You are // made from everything // That I am // We are // made from everything // That the stars are // I can feel // Your heart // beat // Within mine // The rhythm // Of a blood that runs deep // thru valleys and peaks… excerpt from 19th Birthday.
I never thought that I would want a home birth. In fact, I swore I would never not have an epidural when giving birth. Why would I choose to feel pain? That’s crazy talk. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I would have anymore kids. However, I did know if I were to have another baby, it would be under much different circumstances than my first. I was 14 years old when I got pregnant and a lot of, like all of, my decisions were made for me. I couldn’t drink (legally), I couldn’t drive (legally), I couldn’t buy cigarettes (you see the pattern here) and I was told exactly what would happen to my body and to my baby without asking me what I wanted or how I felt. I was induced early, I was given an epidural and I placed my baby girl in an open adoption all by the time I was 15 years old. It was rough, for a very long time. As difficult of a time that it was for me, I do want to add that I’m very grateful for the family that adopted my daughter and the closeness we’ve been able to have over the years. They are my extended family, but it still wasn’t my choice. I had no voice during my pregnancy (which I hid for the first 6 months), the delivery or postpartum. Shoot, I didn’t even really know what postpartum was until my recent birth. I am sure that I suffered from PPD, but I shoved it all down, deep deep down into the crevices and numbed it up with substance abuse.
Fast forward to adulthood and living in Southern California amongst the hippies with homebirthers all around and I’m starting to like the sound of this home birthing business, that’s actually not a business at all, (please watch The Business of Being Born, it’s pretty much what sold me on the whole idea at the end). Having a home birth would mean that I had total say over my birthing experience, the environment, who would be present at my birth, I would be in my home from start to finish, with my delicious home-cooked food, my music and the energy that we’d been creating in the space. I envisioned that after my hypnobirthing experience where I breathed my baby down and out through affirmations that my midwife would shower me and put me into bed with a warm meal and a baby suckling effortlessly at my breast. Very romantic, n’est-ce pas? Is that what happened? …kind of…no not really, but that’s for another post. Although it may not have been as romantic, we did have a successful home water birth and I delivered my big ole, 9lbs 2oz, healthy, veggie-made baby boy at 11:11pm on September 18, 2017 and for that I am forever grateful.
My baby got his first cold!!! Wannnh! I know it’s inevitable and his immune system does need to build up its strength, but I was hoping we had another few months before he got sick. Like I really thought maybe around 9-12 months, y’know, because of the super duper forcefield and otherworldly power of my breastmilk! But alas…he got that runny nose y’all and word on the street is, babies can get sick 6-8 times before they turn 1! WTF?!? Seriously. I know I’m living in LaLa Land, both literally and figuratively, but I hope babes doesn’t get sick again for the rest of this year! Praying his immune system has gotten really strong this go round!
Anyhoo. He got sick, I freaked (aka scoured the internet to make sure it wasn’t the plague) and these are the things I found to help and they seem to be working!
Sauna it out! Go into el baño, run the hot water, put some drops of peppermint oil and *eucalyptus oil* in the bath and let the room steam with aromatherapy! We sat in the bathroom for 10-15 minutes tops. NOT in the shower, just in the bathroom on the toilet, breathing. (This one was hard for me because I HATE wasting water, but it does feel like it helps a lot.)
Suck boogies! The classic blue bulb syringe BS that we all know and loathe. Every mother receives one through the hospital, their registry or from some well-meaning person and it’s quite frankly a piece of doo doo! It really can’t do anything, look at the teeny tiny hole and long slender nozzle, that hole isn’t pulling in diddly squat and that violent nozzle is going to stab the baby in the brain. PLUS you can’t see inside of it to see if it’s getting anything (it’s not) or clean it, that’s just gross. So… I tried sucking babe’s boogers out with my mouth, yes, I did that, I know, I know, but it is a thing and I was desperate! However it didn’t work well. Then after some more internet digging, I found this amazing mama’s post and immediately ordered the Frida Baby! It basically marries me sucking boogers out of his nose with the blue bulb blob and it’s SO much better! You put one end in the baby’s nose and it creates a suction around their nostril and then the other end in your mouth to suck. Don’t worry, there’s a long ass tube and a filter, so no boogies get in your mouth! Seriously though, it gets so much mucus out! There was a point where I felt like I was sucking his brains out because the mucus wouldn’t stop coming! How would he have lived with all that snot in there? I felt like a hero, I don’t think he saw me the same though. FYI*Do not do a saline flush more than 2-3x a day for over 4 days, you run the risk of drying baby’s nose out too much.*
Oil Diffuser/Cool Mist Humidifier! I live in California where it’s hella dry! We’ve been running a Young Living Essential Oils diffuser which also works as a cool mist humidifier in the room for pretty much 24 hours a day. I added peppermint oil to it for a menthol-y scent to help open up babes nasal passages.
Baby’s Positioning! For the first 2 days and 2 nights I slept in a recliner with my big ole baby on my chest. It felt like we were back on his newborn schedule, sleeping off and on every 1-2 hours. I believe it helped the phlegm not pool in his throat and I loved sleeping with him like we did when he was first born! *Memories* He’s back in our bed now and I’ve been keeping him on his stomach or laying him on an incline, his whole upper back inclined, not just his neck, you never want anything to compress the neck area. I also worked from and hung out in the room on these days to watch him breathe, because…mommy paranoia! If your little one sleeps in a crib. Roll up some towels and put under the side of the mattress where their head is so there’s a slight incline, again for that mucus drainage. YUCK!
Onion! A super holistic mommy friend of mine told me about this, “quarter an onion and put it in every room of the house. It will purify the air of anything airborne.” I trust this woman and what she tells me, so I did it. It definitely added a scent that I believed was taking out all the “bad” with it. I also found this article by a Mama in Indonesia who uses the onion method and adds *eucalyptus oil. She has some other fab tips as well.
Bath! We took a nice warm bath and afterwards, he got a lovely massage with coconut oil. I concentrated on his crown chakra and the bottoms of his feet in hopes that it will ignite healing from both ends!
TLC! I’ve just stayed with him all day and all night. I’m there for whatever he needs, whenever he needs it. We haven’t left the bedroom in 3 days. I let him nurse on me as often as he wants and we’re both naked, so he can have the boob whenevs. We sleep, we read books and I hold him, a lot. My lower back is def in need of a good stretch and workout this week, but right now, being here is worth every minute! Now I know how my Mama felt when she would bring pillows in the bathroom and sleep on the floor with me when I was sick. Mommies ARE heroes! 🙂
I hope some of these work for you as they’ve been working for us. He still has a lingering cough that we’ve been told by a doctor can last another 1-2 weeks as the postnasal drip clears. BOO! So we’re still using the humidifier, steams and baby positioning. LET THIS COLD END!!!
Blue bulb of death. Suck them baby boogies out right!