Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Birth Story of Axell James Gielow!

I am leaving this as is... I now have a lot of insights about his birth that I didn't have when this was written and I will come back and add to this when I have more time. This may have typos, poor grammar, and many other flaws... I just feel I need to be transparent and show where I was at the time of his birth by not editing this original story.  

I was 19 weeks along with Axell at this point ~ June, 2010

Originally written for my friends and posted on Monday, November 8, 2010 at 11:26pm ·
Axell James Gielow ~ Story of His Birth
Born October 5th, 2010 at 11:55 p.m.
Weight: 8 lbs., 1 oz.
Length: 20 in.

 Just after birth - About 12 hours old with big sis Lizzy ~ October 6th, 2010

Axell had been diagnosed as having a 2 Vessel Cord (also known as Single Umbilical Artery) when we went in for our ultrasound at 23 weeks.  This is what started me on my path to Natural Unmedicated Childbirth.  I began researching the SUA and found out that all the hospital interventions we had experienced with my last births would only increase the risks of complications during his birth…  I had to put on my big girl panties and face the pain.  I had already gone without pain meds for the birth of my daughter (unplanned, I WANTED an epidural, and was totally freaked when I dilated the last 4 cm in 15 minutes while they were placing my epidural and then refused to give me pain meds for pushing) and I knew I COULD do it again.  I had matured a lot since the birth of my last 2 and turned crunchy in sooooo many other areas, it seemed right to birth this baby without meds of any kind.  Even in my very unsure state of mind during that initial research, an excitement to do this grew inside of me.  I found many websites that brought me hope and taught me many, many good things.  I read Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth and soaked up all the natural unmedicated birth stories I could find.  I was determined that I would do this if I had to arm wrestle my Dr. into it!  I had previously LOVED my Dr., I actually had told my hubby we couldn’t move out of CA until after I had all my babies because I loved Dr. K so much and I didn’t want to have to deal with attempting to find a Dr. I could work with.  I honestly still think she rocks as an OB/GYN, and trust her a lot as a DOCTOR.  But, I will happily be looking for a Homebirth Midwife for the birth of my next baby, or it will be DH and I in the woods with a birth kit!  ;-)  She was not totally onboard with my birth plan, but she was willing to work with me on some of the basics.  I was high risk due to the SUA so I didn’t even try to find a Midwife this time around.  I figured I would plan to stay away from the hospital for as long as I could and then go in last second and have the baby.  I even ordered a birth kit in case he popped out on the freeway!  We live about an hour from the hospital so that was truly a concern for me with my short labors last time.  The biggest worry I had was that my Dr. didn’t want to let me go past 39 weeks gestation with Axell.  And I knew that I did not want to induce him unless it truly became medically necessary.  So, in my heart I struggled with fear of having to induce again and it hurting my little one. 

I had been having prodromal labor off and on for weeks.  My first real labor began during my first NST at 34 weeks gestation.  As I lay down and the nurse put the contraction monitor on my first contraction began.  I had several during the NST but when my Dr. checked my cervix it was still high and tight so we were not worried.  The contractions continued and got more intense as the next hour progressed and then they stopped.  There were no more regular contractions for another couple of weeks except for the rare intermittent real contraction.  I do know the difference between labor contractions and BH contractions as this was my 3rd birth and I had experienced the same scenario with my 2 previous births.  To give some history; with my last 2 I had pitocin, the first it was to augment labor (was totally unnecessary, if only I had educated myself properly! Lizzy came in under 2 hours from my first painful contraction that day) and with my second it was to induce (he came in under 2 hours from the time we started the pitocin drip).   My next bout of labor was during the 3 days (22, 23 & 24) of the full moon in September with the actual night of the full moon being my most intense labor prior to the day he arrived.  I was seriously having regular contractions every 5-7 minutes and they were lasting 90+ seconds.  I had to vocalize and sway back and forth while standing, while reading and memorizing my birth affirmations just to cope with these contractions.  Each of those 3 nights they would last about 2 hours starting just before 9 and ending just before 11.  I was getting so discouraged by my pain and knowing that I was likely to have weeks and an induction ahead of me.  It was rough.

            On the morning of October 5th I was high energy and excited about an overcast day we were having with light rain.  I snuggled with my 2 year old boy and was treasuring the moments with him being my baby still.  I walked outside that day and thought to myself, this is the perfect day to have a baby.  But by evening I was very discouraged, and I had sent my DH off to band practice figuring nothing was going to happen.  I had only had 2 real contractions since the full moon (both earlier that same day) and Axell was still in the LOT (Left Occiput Transverse) position after all the spinning babies exercises I had done.  There were times he would get into the OA position and then other times he would turn right back to where he has started.  I was so upset as the back labor I experienced with my last 2 (granted it was in the hospital bed and that couldn’t have helped) was awful.  I was on my favorite birth board (NUCB-BBC) and someone had posted the “Walk it Out” video of the preggo mama dancing her baby out.  I laughed and cried, and laughed and then cried some more while watching this video.  Then I had a steak dinner (steak was my main craving while pregnant this time but I only had it a handful of times) that was homecooked by my mom and I ended up being like a cavewoman eating all the meat off of the bones and licking the pan clean… crazy.  I continued on with my night finishing up some work and then putting away some things my mom had gotten out of her storage unit earlier that day (any night my DH had band practice the kids and I would stay at mom’s house so she could help me).  In retrospect I think that steak had something to do with what happened just a couple hours later!  ;-)

            At 9:33 p.m. I had my first contraction that marks the beginning of his actual birth.  I was standing at the DVD cabinet finishing putting the DVD’s away and suddenly I found myself doubled over and giving way to kneeling on the floor from the pain of this contraction.  I thought to myself, this couldn’t really be it.  This feels just like the 2 contractions I had earlier and nothing happened after them.  I got back up once it was over and kept going.  9:37 another one hit me.  I texted Alex (my hubby) and told him “contractions just started, just in case come home quick!”  Then again 9:41, text again “NOW!!!”  I knew these were transition contractions at that point.  I ran to mom at the other end of the house and asked her to come take over with the kids as I needed to put a few things into my hospital bag and go to the bathroom.  I then got some things together for the kids and peed.  All the while the contractions kept getting closer together and I was on the floor on my hands and knees for every contraction.  I prayed and prayed that the Lord would get Alex there fast.  It was 10:30 by the time he got there and we left.  I almost killed him when I heard him turn the suburban off… “I AM IN FREAKING TRANSITION TRYING TO HOLD THIS BABY IN!!!  WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU THINKING???!!!!”   I was sure I had been complete for some time at that point, but my water had not broken and I was happy to hold Axell in until we got to the hospital.  The car ride was the worst hour I had ever experienced.  It was horrible, and there was no OS bar in the car for me to cling to while my hubby drove 90+ miles an hour on the bumpiest freeway in SoCal.  I wanted to just kill myself.  I had been repeating my favorite affirmation (“We are in the perfect will, of The perfect God”) the entire labor and it is the only thing that kept me from jumping out the window.  I was able to text mom for L&D’s telephone number and call them as we were getting off the freeway.  After we got parked it was 11:20 p.m. and I was not sure I could walk in.  But I didn’t want a wheel chair so I was determined to make it on my own.  I leaned on Alex heavily and had several contractions I had to stop for on our way up to the 5th floor.  Once I got to the L&D front desk I explained who my Dr. was and that this baby wanted out NOW.  The nurse at the desk looked at me like a cow and I wanted to kill her.  Then another nurse (with about 6 other behind her) came rushing over and escourted me into our room (which was the room I had Lizzy in, and that made it more familiar and welcoming to me).  I told them I had to pee and went and hid in the bathroom with Alex.  I had to “get into the zone.”  I still was in denial though I knew I had been complete for some time.  I peed a little, saw my bloody show and got my gown on.  They kept coming to make sure I wasn’t pooping (my nurse actually said “Don’t do anything silly in there!” I had her rather worried) and going to push the baby out into the toilet, I laughed at that.  When the made me lay down I told them I was “One of those natural people, and that anyone who doesn’t support NUCB should leave now.”  And my nurse then asked me what we did and didn’t want, she was fantastic.  Both Alex and I loved her bedside manner and the way she helped us to achieve what we wanted.  I asked for a heplock rather than an IV, but somewhere in that process they ended up hooking me to fluids, at that point I didn’t care.  As long as they kept the drugs away (which they did) I didn’t care anymore.  They checked me and sure enough I was complete with bulging bag.  The nurse who checked me looked shocked and ran off to call my Dr. and inform her she needed to get there.  I could have screamed I told you so if I wasn’t in so much pain, geez.  Anyhow, when my Dr. got there she walked straight in and broke my water (while I as in the middle of a contraction and couldn’t talk to tell her no) then checked to see where he was.  I asked her his station and she said “0” and that I had some pushing to do.  With Jonny I pushed less than 2 minutes and bruised him heavily.  But hearing those words made me feel a sinking feeling regardless.  She told me to push with the next contraction and even though I didn’t feel “pushy” I did go for it (I have never felt pushy with any of my labors, still have yet to experience that feeling of my body pushing without my help) and he moved down a bunch, then I pushed a few more times and his head was out.  During the pushing I began to panic, I can handle labor pain, it’s not fun but I can do it.  Pushing is the worst pain I have ever felt and I wish I could relate to the women who feel relief when pushing, I envy any of you that know what that is like!  I started kicking and I nearly knocked out a nurse or 4...  Alex then grabbed my head and made me look at him then he spoke my affirmation to me and it really helped me to regain my focus.  I knew it would only get worse until Axell got out, so I gave it my all and pushed out his very, very wide shoulders.  I tore.  I felt it tearing as his shoulders came out and I wanted to slit my wrists.  The pain from the tear was so excruciating I couldn’t even think as I held my baby on my tummy.  I was totally crying from the pain of that tear and though she claims it was only a 2nd degree tear I am not fully convinced.  It was a large tear and the stitches she gave me hurt as bad as the birth itself.  Alex said I bled much heavier (there was an actual flow of blood they had to stop) this time than with the last 2, so I believe I may have hemorrhaged.  I plan to ask at my post-natal appointment if it was the tear that caused the bleeding or PPH.  They did whisk Axell off to the evil warming table while she got me sewed up and they administered the Vit. K and eye stuff before we could stop it.  Alex was very upset the rest of the night about them doing that.  He felt like he had failed Axell and was just heartbroken he didn’t stop them.  I hated that nurse anyhow, she was rude and mean the entire time.  We had to let go of the frustration about that, and it wasn’t too hard for me ‘cause he didn’t have a lick of meds during the birth!  When they brought him back to me about 15 minutes after he was born I immediately unwrapped him (that evil nurse had him wrapped of course) and layed him on my chest, he nuzzled over and latched perfectly from the beginning.  He was the most peaceful baby I have had yet and was so glad we chose the name we did for him as Axell means “Father of Peace.”  He and I slept together in bed that night and he has been a great sleeper ever since!  This birth, though stressful was perfect in so many ways.  I got there complete and had him just 12 hours before my appointment at which I was supposed to schedule an induction!  I was so happy to have achieved this birth and I thank Jesus for coming through for us!  As in Jeremiah 29:11 He knows the plans He has for us, and He brought Axell here according to His perfect birth plan!  Praise the Lord!

And here he is now! ;-) ~ October 2012

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Natural Dads: Land Navigation

 A post from Tribe Papa!

Natural Dads: Land Navigation: ...if you're lost and unsure... look to Ursa Major and and then Ursa Minor... ...line up the two at the end of the Big Cup... these li...

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Our Life In The Wilderness: New chicks and a giveaway!!!!

 My friend Cindy is asking for help captioning a picture of her cute new chicks! And the caption they pick wins a book! :-) Head over and see if you can come up with a witty caption... my brain has yet to come up with a good one, but give me time! LOL

Our Life In The Wilderness: New chicks and a giveaway!!!!: Heritage Rhode Island Reds. We had 5 of them hatch, but the last one had to have help, and I think it is too weak to make it. The other 4 th...

Monday, February 27, 2012

Our 140+ year old bean pot... so excited!

Not a lot to say about this... just had to share a picture because this thing is SO cool! :-)  

The gentleman we purchased it from (at a steal... I actually felt guilty it was sooo cheap) told us that this pot is from the 1870's and has traveled on the Oregon Trail to CA from our area in Arkansas and back again.  WOW!  For us history nuts that just made us twitch! ;-)

Lizzy could practically fit INTO this bean pot!

Of course Tribe Papa likes to call it a cauldron...

So, there you have it! Our newest addition to the tribe, and we feel it's a good one!  Do you like to cook with cast iron?  We prefer it to any other cooking options.  And when the electricity goes out (or you are camping or living off grid) cast iron proves it's value over again!

Missing her...

Hope Always
By Sarah Gielow

I have a baby
who's tears I'll never dry
who's hair I'll never smooth
who will never ask me "why?"

I cradled deep a sweetie
who's heart should've fluttered to life
but rather than sweet little beats
to our hearts a cold, harsh knife

We never smelled your sweet scent
we never heard you laugh
we often look around...
seems you should be running past

Even though our arms don't hold you
your cheeks we never kissed
regardless of our emptiness
we look forward to holding you someday, princess

Your name we thought we knew
till you whispered it that day
seems YHWH had other plans for us
yet still you are our Hope, always.

We lost our Hope on December 25th, 2009.  She was our third baby, and we were SO excited to have her joining our family.  We miscarried her at 6 weeks, 6 days.  Many people have looked down upon us for naming her and calling her by a feminine title when she was so young.  We never had proof to back up our belief that she was a girl, as we had an at home and unassisted miscarriage.  But we all knew it was a girl, and we agreed that naming her, speaking of her regularly and explaining to the kids was the right thing for our family.  Our Lizzy who is now 5 (but at the time was a mature 3) still remembers Hope being in my belly and when we lost her.  She talks about her often, we enjoy talking about what we will do when we get to see Hope someday in eternity. 

Now, we had planned to name our next girl Annelise.  And we really thought that was going to be this baby's name.  But after she passed, I got this burning in me.  I kept hearing over and over "Hope."  You see, we had been through a lot as a couple and as a family.  We had struggled to find peace, hope and a place in this world.  But this baby, she was a light in the darkest of places for us.  She really was our hope.  So when we lost her it cut us so deep.  The night after I lost her, I had a dream.  She came to me as a young woman.  In this dream she actually looked a lot like me which I found very strange as all my kids "look just like their Papa!"  In the dream she was Hope, not Annelise. The photo above reminds me of her in that dream.  This is a picture of a little tray I have had since I was young, and I keep it in my bathroom so whenever I look at it I get a sweet reminder of her.  After this dream I talked to Tribe Papa about naming her Hope.  He thought a bit, and agreed it fit her best.  So our Hope she is, forever.

There are days my heart aches so deeply I could swear it is about to bust.  I miss her.  Yet, even at the time of loss I somehow knew that she was stepping aside and making room for another little person to join us.  We were surprised to find out just a few short weeks later that we were again expecting, and here is where Axell's story begins!  That is a tale to tell on another post, but as you can see he did indeed come to be with us even though I almost lost him at around the same time developmentally as we lost Hope. 

I whisper to my girl on days like today, and even if she cannot hear me it helps to ease my hurt a bit.  I ask Yahusha to squeeze her in a big bear hug for me, and to take her swirling and dancing through flower fields.  I see her in my mind's eye... and smile as another tear rolls down my cheek.  I know she is in the best place of all, the arms of our beloved Messiah.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Natural Dads: FieldCraft 101: Quick Rucksack Repair

A great little tutorial by none other than my very quick witted hubby! ;-)

Keep in mind, this works really well for both rucksacks and backpacks. We keep some lengths of paracord with each of our "adventure packs" just in case we ever lose a strap while on a trail or out camping. Hope you enjoy and learn a little something!

Natural Dads: FieldCraft 101: Quick Rucksack Repair

Friday, September 30, 2011

Tribal Hair

Are you ready to have some fun, get great hair, lose the chemicals and be free of yet another addiction placed upon us by those that market products to us we don’t actually need? Then read on and learn the basics of shampoo free living!  And as a bonus, you will get healthier, and maybe even shed a pound or two as you detox from the chemicals in your everyday hair products.

So... the starter routine is:
2T BS (baking soda) to 8 oz water for your "shampoo" and then once you have scrubbed your hair and scalp for a couple minutes (focus on your scalp a LOT) rinse it out.
Followed by  
2T ACV (apple cider vinegar) to 8 oz water and do the same. 

Alternate Rinses:
Fresh squeezed lemon juice, you could probably use frozen cubes, or even store bought if it was pure juice. Lemon is known to lighten hair when exposed to sunlight, so do not do this if you have naturally dark hair.
Chamomile tea, the handful of times I have done this I just made myself a cup of tea, drank half and used the other half for rinsing, I did not water it down at all.  Chamomile tea, like lemon can lighten your hair when exposed to sunlight so please only use this if you are willing to risk the consequences! 
I have been told that lemon and chamomile tea can add nice highlights, but I have no experience personally as I have never used them enough to reap the benefits.
Unsweetened cranberry juice, I have not tried this personally as of yet.  But when I do I plan to use it in a similar ratio to the ACV.
Coffee, for brunettes most specifically as it has been known to darken the hair with repeated applications or extended saturation (20-30 minutes). 
I imagine there are many other optional rinses out there, the goal of these rinses it to restore the proper ph to the hair so that it does not get overly dried out.  BS has a higher ph than your natural scalp/hair and these rinses restore that balance and close the pours and follicles.
Honey to combat dry hair, especially during the winter months.  1 tsp. to start and then you can adjust to meet your personal needs.  This goes into the BS/water.
TTO (Tea Tree Oil) to combat dandruff.  I have heard 1-2 drops right into your BS.
Essential Oil to add that nice scent you are missing! Just mix in with the rinse of your choice and enjoy the goodness.

Moisturizers/Leave in Conditioners:
Coconut/Almond/Apricot/Walnut Oils are all lovely leave ins, and again a drop of essential oil will likely liven up the scent of these carrier oils and leave your hair feeling great and smelling amazing!
Deep Conditioners:
All Raw - Honey/Eggs/Avocados/Bananas/Yogurt are all lovely and easy to use when alone or combined into your own customized favorites!  Rub in well and rinse 15-30 minutes after application, then follow with your normal no'poo wash.  I think tonight I might try honey/egg/banana to see if it helps my hair look extra nice for my girls day out tomorrow... I'll let you know how that goes!

Also, very important to note is that most will go through a DETOX period. You will likely get worse before you get better. For me this lasted about 2-3 months.  The less you wash the quicker it goes, and it does not last forever.

From there you adjust to meet your needs... and please comment with your experiences!  I will continue to add to this post as I dig up old references and find new ones.

My story of breaking the shampoo addiction… it hurt at first!
I've been no-pooing for almost a year now and LOVE it. I have very thin, flat, greasy  hair and used to wash every day sometimes even twice a day.  I always hated that I couldn't do anything with my hair and was so envious of my best girlfriends beautiful, long, thick and wavy hair.  I tried perms, cuts (the cut makes a big difference too I found) and all the hair products I could find with a VOLUMIZING label.  Then one day on a crunchy mama's group I was a part of I saw these ladies talking about no poo... I had to click on that post!  I was a little nervous wondering what exactly they meant but was very quickly relived and excited.  I was just thrilled that I might be able to make my hair look nicer, regain strength and all for less money!  I tried the routine the next day and have not been back to shampoo since! I did suffer heavily through the detox period, but I had just had a baby and was not leaving to go anywhere so it worked out well enough for me.  It took me much longer than some ladies, I was over producing oils for about 3 months and it took a while to see that it was worth it all.  I almost gave up and washed it on several occasions, but I just couldn't do it.  Hair bands and hats were my best friends through that stage!  If you go through a heavy detox like I did just know it really won't last forever and it does get better!  Play with your amounts and see what your hair responds to best.  I use, 1 T BS to 6-8 oz water and 1 tsp ACV. I also add in 1 tsp. honey to my BS mix every other wash during the summer, and every wash during the winter to help combat the dry weather.  As soon as I can afford to get my hands on some Young Living essential oils I will be adding those into my rinse as well.  My hair is now wonderful, for me anyway!  This is the best it has been and it is very freeing to not be chained to the chemical based shampoo products.

As for the rest of my family, they no'poo too!  My kids have been blessed with their Papa's hair which is VERY thick, curly and coarse (think horse mane, teehee).  The kids hair is still soft for now, but even so hard to tame and gets tangled easily!  I prefer only do BS/ACV (same ratios as I use on myself) on them about once a month OR if they have gotten it actually dirty. And in between I simply do hot water rinses on them and add an oil into their hair about once a week while their hair is damp.  Most often coconut oil, but at times I use another oil I have on hand.  My husband decided on a much stronger mix for his coarse hair.  He uses about 3T BS to 6 oz water, and 2T ACV to 6 oz. water. 

Here are links to some lovely recipes for homemade hair care products:

Multiple recipes for various hair topics:

Shine Spritz for curly hair: 

More wonderful personal care product recipes and tips can be found over at Nourishing Treasures, be sure to head over and tell Lea I sent you! :-)
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