Comfrey, Lemon Grass, Alfalfa and Raspberry Leaf

Last Six Weeks Pregnancy Tea:

Organically grown: Red Raspberry, Partridgeberry, Shepherd’s Purse, Spikenard Root, Nettle, Comfrey, Alfalfa, Blessed Thistle, Peach and Peppermint

How to Prepare the Tea:

If you’re anything like me and you’ve never made tea before the whole thing can seem a bit confusing. So I will post directions for those who were in my shoes. If you bought the tea in loose leaf form (meaning you have a bag full of herbs sitting in front of you) you can either make it one cup at a time or make it in a larger quantity. If you’re going to drink it hot stick to one cup at a time. If you’re like me and prefer it cold it is easiest to make it in a batch. You can sweeten it with honey or sugar if you like or some prefer to squeeze in a fresh lemon or an orange.

If you’ll be making one cup batches you will need something to put the tea in. A reusable tea bag works well or you can buy a little tea infuser (they only run a few dollars and you can buy them in kitchen departments or stores).

One Cup Directions:

Boil some water and pour a cup of boiling water into a mug. Let cool for just a moment (so you don’t burn the tea leaves) and place 1-2 tsp of the tea into the tea infuser or tea bag. Put the infuser or bag into the hot water and steep (let sit) for 10 minutes. Remove tea infuser or tea bag and you can sweeten the tea if you like (honey or sugar). I prefer omitting the sweetening part and I like using fresh squeezed orange. Some people like lemon.

Batch Directions:

Boil a quart (4 cups) of water in a pan. Once the water is boiling remove it from the stove and add 4-6 tsp of tea directly to the water and stir. Put the lid on the pan and let steep for at least 10 minutes. The longer, the better. Overnight is fine. When you are done steeping you need to strain the water. I use a mesh colander. Take a pitcher, put the colander over it and then pour the liquid/herb combo into the strainer. The herbs will stay in the strainer and the tea will be in the pitcher. I like to fill my pitcher with ice and squeeze fresh oranges into it. You could also sweeten it or use lemon, etc. Put in fridge and enjoy.

How Much Should I Drink?

That is going to depend on who you talk to. Some doctors/midwives recommend a maximum of one cup per day during the first trimester. Others suggest 1-2 cups throughout pregnancy and increasing to a quart (4 cups) a day during the last six to twelve weeks. Personally I did about a cup a day throughout pregnancy and am trying to get a quart in a day now that I am in the last six weeks. Consult your own caregiver, do your own research and do what feels comfortable to you.

SOURCES:

Herbal Allies for Pregnancy Problems

Red Raspberry Leaf Tea, Herb & Extract Benefits

Wikipedia – Red Raspberry Leaf

The Benefits of Red Raspberry Leaves

What is Red Raspberry?

Kegel and Red Raspberry Leaf Tea

UPDATE:

I wanted to update everyone and let them know how much I think drinking RRL helped my labor and delivery. I had my son at home and it was about a 9 1/2 hour labor which doesn’t seem very short to some people but compared to my 56 hour labor with my daughter it was heaven. But more important than how long labor was, was the fact that labor was amazingly easy. Don’t get me wrong, it was hard work and everything but it was completely manageable. I never got to the “wall” where I didn’t think I could do it. My contractions and labor progression was steady. In fact, labor could have been much shorter but I sat on a birthing ball for the beginning of labor (rather than walking around and squatting) to try and slow it down to make sure my midwife was there for the birth (she had to drive across the state to make it). I never felt out of it during my contractions and I was able to stay completely present. I actually didn’t believe my midwife when she told me it was time to push, I made her check because I couldn’t believe I had all ready made it though transition. I had my 11 pound 3 ounce boy at home without a tear and it was a wonderful experience. I believe many things contributed to the success of my pregnancy, labor and delivery but Red Rasbperry Leaf Tea was definitely a vital part of that. You can read the birth story HERE.

 

UPDATE 2:

I just wanted to update and state that I had my 3rd child in May 2012. He was also born at home, as a water birth. I drank red raspberry leaf tea throughout my pregnancy and had the quickest most effective labor yet! Labor was 2 hours from first contraction until he was born. Still hard to believe coming from the mom who had a 56 hour labor with her first child. I know that the tea helped to contribute to my healthy, complication free pregnancy despite the enormous stress I was under (going through a divorce).

I do really recommend Sherry Dress’ teas. She makes them in bulk from organic herbs and she has a few different blends each made for specific stages of pregnancy. She has a Full Time Pregnancy tea, a 6 week tea that you take for the last six weeks and a postpartum breastfeeding tea. Her store is based in Oregon and is called Naturally Yours. You can order by phone at 541-575-1241.

We’re Moving…

Well we are going to be moving, yet again, in a little more than 2 months. Mike and I have tried to promise each other that we would stop moving so often but for one reason or another we have never stayed in one house longer than 2 years. This will be Camdens 5th house that she has lived in and she is only 3 1/2 years old. Poor thing. LOL.

We will be moving back to the beautiful Northwest and most likely in Bellingham or the surrounding area by October 1st. We want to time the move before the winter hits the mountain passes but we’ll also have a new baby so we didn’t want to move September 1st. Our new baby will only be about 4-5 weeks when we move so please wish us luck. I will be pretty much all but useless during the actual move which is nice in some ways but annoying in others. We’ve all ready had members of our Church and our friends offer to help us in any way that we need, so that is nice.

Camden is excited about the move but that is because I don’t think she realizes how far away our friends will be. I am a bit worried on how well she will be able to handle so many changes at once, the move and the new baby. I’m worried she’s really going to regress a lot but I guess there is not much you can do about that. On a positive note, Camden is very excited to be able to see her sister more often and to spend more time with her cousins and see her grandparents more often.

I am both excited and saddened about the move. Excited to be back in the beautiful Northwest and to take advantage of all the wonderful things the area has to offer. I have found some really neat mommy groups to join all ready and have all ready located a liscensed raw milk farm to buy milk from and it will be nice to be close to Trader Joe’s and a food co-op and all the wonderful farmer’s markets, etc. But I am really, really going to miss my friends and it also stinks to be moving to Bellingham in October which pretty much means we will be moving into rain for about the first six months of our move. We keep trying to prepare Cami for the rain but all she says is, “I don’t like rain.” LOL.

We have less than 4 weeks until the baby is due and I am finally starting to feel prepared for this baby as far as organization goes. I’ve made almost all the last minute purchases we need and unpacked all the blankets and burp cloths, clothing, etc. I’m waiting on one more package in the mail that has some diaper pins, snappi’s and cloth diaper liners in it and the only thing we have left to purchase is one small pack of 7th generation disposable diapers that we’ll use for the first few days before I start cloth diapering and also some baby bath soap (I think I will get something by Earth Mama Angel Baby). I still have to wash everything since I got the Allens Naturally soap I ordered on Friday and haven’t had a chance to launder anything yet. I also need Mike to go to the hardware store and buy the eye hook to install in the ceiling for the Happy Hangup we have. I think that’s it?

Mentally, I am getting really excited to have this baby and am excited about the birth. Baby likes to hangout posterior a lot which is really convenient for me because it is not as uncomfortable as when they are anterior but labor wise we want baby to turn anterior soon. I am having a lot more braxton hicks contactions and they are definitely getting stronger but I don’t really think this baby will be early. I’m thinking he/she will be born right around the due date (August 22nd). I should be having a prenatal appointment sometime this week and I will update when that happens. I think Shilowe is also going to take some more pregnancy shots of me this week.

Someone from Church called last week and they want to throw me a baby shower which I thought was really, really sweet. I was definitely not planning on one of those this time around. They are trying to decide if we are going to have it before or after the baby is born since we don’t know the baby’s gender. I am hoping they’ll plan it for after so that everyone will have a chance to see the baby since with the move happening right after the baby is born I don’t think we’ll make it to Church to say good-bye before we go.

Anyway, it’s been hard to keep up with the blog lately so I’m sure it will only get worse over the next several months trying to juggle a new baby, a 3 year old, finding a new place to live and moving across the state. Wish us luck!