Let’s Get This Party Started!- Natural Ways to Stimulate Labour

So at 40 weeks and 3 days I am feeling still pretty awesome in my body, some aches and pains here and there and uncomfortably in the night hoisting myself out of bed to pee but all in all I could hang in there.  Wait I forgot about heartburn! That has been my ultimate worst feeling in pregnancy! Blah! I had started to feel some braxton hicks surges in my lower pelvis and felt some twinges in my cervix area and some shooting pains in down my left inner thigh they would happen and stop nothing consistent. I don’t want to force anything but just let my body and baby know…ok I’m ready!

My main fear is medical induction! Besides the fact that I am planning a home birth and didn’t want to go to the hospital the induction part just sounds awful and painful so I decided to start going about some more natural methods below.

I know there is a timing and a process here. Baby Hawthorn is totally in control and feeling very smooshy and comfortable indeed. In China there is a saying- “when the fruit is ready, it will fall off the vine!”

take the stairs

EPOS

SEX- Though most recommendations state something about semen having prostaglandin’s that

sexhelp to ripen the cervix if semen is not available to you in your sexual lifestyle do not fear, you needed it to get pregnant but not to go into labour! An orgasm  either partnered or alone, relaxes the body and stimulates oxytocin- the labour hormone; also helpful in early labour to get contractions stronger.

ACUPRESSURE– stimulate the various meridians and energy flows in your body at home with a friend, partner or by yourself. A great way to relax, de-stress and connect to your partner/ doula or friend as you visualize, breathe and open your body to the energies.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnEcLSHTI0s– Helpful easy to follow routines.

http://acupuncture.rhizome.net.nz/- This site has a free booklet created by acupuncturist Debra Bettes that has some fabulous points to induce labour and support with pain management while in labour.

ACUPUNCTURE- more active or aggressive as you will need to leave your house, book and appointment and use needles but very affective support. If you do not have a trust acupuncture therapist check these sites:

http://www.communityacupuncturetoronto.ca/what.html– Very accessible sliding scale clinic in Toronto- Brenna or Naomi are experienced with pregnant women!

http://drewnesbitt.ca/toronto-acupuncture-clinic-drew-nesbitt-services/– Specializing in women’s support, fertility, pregnancy and beyond.

meditationVISUALIZATION AND MEDITATION- Every day I wake up and meditate with myself and the baby. I ask what we need- foods, places to go, rest and see what comes to mind. Sometimes I get clear messages- like a walk at the water and other times nothing tangible. I started visualizing my ripe opening cervix like a flower. I imagine the thinning, moving forward and shrinking. Visualizing with my breath creates ease, gentleness and clarity has been a supportive practice throughout pregnancy and I’m sure through birth.

HOMEOPATHY- Caulophyllum (Blue Cohosh) and Cimicifuga (Black Cohosh)-                                                                         These two remedies are used widely together and separately to support steady contractions and induce labour. You can start at a low dosage of 30x and up to 200x but use with the support of a homeopath/ naturopath/ doula to ascertain if this is the right action for you if you are not familiar with homeopathic medicine.

Homeopathy is gentle enough that if the baby is not ready and the body not ready to shift into birth then these remedies will only support in opening cervix and cause no harm. There are also remedies which may suit your specific energy profile and may prove to be more useful in getting labour started.

Lisa Farun Wonderful Doula/ Homeopath (queer friendly) on the Danforth- 416- 421-2447- http://www.homeopathytoronto.ca/aboutlisa.html

Piper Martin– Doula/Homeopath will do a skype natural induction consultation – 905-252-8929 www.pipermartin.com- excellent blog with resources; birth kits and guides for pregnancy

 

nipple stimulations

bumpy road

SPICY FOODS/ PINEAPPLE/ COFFEE-  Maybe or maybe not all together in that order! These items stimulate the stomach and digestion which can stimulate uterus into action. Pineapples contain bromelain which ripen cervix…if you eat 4 at a time!

SWEEPING THE MEMBRANES- a procedure your midwife or OB can perform and basically gets up in there and feels out your cervix, separating it from the membranes. I found it uncomfortable and a tad painful.

OzzyOsbourne

And if none of these work and I get to 42+ weeks forget all these tender massages and cooing voices I’m breaking out the Black Sabbath and doing shots of Jack Daniels- something to shake up this little Buddha baby!

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Cosmic Conception- “I think Skippy had too many onions today!”

It was go time. June 10, 2013.  After charting my ovulation cycle for about 6 months I was pretty much down to a science, ovulating on day 25 or 26.  (Charting your ovulation cycle.)

menstrual cycle iheartguts.com

menstrual cycle iheartguts.com

Through meditation, research and conversations with other couples we decided to inseminate 4 days in a row. We determined our inseminations dates to be 1 and 2 days before ovulation, day of ovulation and the day after ovulation.  Healthy sperm that has travelled past the cervix can live on average 3-4 days. SO our cycle like it gave us some chances but wasn’t too demanding on our donor! Cheryl and I were both in school at night on two of the days but we decided to be really casual about the whole affair, we were in it for the long haul.

At 9:35 when we were leaving class we texted Skippy to let him know we would be there in 15 minutes. No pressure we would just sit outside his building and wait until he was finished. It was like a late night drug deal. We parked outside in our dark car. He came round, looked over his shoulder and handed us a brown paper bag.

“You got the stuff?” We joked. “ I hope it’s the good shit.” We exchanged a couple giggles and hugs…ok maybe that doesn’t happen with every drug deal .

Cheryl held the little jar between her breasts the whole way home to keep it warm and to blend it’s energy with her energy as well. We arrived home and I set up some pillows and a towel to catch and stray junk…excuse me, sacred spunk, and Cheryl went to sterilize our small syringe.  (Let’s be clear here, for those of you who may have never dealt with sperm and are doing a home insemination, there will be run off. If not right away when your legs come down and your walking away have a towel handy incase!) We looked that our sacred juice examined consistency, colour and smell and were both intrigued and a bit disgusted. It had been a while since either of us had been around sperm. But we treated it with reverence and spoke to it kindly, our baby could be in there after all!

She loaded up and I lay down with my butt elevated. We connected together with the sperm, lit a candle and kissed it wasn’t a huge ceremonial process nor was it all sexy times like in If These Walls Could Talk 2. Who knew how many times we would have to do this we didn’t want all the crazy pressure.

She filled me up and I breathed and visualized. It was more meditative process the first time. We played a song called Claire de Lune by Debussy and lay together breathing and visualizing.

conception

conception

Now this is the unexpected part. I was totally not prepared for what followed. As soon as that sperm came into my body I felt completely different. Almost like I had smoked a joint and was feeling the altering affects almost immediately. It was pure alchemy. My body was shifting to receive Skippy’s seed. I felt a strong energy run up my feet and legs and my body warmed. I felt very surrealy connected to him, I could even taste something different in my mouth, my body felt heavier. I said to Cheryl, “Wow I think Skippy had onions today, I can taste it in my breath! This is crazy!”  “I’m even seeing out of my eyeballs differently. Does that make sense? How can I see out of my eyeballs differently? I don;t know but that is what it feels like. Like I’m seeing with Skippy’s eyes!” Cheryl was sweet and just rubbed my belly and looked at me all tender like I was on some acid trip and she was there to keep me from freaking out. My body went on to receive surges and strange impressions for about 20 minutes and then it slowed down and stopped. I was getting hungry so we concluded insemination one and went to get a snack.

The two other times we experimented with coming after insemination, as we had heard that helps to suck the sperm up the cervix. We also watched a conception clip on youtube with a sperm traveling towards an egg in hyper colours as we listened to Debussy. Each time I felt the surges and alchemy. And after 4 days we were done until the next round.

It was hard not to consider the unlikelyhood of getting pregnant and then also the feeling “of course this will work!” Lets get technical, a man wacks off into a jar, jar of sperm gets transferred to another location, sperm gets sucked up into a syringe and then gets injected into female. The whole process took around 40 minutes and the sperm was exposed to a variety of different containers and temperatures. It seems pretty crazy that it could work.

But I guess Skippy’s spunk is pretty potent. That mixed with a fertility goddess’s ripe womb and months of intention and love surrounding the whole process and you’ve got a blessed recipe for baby making!

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Fertile Ground- Part 2: Manifest Destiny!

I am a firm believer in preparation, like setting the atmosphere and intention before an important change in your life. I’m comforted at times by my to-do lists or manifestation guides. They help to keep me focused.

Tuning into my body and observing the Earth’s rhythms and moon cycles has been an empowering practice I’ve cultivated throughout my life and it became even more valuable and powerful when working towards conception. 

These are just some suggestions if you are laying the foundation for fertility:

(*Please adapt accordingly! If you have a partner (male or female) some of this work can be done together. If you have a known sperm donor you can invite them to participate in some of their own fertility groundwork.)

fertility tree, costa rica

our found fertility tree in costa rica

1. Surround yourself with fertility. Print images of fertility goddess or ripe round pregnant women. Find fertility in a lush landscape, ripe fruit trees, rolling rivers.

What resonates with you?  Bite into fresh fruit, something sexy like a mango and feel  the juices running down your face.

Pick berries, swim in lakes and rivers, soak up the sun, walk barefoot, take a belly dancing class…just do things that make you feel alive, luscious, sensuous and strong.

Think of an abundant time in your life or place that fills you with joy and have those images surrounding you.

venus of willendorf

venus of willendorf

 2. Build a fertility altar- Make it meaningful to you.

Create a small area, even just be a table top in a quite spot. Your bedroom might be the perfect intimate space, where you can sit and meditate or reflect upon it daily. Image is a powerful tool to speak with the subconscious, using image where possible is a wonderful way to build and hold intention for what you are wanting to manifest.

Our thoughts and intentions are energy that has the power to be seeds of the future.  What are you sprouting? Visualize, visualize, visualize!

  • Images of yourself (and or partner or family) at various stages in your life, starting with the youngest image you have.
  • Fresh flowers blooming or seeds in soil from your garden.
  • A red cloth or  a red candle to represent life blood.
  • A bowl of water to connect with the vital life force of creation.
  • Images or figures of fertility Goddesses such as Mary, Brigid, Ix Chel, Gaia, Demeter, Corn Maiden.
  • An egg or egg shaped rock, something phallic or sperm representative
  • Affirmations such as: “I am a fertile goddess”; “I am a sacred vessel for life”; “I surrender to the power of creation” ; “I am abundant and full of life force potential”
  • Other images, or items that represent abundance, fertility, sensuality or family to you.
  • If you are using an unknown sperm donor and have their profile or profile number placing this on your conception altar can build an energetic alignment between the two (three) of you before and during the insemination process

Whatever you place there, these items should reflect  and invoke a fullness and bring joy and heart warming feelings to you. If your Great Aunt Mildred gave you her wedding ring and she was an important person in your family lineage this might be a powerful medicine item to be on your altar. But if Aunt Mildred was a wretched old bat and you think the ring is ugly don’t put it on your altar just as a symbol to represent your family lineage.

cornucopia

cornucopious delight

3. Eat, breath, drink fertility.

Apparently sugar, caffeine, cigarettes and alcohol are NOT delicious and nutritious for egg/sperm development?!

I’m not going to say to get pregnant you must eat pure organic food or to only drink spring water. Let’s get real people get pregnant all the time in the least optimal health and wellness.  Not that those choices can’t be potentially beneficial to your overall wellbeing, but, make good choices for yourself. There may be somethings you need to cut back on, or supplements that can generate more health, stamina and life force in your body.

Eating fertility enriching foods that can reduce inflammation in the body, support regulation of hormones, regular ovulation and strengthen egg quality.

The Fertility Vitamins and Minerals are: B6, B12,  Folic Acid, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Calcium, Zinc and Iron.  (More to come on this topic with direct links to other sites)

spend time in nature

spend time in nature

4. Be in your body- Connect with the Earth

We all come from the Earth and go back to the Earth. Our bodies are our vehicles while we are here. If you have body issues take a closer look at that and attempt to soften your self image. Be kind, gentle, and self nurturing. Your body will be the home for new life. Treat it with compassion and love.

If you never exercise, or take a moment to slow down, walk in nature; listen to your breath; now might be a great time to attempt that yoga class, take a walk in the ravine, learn how to meditate…believe me everyone can meditate for at least 5 minutes a day. Creating time to cultivate your intentions and fill yourself with life force enhances your vitality and aligns you to being the sacred vessel that you already are.

Developing a relationship with the Earth Mother has been a vital part of my life. Following Her rhythms has supported me through many challenges. It can be very nourishing to find a tree or spot outside and just be. To listen and to breathe.

sacred sperm and egg

sacred sperm and egg

5. Create something new, especially with the focus of fertility or conception in mind.

 Loversauce and I painted a conception image and placed it on our altar for many months in preparation for conception. We chose colours that felt strong to us and painted the golden sperm connecting with the silvery blue egg. To us it was charged with life force and our intentions for that one miraculous moment.  We sent the image to Skippy (our sperm donor) as well so that he could hold the same visualization as us.