I'm 33 and just had the dream of having a baby come true.
As a young girl I always dreamt I would be a Mom in fact I was a mini Mom to my two younger siblings. Yes I am bossy wink emoticon. Growing up I pictured having a family, cooking, cleaning and being the best Mom I could be. There was always something different about me, I worried more than a child should, I had fears of getting AIDS and wanted to be perfect. I washed my hands repeatedly and wouldn't sleep if I had an exam. My parents thought it was a phase. Some years were ok and my compulsions were almost non existant.
I met my now husband when I was 16 and fell madly in love. We talked about the future and even picked names for our future children. We grew up, moved in together and looked forward to what was in store for us. Everything was great at first until my winter hit. I became an anxious, obsessive, sad shell of myself. I quit various jobs, shut out friends, and hid my internal hell from my husband. I didn't leave the house most days. I couldn't bare to be out it was too scary. I had horrible intrusive thoughts and wondered what kind of a person I really was. It felt like I was drowning. A few years went by before I broke down and told my husband what was happening in my mind. I thought for sure he would run and I would end up in a mental ward. At that point I was so distraught I didn't care. I wanted my head to stop spinning. I was 24 and finally started meds, got a diagnoses of OCD and started therapy. After a few months I was doing pretty well. I was getting out of the house and learning how to live again. I was almost myself again. We wanted to start a family so I proposed and two weeks later we were married. I decided to go off my meds to start a family. Big mistake. I slowly unraveled and years went by and I was mentally worse than ever before. I was angry, and spent my days washing my hands 8 or more hours a day. I couldn't sleep and when my husband got home from work I took out the pent up anxiety on him. I would yell and ask him to wash his hands, wash his clothes and do all sorts of illogical things. This went on for years.
I was now 28 years old. Just when we wanted to give up and divorce I got word that a wonderful girl I went to high school with had been killed helping someone after a car accident. This tragedy knocked me down but also in time lifted up my will to get better. I went and got the medication that helped me prior and slowly dug myself out of the hole I was in. I started to live again. I was happy and looking forward to the future. My marriage got back on track but I gave up on the dream of children. I thought being on medication wasn't an option well pregnant and going off meds was not in the cards for me. I accepted that we would be a childless couple. I got a job and started going to various comedy shows, and made new friends. I knew something was missing and that my husband was meant to and wanted to be a Dad. He was willing to give up his dream for me and that broke my heart.
I made an appointment with my Dr. and asked if being on medication was even possible while pregnant and to my surprise he said it was. I was referred to reproductive mental health at BC Women's Hospital and met with the Psychiatrist to discuss what the risks were. I was given the green light to try to get pregnant and three months later I was. When I got the positive result on the pregnancy test I cried like I've never cried before. I was beyond happy and equally scared. I wanted this for so long and it happened. My mental health was great all through my pregnancy and even after a terrifying delivery that resulted in my son having to be resuscitated.
The love I felt for this beautiful little boy was overwhelming. It has been almost a month since I delivered, I'm doing ok and still checking in with reproductive mental health. Some days I feel shitty and like I'm not as good of a Mom as I could be but I challenge those thoughts and realize I am doing the best I can. Babies cry, housework doesn't get done and my hair is a mess but when I see my husband with my son I know that I made the right choice. I will not let OCD run my life and rob me of the joys and challenges of motherhood. Mental illness is part of me but not all of me.
All of our doula packages include two prenatal visits. Our first visit is really concentrated on preparing for the birth but our second prenatal, majority of the time is spent talking about life after the birth - the postpartum period. We spend so long thinking of our births (as we should) that sometimes we forget that there is a little baby who you will be taking care of for.. Well, forever.
One topic that ALWAYS comes up is Cloth Diapering. Almost every family is interested in it but feel so overwhelmed with all the options available and unless you have someone explaining it to you, cloth diaper language can sound like rocket science. Cloth diapers aren't just the sheets of fabric of the days gone by. Now there is an abundance of choice but that choice can also lead to confusion. Pocket diaper, ai1, ai2? What? Inserts and liners and clips and wet bags oh my!
Because of this, we prepared an ebook for our clients explaining the benefits of cloth diapering, the different types of cloth diapers available plus all the accessories that can be purchased plus, probably most importantly, how to wash the diapers!
Then we decided to share the knowledge and make our ebook downloadable for all our readers - for FREE.
Best of all, we even included a coupon from Happy Baby Cheeks Cloth Diapering Service for 50% off your starter pack with them and 25% off your first product purchase (not including any prepaid service time). Download the ebook to find out how to get that awesome deal.
Red Raspberry Leaf has been used for thousands of years amongst many cultures, but it wasn't until the 1940's that it was more commonly used in Western medicine. Red Raspberry Leaf is rich in vitamins and while it can be used to treat a pretty wide variety of ailments, it is now pretty well known for the benefits it provides to the all mighty uterus. Taking raspberry tea is said to strengthen the uterine muscles and tone the pelvic floor in preperation for childbirth.
There have been studies that have seen a correlation between those who consistently drink raspberry leaf tea with lower rates of birth interventions AND short second stage of labour then those who don't drink it.
The thing is - it doesn't taste very nice. At least I did't like it. AT ALL.
So during my second pregnancy I came up with these recipes that made the drink pretty delicious!
There is a cold and a hot option available - but with the heat wave we have been having in Vancouver - the cold drink is probably all you need.
Here is what you need for one serving:
1 Raspberry Leaf Tea Bag (can be purchased at health food stores and most grocery stores)
1 Tsp Honey
If I have it in the house, I love to add some mint to it as well!
Then all you do is put the lemon on the bottom of a glass (and mint if using) and mash them to get the juices flowing. Add the tea bag, hot water and honey and then mix. Leave it on the counter to cool. When cooled, put in the fridge until ready to drink. Don’t forget to add lots of ice!
** Tip – I make 3-5 mason jars of the tea that way I can cover it, and just grab one when I want it. Great if you have somewhere you need to go and terrifically refreshing as the days start getting hotter!
Not only are you getting the benefits from the Raspberry Leaf Tea, but also from the lemons. Here are just a few of the benefits from lemons:
Here is what you need for one serving:
1 Raspberry Leaf Tea Bag
1/8 Tsp ground cinnamon
1 Tsp Honey
Simply put the cinnamon and honey in the bottom of a tea cup and mix it so it become a paste. Add the hot water and the tea bag and steep for at least 3 minutes. Give it another mix and it is ready to drink!
Like with the first recipe, the benefits of this mixture does not solely lie in the Raspberry Leaf Tea, but also in the cinnamon. Here are some benefits to incorporating cinnamon to your diet:
If you are serving it cold, it is the same process, just adding a step of putting it in the fridge and then adding ice and giving it a good shake when you are ready to drink!
I hope you enjoy these simple recipes to make the Raspberry Leaf Tea more enjoyable.
The Maya's Nest is here to help you have the birth and postpartum experience that you want. As your doula, Samantha provides information, support and nurturing to birthing families across the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley.
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The Maya's Nest Doulas and Birth Photographers provide information, support and nurturing while capturing life's
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New Westminster, Burnaby, Vancouver, Langley and Surrey.