Thursday, January 20, 2011

Addicted to Baby-Wearing!

Baby-wearing 101

So it's official...I'm a hands free mom!!!! I love saying that because I feel a sense of empowerment. It is like I am not 100% limited in my mommy duties; I can move around. I am free. It's has been so tough spending a month inside of my home. Raphael was born in December, so having a winter baby has been boring and frustrating. I just started bringing him out to run a few errands as of this week so it's important that I have my mobility. It is one thing to be stuck at home but another to be stuck on the couch holding a newborn all day.

He loves being held so much, so it's hard for me to sit him down and do things around the house without massive screaming; I can't blame the little fellow, he's been curled up inside me for 9 months! But as a student and pretty much stay at home mom I need to have the freedom to move around! To put it short, baby wearing allows me to move around the house, do chores, write my papers for school; it gives my arms a break!

Also I am able to run errands more efficiently and I know he is protected from the elements. It is so nice not to have to carry around that heavy carrier everywhere I go, I just put him in the sling and I am accomplishing many things at once! I can shop and carry about my usual business and I am holding him at the same time! I an even nurse him if I want to, but I'm not comfortable doing that in public....yet...but that's another rambling for another time. It's wonderful because the sling reminds him of being in the womb so he ALWAYS falls asleep in it. That also makes errands a lot easier- a quiet, comfortable baby!

So what is the best gift you could give a pregnant woman? A sling or wrap! Seriously. It's practical. Now there are other advantages to baby-wearing like closer attachment to baby, but that is not my main reason for loving baby-wearing. I am a practical person (yes ironically) so the biggest advantage is being hands free.

Now onto more feelings on the matter...when I am out in public people are shocked to see me wear him the way I do. I always get stares or people want to see my sling. I can tell people have not seen these wraps (not the traditional slings either) by the way they look at me. Now I am in Tennessee so I know if I was in California or Oregon or even Asheville then I would fit right into the tribe... ha! But it both saddens me and surprises me. The only places where people have this understanding is at Whole Foods, Trader Joes,or local alternative stores. is But I must admit the Leo in me loves the attention my wrap brings me.... When I am shopping and people notice that there is a baby in there they are startled. The smart ass in me wants to say, "duh! What do you think is in here? I'm not just wearing this to be stylish!" lol

But onto fashion and style with baby-wearing. It is seriously addicting because there are SO many types of wraps and slings. And then you start wanting multiple wraps to match multiple outfits, or even just to diversify your baby-wearing experience! I got lucky and had people give me my wraps....another advantage of having hippie/ alternative mommy friends....always quick to let you borrow something! ha ha!

So I have four wraps officially lol. I have a Maya wrap, a plain ole sling I bought a consignment sale, a Moby wrap, and an upright sling to use when he is older. Here are pictures and opinions.

The Maya Wrap : I seriously love this thing and I am just going to have to break down and buy it. And yes they sell them used if you can't afford to spend $80. Just go here to their website and look under outlet under shop. This is nice because you can adjust the straps to make it fit and position the way you want it. You can do cradle style, kangaroo, upright, and it can even go on your back! You can use this from baby to toddler as well. The trick is learning how to adjust the straps, but it is very easy to use after that. It is essentially one piece of fabric but it is folded and looped around two rings so it looks like it is more. You just want to pull the fabric lightly, where it wraps around the loops. I should make a video...But seriously LOVE this! It even has a cloth that hangs to further protect and cover baby, especially when nursing or in the cold.

Even Daddy is hands free!!

The sling/ wrap I bought at the consignment sale. Now I like this, it is plain and simple. BUT it is very small and should only be used for a newborn, or small baby. I feel like in a month or two he will grow out of it. But considering I only paid $5 for it, it works lovely! I used this before I was given the Maya wrap. Also the straps are not adjustable, so you must figure out what position to use. I also do not like how tight he fits in there when in cradle position, I want some more breathing room. Upright position make me feel a little better. Like I said this is a short term solution!

The Moby wrap is awesome. I have read about it and my doula/ friend let me borrow hers. Now I just can't figure out how it is supposed to wrap around! She showed me but it is more complicated because you have make it. I just need to go online and watch videos or have her show me again and I'll be okay. People have raved about how much they love this and I can't wait to use it!

The last is the typical upright sling I see people use. It is an Infantino carrier. He is not big enough for it, so I'll have a Baby-wearing update for that one in a few months!

For more information, support, and vendors check out

There it is, my opinions and experience! Good luck in baby-wearing land!!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My Birth Story : Little Raphael

My Birth Story: Raphael Galileo's Journey to Earth

So I must say that while I have noble intentions and envisioned the birth of my son in a certain fashion, life happens and plans change! At the end of the day I do not feel like I missed out on my birth experience, nor do I feel like a whimp.... I am just glad that he is here healthy, safe, and sound. I did it, I am a mom.

SOOO the story begins on Sunday night and my doula and I decided to get the party started and we wanted to try some acupressure points, you know the points that get your labor started...I was 39 weeks and we both wanted to wait until at least I was full term....

So she comes over and gives me one heck of a shoulder massage and then massages the other "induction" points. I had heard mixed reviews about acupressure but I figured why not?


the next morning I woke up at 4 AM having contractions. They were not so bad at first, I could breathe through them; they felt like intense menstrual cramps that came from my back. I soaked in the bath for an hour, it still didn't get better, only worse, and closer together. At 7 am I call the midwife, she says it sounds like I am labor, but to come in and they would check me. Now at this point I was kind of stuck. My boyfriend was sleeping and I hadn't even packed my bags!!! Also my birth center is an hour away so I didn't want to go there on false alarm.

I wake him up and told him what was going on and he says let's go to be on the safe side. I quickly pack my bags bringing minimal stuff (clothes, baby outfit, laptop, bath essentials, etc..) You leave the birth center after 8-10 hrs provided you and baby are both safe and I didn't bring that much stuff...

On the way out the door, I stop to go potty. I look down and there is my bloody show, you know what that means ;-) It confirmed my decision to go get checked at least. I called the doula and told her what was going on but not to come yet.

The drive there was actually quick! But I don't know if it's because I was breathing through those contractions and timing them! They were still breathable and manageable at this point. We get there at 9:30 and I am seen, the midwife I wanted to birth me happens to be the one on duty (super happy at this point).

She checks and and says yes you are at 5 cm, we need to go ahead and admit you to the center. I just looked at my boyfriend and knew okay this is it!!
We go upstairs and she hooks me onto the moniters and gives me some gatorade because I am dehydrated. I was GBS + so I had to be given the antibiotics through an IV as well. Because I was GBS+ she wanted to wait a while before she broke my water. Called the doula and told her the good news and asked her to bring us food....Called my family and told them to good news. Texted my job that I wasn't coming in today because I was in labor! It is about 10:30 at this point.

I go to the birthing suite...the Zen room as its called, that was the one I wanted since I first went there.

The midwife leaves us in peace and she comes in every 15 minutes to check baby's heartbeart and get vitals. The doula arrives with emergency food and water! Whoo hooo!
The doula, Katharine, sets up my room nicely, gets the room nice and dark and puts on relaxing music. It is beautiful and just as I expected. We play around with different positions on the birthing ball and walk around a bit. My contractions had kind of halted at this point, so we needed to get labor moving!

At 1:30 the midwife comes in to break my water, the words I wanted to hear. It was the weirdest feeling ever to have a constant flush of fluid come out of me and it gushed for about 2 hours, slow leaks, not the massive ones you see in the movies or on tv.

So at this point the contractions are starting to pick up and get worse. Coming in at every 8 minutes, then it lasted around 5 minutes for some time. But I was able to breathe through them and Katharine worked with me nicely.

At around 4 pm she comes in check me. I was almost 6 cm, and that was not what I wanted to hear. After all those contractions, I thought I had dilated more than ALMOST a cm!
Okay so at this point everything went downhill. The contractions got WAY worse and I started to feel this pushing sensation inside my rectum sounds gross but that's what I felt like. Before the contractions were just heavy menstrual cramps that radiated my whole body, now it was that plus this heavy sensation (like I had to poop). That was SOOO uncomfortable and hurt like hell too. I could feel him moving down the birth canal.

I started going back and forth between hot and cold. I threw up twice, keep feeling like I had to go to the potty...and starting to get exhausted because it was getting harder to breathe through the contractions. Mind you, I had went to bed around 1 am only to get up at 4 am due to I was running on 3 hrs of sleep and pretty much no food.

At 6 the midwife came in and checked me again. I was at 6 cm only. She went and got breast pumps and suggested that we use nipple stimulation to progress labor. It worked and the contractions started getting stronger and stronger. I felt like I wanted to pass out. I was so sleepy and tired and I felt like I was going to pass out. I just wanted to sleep because I felt I had no energy. Now at this point I had been battling about the epidural and transferring to the hopsital because it was painful and I needed to sleep. I didn't know how much longer I could take. I had been at the birth center for almost 8 hrs to only dilate 1 cm the whole time there!!! I really wanted the waterbirth but the midwife said they like to do the water when the woman is 8 cm because it can relax the muscles and slow was tough...stick it out and have my waterbirth or go to the hospital and sleep.....

I reluctantly made up my mind and said I needed to go to the hospital for the epidural because I just couldn't take it. The midwife just looked at boyfriend and doula and no one disagreed with me. They all knew that if I decided to get the epidural then I really meant it, especially since I am soooo anti medicine and pro NUCB.

So we decided to drive to the hospital which was a ten minute drive. The contractions were unreal and I could not breathe them through. It was painful. I get to Labor and Delivery and the admit me in and the whole time I can only think about the epidural and the pain going away. At this point the contractions were like every 2 or 3 minutes and SO intense. They told me they were going to start and IV and then give me the epidural and that it would take an hour until I could get pain relief (the IV would take 30 minutes to finish and the epidural another 20-30 minutes to kick in). It got worse. None of the nurses could find my veins and it took 6 nurses to find my vein (in my other hand) to do the IV. After that the IV would not stay in my hand and it kept stopping. It was just prolonging thst epidural causing me to be more frustrated. The contractions were just horrible and all I could do was hold my doula and boyfriend's hand and breathe heavily. Suddenly I felt a HUGE urge to push and the nurse comes in and checks me. I'm at 10 cm fully dilated and ready to push. Soo much for getting thst epidural, baby had other plans!!!

Everyone rushes in and I start pushing. It was the weirdest feeling in the world, I never used that mucle before! I kept feeling like if I pushed then I would poop, but they told me that is how it feels and that I would not go to the bathroom on myself. Three pushes goes by and my boyfriend, doula, and midwife say that they can see his head. Another three pushes and I knew it was closer. Two more pushes, and the nurse said one more push. I pushed so hard until I was blue in the face and out came little Raphael. They put him on my lap and I held his slimy little body. One last push and my placenta came right out. I held him for a bit and then the boyfriend cut the cord. It was a beautiful sight to finally see this little creature that had been growing inside of me. Raphael was born at 7:42 pm at 7 lbs 5 oz and 20.25 in long.

I only had one minor tear and the midwife stitched me up.

I had done it. I had given birth naturally 100% despite caving in for the epidural and going to the hospital and not having my waterbirth that I wanted.

I have a newfound view of epidurals and I no longer can judge anyone that caves in, I understand that it is real pain, and that not everyone is cut out for it. I am still pro NUCB because I don't like medicine and the hard part is that I caved in. I cannot judge myself or be angry. I simply have compassion and understanding.

But I am glad that I still had my NUCB overall and that I did it. Yay. Overall my labor was only 16 hours and I only had transition for an hour. The hospital stay was great and the nurses and staff took really good care of us. I am glad I ended up in the hopsital...I had the best of both worlds. I got to labor the way I wanted in the birth center and the delivered at the hospital and had all my post partum care at the hospital (don't know if I could have handled that leaving the birth center 8 hrs after delivery). The after birth is pretty intense, enough said.

I ended up having to stay in the hospital for 48 hrs due to being GBS + and them wanting monitor the baby. Thank god I had at least packed my laptop!
There you go, my experience.

Here he is all cleaned up and ready to go home!!!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Wanting the Best Start for my Child

So this is going to be interesting. I am due in nine days exactly and I am wondering about parenting styles and my child and all of that. I am also curious to see what sign he ends up being: Sagittarius or Capricorn. He is due on Christmas, so it can go either way. I will love him regardless, but energetically it will be different! Like I said, this is going to be very interesting!

But what I think I am mostly excited about is raising a child in way that allows for him to grow up free and without unnecessary interventions. Now this is probably going to sound stereotypical "hippie" to some, but I do believe there is something important about returning back to our original naturalistic lifestyles. While I believe in the conventions of modern technology, it is not without specific ramifications. While I understand the convenience and "entertainment" of having a television, I also feel like it has played a part in the decreased intelligence of our youth; it also is full of political and societal propaganda, especially when it comes to advertising. I have to say, first and foremost, I am not judging anyone. If you chose to participate in these things then that is your personal choice, I just know what we will not be participating in within our home.

I want to raise a child who is spiritually conscious. I want to raise my child free of societal pressures and socialization. While I understand a degree of socialization is necessary to order to survive and that I cannot keep my children locked in a bubble for the duration of his life, BUT I can give him a start that most, including myself did not have.

It is interesting, I was raised in a strict Christian household --- No Halloween. No Santa Claus. No Easter Bunny. Limited soda and "junk" food. No more than 1 hr of TV a get the point. I hated that growing up because I associated it with my parents being strict. But my parents put me in dance, sports, art and computer classes, girl scouts (etc...), so I never felt completely ostracized from society. In fact now that I am an adult I am grateful that my mother reared me in a such a way. I read many books, something I do not see children doing today. I was able to develop my intellectual side and latent psychic abilities because I had a great deal of alone and quiet time. Here I am following my mother's footsteps, minus the whole Christianity thing, and I understand why she did it. She wanted me to be well rounded and well versed.

I want my son to participate in music and art classes. I want him to be able to unplug and develop his spiritual capabilities; he doesn't need society influencing him to be lost and confused. I want him to be a capable and open person. I want him to be an open-minded individual that doesn't go with normal. He will be educated and well informed of his human rights.

I want to provide him a proper start in life by focusing on his physical health. I will breastfeed for as long I am able to produce milk because I feel like that is nature's liquid gold (he doesn't need to start off with lifelong allergies because of early milk and soy exposure). He will definitely eat mostly fruits and vegetables for the first years of his life. Once again I want him to establish patterns of health that he can appreciate and carry with him throughout his life.

I believe in psychic children and this new generation that is incarnating here need to be born free, for that is how they will be able to access their latent abilities. These abilities are latent to us because we have become disconnected to them due to unhealthy living, socialization, and the influence of the media. Don't ignore the spiritual things your children say to you and the questions they ask. They chose you as parents to guide them properly. These souls are new and unexposed, they must be allowed to be kept pure for as long as possible.

For this reason is why I am choosing to have a water birth in a birth center. I want to create the most peaceful experience for his soul. Being born is traumatic enough, he doesn't need to be treated like a lab rat after he "lands" here with all the unnecessary medical "innovations". I want him to feel welcomed, calm, peaceful, and safe. Welcome soul, we are glad you are here. ;-)

It is refreshing to be in a relationship with someone who supports and agrees with these points, even if we don't go to the same extremes with it. We just want our son to have the proper start in life, something many of us didn't get. I'm not talking about having economic support, but emotional and spiritual support.

We forget we are spiritual beings have a human experience, but our little ones know and understand this. I want to foster a sense of comfort for my son for as long as possible, so when he does get into the world, he won't feel so lost and confused. He will have sound body, mind, and spirit.

Once again, no judgment to anyone who doesn't agree or do the same things, but I know what I want for MY child.

Thank you everyone.

Peace, love, and light.

Hello World!

Peace everyone!

my name is Ronique and I have started this blog in dedication to my little bundle of joy that is on the way! In less than 9 days I will be a mom and I felt the need to blog about my experiences as a mom and our ensuing adventures. My little boy is due on Christmas and his name is going to be Raphael Galileo. ;-)

This blog is really dedicated to all the alternative parents out there who are choosing to rise our children outside of mainstream society. I intend to write about natural living, spirituality, organic food, society, education, religion, and many other things. I also want to share to day to day experiences that I have as a mommy, for sometimes these experiences are important than all that "serious" stuff.

I have an active interest in the "occult" and no I am not a devil worshipper, for when one uses the "occult" there is a negative connotation associated with that. I am a professional tarot reader and astrologer. I would consider myself to have mediumship abilities and I do paranormal investigating on the side as well. I find that these aspects are just a part of my spiritual journey and I find them to be intertwined. They are tools for clarity and connection to Spirit and help guide us through the light and dark aspects of existence.

Can't wait to connect with you all! Thanks and Stay tuned!