Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Placenta Encapsulation

The placenta contains your own natural hormones making it completely unique to each mother. Experts agree that the placenta retains hormones. Reintroducing them to your system is believed to balance postpartum and menopausal hormonal fluctuations. It also:
  • replenishes depleted iron
  • contains all the blood building nutrients (iron, B12, folic acid, B6) proteins, fatty acids, etc.
  • replaces the hormones you lost during the birthing process
  • gives you more energy
  • lessens postpartum bleeding
  • has been shown to increase and enrich breastmilk
  • decreases baby blues and postpartum depression due to the vitamins and minerals contained within the placenta, such as vitamin B6.
    • Dr. Dean Raffelock, D.C., Dipl.Ac./L.Ac, CCN, DIBAK tests women's nutrient levels postpartum (pre- and post-treatment) and is very aware of the link between nutritional deficiencies and mood and anxiety issues. Data shows this link exists in the general population, it is forthcoming in our population.
  • hastens return of uterus to pre-pregnancy state

  • decreases likelihood of insomnia or sleep disorders

There are many natural therapies that work despite scientific researching saying it doesn't (taking something apart and trying to figure out which part of it makes it work may ignore that it just might take the whole thing to work... ABCDEF won't work if you break it into A, B, C, D, E, and F individually), and lots of medical procedures that we used to believe were wonderful but have since found that they're awful (think about how women used to be knocked out with ether and then their babies would be delivered while they were unconscious, formula was thought to be far superior to breast milk, etc.). Remember also, there is no scientific data suggesting that prayer “works” either, yet many of us have the anecdotal evidence that it does!
That said, there are no scientific studies done to show the effects of a mother ingesting placenta. There are only studies showing that the placenta contains hormones, vitamins, minerals and such that have been scientifically shown to give the benefits listed. So we rely on anecdotal evidence to suggest that consumption of the placenta in a dried, powdered form will reap these benefits.
Today is only my third day taking my encapsulated placenta, but already I have more energy!! That is the main reason I am taking it. I was exhausted, and felt like I couldn't keep up with a pre-schooler, a toddler, and an infant. I was feeling the need for a 3 hour nap every day, was dragging like you wouldn't believe, and even when I did get a nap I still was ready for bed super early.
I'll keep you updated on how things continue to unfold!! My one complaint is that, online in the instructions for how to encapsulate your placenta at home, everyone said that they get around 80-150 capsules out of it. However, my midwife said that 20-40 is average. Gotta say I'm a little disappointed in how capsules I have, especially considering the $165 cost!!
P.S. Because this isn't a blog that's followed by very many, and it's not meant as an informative, informational, educational blog but rather just a journal for myself (and friends and family to read), I totally didn't get permission to use this picture from where I found it online (will replace with an image of my own placenta when I get it from my midwife), and I didn't properly document where my information came from. SORRY!

Monday, January 24, 2011

3 Week Update

Kiersten is doing great! She's 3 weeks now and is starting to stay awake for longer stretches and is getting to be more curious and alert. One of the first comments from anyone who sees her is "LOOK AT ALL THAT DARK HAIR!" It's kind of funny!

Keith is enjoying her. Today I asked him what she should wear and he said that she should look like a princess. So he helped me pick out something that would make her look like a princess! It was sweet!

Mitchell isn't too overly aware of her, except that I can't hold him and her at the the same time and so he gets a little mad. He doesn't care for her taking precedence over him!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


On January 2nd, 2011, my sweet baby girl was born!

This may be "TMI" for some of you, but if you're a birth junkie like me, you'll appreciate it anyway. I promise it won't get too graphic or anything. Just words that you'd read in books like "What To Expect" so really not so bad.

Sunday morning, I woke up and was beginning to prepare for 11am church. Ahhh! I got to sleep! Last year it was at 9am and I usually don't wake up until 9am during the week. I know, I know. But MY body needs lots of sleep or else I'm cranky and you know how it goes. If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. So I gathered up the boys' clothes so Ben could get them ready for church, gathered up my own clothes so I could shower and get ready to go... used the bathroom... bloody show. My midwife mentioned that if I had any, she would definitely come out to the house, so I gave her a call.

My midwife, Reta, is 55 minutes away. When Mitchell was born, my entire labor from first contraction to delivery was only 1 hour 45 minutes. Because of this, Reta and I decided that we'd attempt a "gentle/natural" induction, since bloody show increases the chances of such a thing working. So, around noon I drank 3 oz of caster oil. I renew my objection to drinking it. If you're going to use it, rub it on your belly. I had sent Ben and the boys to church so I could tidy the house before the midwifery team arrived. They got home just after 2pm and the midwives arrived around 2:30pm. She had me drink another 3 oz of caster oil, and do a blue cohosh "shot" every 10 minutes for about an hour. Just after 4pm, contractions were going and I felt like the baby was about to fall out. However, there was no pain. I was talking through contractions, even smiling and laughing! By then, Keith's preschool teacher (who has become an amazing friend) had arrived to watch the boys AND do some birth photography for me. Her face looked like she was screaming "I wish my labors were this easy" inside! I was in the kitchen baking a cake, after all!!
I felt a little nauseated, coupled with that feeling that she was going to fall out soon, so we went upstairs to set up. Unfortunately, despite being dilated to 10 cm already, my uterus was not contracting productively. Over the next couple hours, I even lost dilation. We used Clary Sage and a hot shower to try to get things going, too. But I went back to around 7cm dilation. I became discouraged that we had done so much to induce and it wasn't working. I had prepared myself to have a baby that day, and even felt guilty that it seemed as though my midwifery team had come out to the house for nothing.

Around 6:30pm, since things hadn't picked up again, we did ONE more round of blue cohosh... another 3 dropper fulls. They had just suggested that I eat something too, since I hadn't had breakfast yet and it was now dinner time. I had about 3 bites of banana, and a few minutes later, I puked it all up. By 7pm, I had on my maternity swim top and was in the shower because I finally had contractions that required some type of pain management. I didn't like feeling that I was being watched, but I know they were trying to be as concealed about it as they could be. My friend, Denise (who is training to be a midwife), was there acting as my doula, too. I am so glad she was there! She was calm and comforting, and very sweet.

At any rate, Ben realized that if I was in the water, then we were close to having a baby. They convinced me to get out of the shower because it's a small shower and not ideal for delivering a baby. They moved all the shower curtains onto the bathroom floor. I began pushing at 7:36pm on my hands and knees, but being wet it was hard to stay stable. I laid on my left side with my foot on Reta's leg and Denise applying pressure to my lower back (Reta's assistant, Camille, I think was monitoring the situation, she was above my head so I'm not really sure). At 8:03pm, Ben caught his baby girl!! She was beautiful! 7 lbs 8 oz, 19" long, and a FULL head of jet black hair! Plus gorgeous dark blue eyes. I'm sure the hair and eyes will change, but so darn cute!

Afterward, I had a hard time keeping my temperature up, so they "roasted" me by piling about 8 heavy blankets on me, switching some out for fresh ones from the dryer every so often. Ben even snuggled with me trying to help me raise my temp. Of course, Kiersten was snuggled in my arms, too! I love laying in bed with my newborn!

Once the cord stopped pulsing, Ben cut the umbilical cord. As they observed the condition of the placenta (I agreed to donate it to be encapsulated for someone who wanted it, with the option to keep it for myself if I wanted to... placenta consumption helps combat postpartum depression and also aids in weight loss!!), they noticed that it wasn't as healthy as it could/should have been. They also noticed that my 20 week ultrasound failed to find that there was a VELAMENTOUS CORD INSERTION. With this condition, nutrition doesn't get to the baby as well, and it could apparently tear off at any moment. From what I understand, it could have broken inside the uterus during my pregnancy, or even more likely that it would break off during labor and delivery. Look it up online. It probably should have kicked me to "high risk" and I probably would have been monitored like crazy to make sure that the cord didn't lay on top of the cervix where it would have the highest chances of breaking off during delivery, therefore requiring a c-section instead of a natural delivery.

Apparently I wasn't bleeding heavily, but trickling an amount that wouldn't stop and that made Reta a little nervous. She gave me several different tinctures and lots of Floradix (an iron supplement) trying to get it to stop. Eventually, as I went to go to the bathroom to get showered, I puked it all up. The bleeding was enough that we called in another priesthood holder and was given a healing blessing. It was the most profound blessing I think I've ever received. It was short and simple: BE HEALED. After around an hour after the birth (not too long after the blessing), it had calmed enough that the midwives were comfortable cleaning up to go home.

Reta and Camille washed my sheets and towels, trashed the things that were too much for a little hydrogen peroxide and a cleaning, and were gone. Denise stayed and talked for a while. Ashley had brought the boys in to see their sister around the time the cord was cut and put them to bed afterward. She stuck around for a while but eventually had to get home to her own family. By the way, Keith was most fascinated with the new baby! Mitchell just wanted to jump on us and play, though the baby was kind of an interesting item for him to observe.

Finally, we all were in bed and asleep before midnight. It was an interesting day! Once contractions became productive, labor took about 90 minutes. Though if you start at the onset of induction, I suppose it was closer to 6-8 hours. We've now got THREE kids!! I'm so amazed as I look over each of them. They are the most beautiful people in the world, to me. I am so in love with each of them! In case you can't tell, I am thrilled to be a mommy!