Mila's Birth Story & Awesome Natural Remedies For Labor & Delivery

"You are the poem I dreamed of writing. The masterpiece I longed to paint. You are the shining star I reached for, in my ever hopeful quest for life fulfilled. You are my child. Now with all things I am blessed." - Author Unknown

This girl came into the world in a way I find hard to describe.

We had heard every heart-wrenching difficult child birth story and since I had been so horribly bed-ridden sick for the first 5 months, we prepared for the worst. I won't get into details, but everything from praying through contractions to watching our sweet girl be born on a mirror - it took our breath away. Of course it was painful, but dare I say,...I enjoyed labor and delivery? 

Yes, contractions were painful, but as a woman who experiences extreme pain once a month anyways, it was a pain I was unfortunately already somewhat acquainted with. When contractions started the day before her birth, I woke at 3:30am and couldn't sleep so I started scrubbing my floors and answering last minute business emails. It was several days before her due date, but I knew this was it and I wouldn't have time or energy to clean for weeks! 

Kavs and I ran errands throughout the day to keep our mind off of things. We stopped every time a contraction came so I could catch my breath. When they became difficult towards the end, he would take a tennis ball and run it along the small of my back until it was over.

 

Here we are...timing contractions. I laughed at the idea of an app for this, but my goodness did I adore it!

When I was all connected and waiting for dilation, they turned out the lights and told us to try to rest. Of course I couldnt.  I journaled to Mila and prayed for our unborn baby girl.

Then...it was time to push...

12 minutes later...she arrived. Our hearts burst. 

There simply aren't words for this kind of heart-swelling unconditional love.

Daddy? He was instantly smitten...

Before Mila came...I researched all kinds of natural remedies to assist in labor and also to induce it.

I cant say that any of these are guaranteed remedies, but in our situation, they all seemed to work!

First, there was pineapple. I was told it was a labor inducer, so I ate an entire pineapple two days before. She came 3 days early...so this may have helped?

Two days before I started drinking Red Raspberry Leaf Tea in the morning and evening. Tastes lovely and is also meant to induce labor.

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I popped Primrose oil pills. They are said to soften the cervix and since she came so quickly, again, I would imagine perhaps they helped!

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Lavender Essential Oil was diffused in our room during labor and it gave the room a lovely spa scent. It also proved to helped to stretch skin during labor and delivery.

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Finally, I had a wonderful friend lend me some clary sage! I was told it would help speed up dilation and effacement by my beautiful friend Heather. The incredible thing is, as soon as I rubbed it on, I dilated from 6 to 10 cm in 45 minutes!

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I cannot guarantee these products will work for everyone, but I am thrilled to share them if they make your L & D more manageable! I would so love to hear if they work for you!

{Life}

This Time 3 years Ago - Our Engagement Story

For the past 3 years around this time, I start to reminisce...

I'm a daydreamer by nature...so it is no surprise that during my favorite season and since our engagement was this time as well...my daydream processor is on over drive :)

And my heart skips a beat just thinking about it.

3 years ago...my man completely surprised me.

He had a ring. And it was for me. 

His heart for the Lord and for mine made this a moment in time I will never forget. 

(This song is us to a "T" and makes me smile:) 

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 At the time we were co-leading for Young Life. (The way we met is a fun story I would love to share another time! :)

We went to a tennis match that afternoon at the High School the Kavs went to and cheered on some of our sweet kids with one of our favorite couples.

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Suddenly, the Kavs  said we needed to go. Not really akin to his laid back nature, but I went with it...

He had planned a dinner for me at my parents and since he knew how much I loved watching the sun set...he told me we had to leave soon to get up onto the roof on time.

Still....I was completely oblivious. If you have ever read this blog or know me personally, you may find this is a theme that somewhat repeats itself...my naivete. 

 

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He made my favorite! Sweet potatoes and chicken marinara!

I remember taking photos of him because of how hard and intentionally he was working. Precious to me. 

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And if you know the Kavs...it also wouldnt be a surprise to you that he scarfed his meal and I ate like a bird...enjoying ever single bite! :)

I could tell he was more antsy than normal...but I figured it was simply because he wanted to be on the roof before sunset? I ran to grab a sweatshirt and we climbed up all three flights up stairs to our romantic destination...

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 Oh my word...

I had no idea what time and energy and thought was coming... 

The effort and heart he poured into this blew me away...but still I had no idea... 

Kavs spread out a blanket on the cold roof floor and began to read a front and back packet that he had hand-typed of bible verses that reminded him of me... 

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We probably read for an hour, but no concept of time did I have in this moment. 

I was swept up in his thoughtful, God-breathed, tender words.

Upon completion...he pulled this book out of his backpack. 

It was the male counter-part to a male/female book series that I had hoped we would some day read together, but I thought he had never cracked its binding. 

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I opened it to find words highlighted and underlined...he had read and taken to heart every single word.

My heart soared. 

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At this point I was misty eyed and squeezed him, but he was still not done...

Kavs reached for his backpack again and pulled out this book.

About a month before, Kavs asked me to bible shop with him for his masters program. He had asked which one I liked the best for him and when he chose the more feminine one, I thought it was odd, but went with it:) 

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Turns out...it was for me... 

And he had UNDERLINED EVERY VERSE we had just gone over during the past hour. Amazing...

"Turn to Mark 10:7" he said, "and read what it says..." The waterworks started to flow and I could barely make out the words, "the two will become one."

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The best part was, I didnt even notice the little white piece of paper hidden in the fold!!

When he pointed it out, I picked it up and he asked me if this is the kind of ring I might like.

I said....yes...and Kavs said, "Well, good. Then, this is the part where you need to stand up."

So I did, he got on one knee...and you might imagine what came next...

 

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If I would have picked it out myself...I dont think I would have found one that I loved THIS much. 

He told me later he spent 4 hours looking at rings with his dad downtown...and came out at the end to fnd a parking ticket on his car since he had been gone so long :)

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We stayed on the roof for hours...well after dark... 

And then went out on an ice cream date to celebrate !

My parents returned home and we cracked open a bottle of wine and talked into the late night :) 

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It was tender, God-honoring, and heart-felt...in a private setting. Exactly what the Kavs wanted for us and I adored every minute. 

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Degas Dancers!

I think perhaps this may be my favorite lesson I've designed for our Home School Classes and Painting with the Master's classes.

We learned about Degas, his study of dancers, his technique and his use of movement in his paintings. The outcome was amazing! 

All ages from 5-15 nailed this one! 

( In Honor of our French Painter...this song seemed fitting :) 

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First, we discussed various ways an artist can depict movement.

Then, they were instructed to quickly draw one of these ideas. So wonderful! 

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Then each child chose a favorite color to paint their background, we distressed the edges for texture and interest and began our "underpainting" with white paint and step by step we discussed how to "draw" with our paint brushes on their canvases.

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This is not an easy task to let go and allow themsleves to freely "draw" with paint and not have an eraser.

They truly were magnificent!  

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After this was accomplished, these sweethearts began to fill in detail in black and the black on white contrast i truly adored! 

Check out how awesome!! 

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Cade is 5 :) Great job buddy!!

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So lovely!

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Here are just a handful of 22 of our amazing artist's renderings of Degas and movement.

I am so proud of them!!!

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 We would LOVE to have you create with us! New classes start November 8th! 

{Art Classes}  {Bloom Prints Studio}