Saturday, July 21, 2007

Evening Primrose in Pregnancy

On this site, they mention Evening Primrose in an article on natural induction. Here's a little excerpt:

Evening Primrose Oil acts as a prostaglandin, which ripens or softens the cervix. It's also useful for softening scar tissue from abortions or IUD damage. This will soften/ripen the cervical tissues and increase the flexibility of the pelvic ligaments. This will help the baby to deeply engage in the pelvis. This early application of the baby's head will assist with dilation and should result in a relatively easy birth, even after multiple C-sections for "stalled" labor. Evening Primrose Oil may be helpful for women with borderline pelvises as well. The utilization of Evening Primrose Oil seems to enhance the complex set of biochemical messages that initiate labor.

You can take evening primrose oil, orally, in the last four weeks of your pregnancy. You should take three evening primrose oil capsules daily for the first week (36th week of gestation) and then one to two capsules a day for the last three weeks of pregnancy.

...Evening Primrose oil can soften the cervix. My midwife recommends taking 3 capsules per day for the last 4 to 6 weeks. However, it doesn't START labor, only prepares the cervix. It is not an emmenagogue or get more oxytocin into your system.

Another site on natural induction also mentions it:
Evening Primrose Oil and Red Raspberry Leaf Tea

Neither will actually induce labor. While some lay midwives will argue that statement about the Evening Primrose, which is the reason it is not recommended until 36 weeks or "full term", almost all sources with experience agree that it does nothing that the body was not ready to do on its own. I will repeat this at the end of this section, to make sure you understand this, as there is a lot of confusion and misconception surrounding these two substances.

Evening primrose oil is an excellent source of prostaglandins, which we already determined readies your cervix for labor. It can be taken orally as soon as 34 weeks, and can be applied directly to the cervix at full term (36 weeks). The general recommendation is two 500mg capsules per day until week 38, at which time you increase to 3-4 per day.

Any yet another site mentions the Evening Primrose next to Red Raspberry Leaf
After 38 weeks of pregnancy, a recommended dosage of 2,500 mg tablets per day of evening primrose oil is taken orally to systemically soften all tissues (including cervix and perineum, especially if cervical scarring or previous perineal injury exists) along with 1 cup of red raspberry leaf tea from 28 weeks, increasing red raspberry leaf tea to 2 cups from 32 weeks and then increasing the dosage of red raspberry leaf tea to 3 cups from 36 weeks gestation, then as needed in labor to strengthen and tone the uterus.

Aside from its use in pregnancy, it also aids in conceiving, according to the article,
Evening Primrose Oil (EPO) - Its Role In Trying to Conceive, and is good for rheumatoid arthritis (which I supposedly might have), according to a government funded site, along with many other ailments.

A girlfriend of mine wrote me to let me know she had used the oil during her pregnancy as well. Knowing that and who she's related to (our friend, doula/Bradley teacher), who'd never let her do anything unsafe in pregnancy, I have more confidence in using it. Maybe we'll start next week, when I'm 36 weeks. *;o)

Friday, July 20, 2007

Handicap Breakdancing - Watch more free videos

Midwife Appointment

We saw Simona yesterday and actually had to wait before getting in. *:oO (The wait was less than 10 mins.)

After my weight and Dixie cup test, we sat in her office to discuss the due date and birth plan. It was nice to be able to sit with her and ask questions on some of the issues we weren't sure about. In talking about the due date she mentioned the "specialist" wasn't sure about my old ultrasounds as the doctors who perform them in their office aren't as trained as he is. *I don't think I will comment on his pride after my posting about my appointment with him.

As I'm supposedly due any day we went over signs of labor again and when to call her. If my water breaks - call her. If I get contractions 4 mins. apart - call her. If we have any concerns - call her. She also recommended getting primrose oil pills to help soften my cervix. I'm to take 3 pills at different times of the day and then at night to insert 3-4 pills in my birth canal. I'm not sure how I feel about this...

With our birth plan, she mentioned purchasing a fluid enema kit just in case I don't get it all out prior to the second stage of labor. Since the plan is to have the baby in the tub, it's probably not the best idea to accidentally poop in the water while pushing the baby out.

I told her about the information I found on the vitamin K shot possibly causing childhood leukemia. (Big Red let me know that as soon as I stated, "I read it on the internet", all trust in the information was gone.) Both Big Red and I were still convinced enough to sign a waiver. It was interesting that the waiver stated that there is a problem with clotting in 1 in 4,000 babies...yet they give this shot to everyone because an excess couldn't POSSIBLY do any harm.

We also discussed the eye ointment. She mentioned it would be something she would wipe on the baby an hour or so after the baby was born so we'd have ample time to bond. *After our talk Big Red mentioned he thought it might be a good idea to give the baby since we don't know what STDs previous women had and what's in the water, etc.

Another huge issue was the timing on cutting the cord. I still didn't understand how all of a sudden our blood could mix, so she explained it. As soon as the baby is born the placenta starts to detach from the uterus. Once it starts detaching then the mother starts bleeding. She insisted that we cut the cord as soon as possible so the baby wouldn't get a fatal form of jaundice. I mentioned the back-flow I'd read about, but she had never heard of that happening.

Once we made a payment we followed her into the exam room. She had a lady who was training to be a midwife in Denmark with her. I had my blood pressure taken, the heart beat found, and they examined to baby to see if the head was down (it is!). After measuring my fondus and checking my cervix (ouch!) Simona came to the realization that I'm still measuring everything for 35 weeks and I'm not close to starting labor.

Simona also gave me the GBS test, which she said 1 of 4 women test positive. She also explained that usually she would have the woman go home and place garlic in her birth canal for a week and that only one of her patience that has done this has ever come back positive and this was because she only had the garlic for 3 days. As I was supposed to be 38 weeks, farther than recommended to take the test, she wanted to do the test this week without the garlic.

This subject became more interesting as she asked the lady in training if they tested every mother for this in Denmark. No, they don't. They only test the mothers who have had GBS in the past and the women who's water breaks early (usually a sign of the bacteria). They discussed this further as I got ready for an exam. When Simona came back she explained they discovered WHY there was the difference of procedure. In the US, if you haven't been tested, the doctors treat you and your baby as if you have tested positive. *I think I'd like to move to Denmark.

The results from last week noted that I'm NOT anemic and I have NO antibodies for the Rh.

Another waiver that we were to sign was for pictures and videos. It stated that the birth center would be taking all the pictures and video for the actual birth and could use it for whatever they wanted. Even though Simona said she's not going to be posting our birth video on-line, I still wasn't comfortable signing a waiver stating I was okay with her doing so. Therefore, we won't have any pictures or video of the birth because if they can't take it, then we can't take it. Fine with me! We're still able to take pictures and video during labor and after the baby comes, which is when I'll probably be most comfortable taking pictures.

As the day resulted in convincing us that I'm really 35 weeks and not 38, my next appointment is in 2 weeks. Yeah for logic!

Big Red also went to his doctor yesterday to get his blood work results. He is Rh+ (big surprise!) and perfectly healthy. The doctor even told him his cholesterol was low and to go home and eat as much bacon as he wanted.

Things to Ponder...

Not that I'm FOR it, but an interesting thought...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Jeremiah 17:21-23

Thus says the Lord: "Take heed to yourselves, and bear no burden on the Sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem; nor carry a burden out of your houses on the Sabbath day, nor do any work, but hallow the Sabbath day, as I commanded your fathers. But they did not obey nor incline their ear, but made their neck stiff, that they might not hear nor receive instruction.

Some thought:
Why is it so hard to "bear no burden"? Why do we feel like we have to continually DO something when all God wants is for us to sit and spend time with Him? You'd think it would be easy to lay our burdens down.

According to this, if we continue to bear our burdens, we make our necks stiff and we can't hear or receive His instruction for our life. Hmm...When your neck is stiff, you can only see the way in which you are going - you can't walk and see what you're leaving behind. If you want to check out what's behind you, you have to stop and move your entire body in that direction. This would be terrible if you were going down a dangerous path as it would be impossible to see things being thrown in your direction. You'd also be ignorant to any wrong turn as you are less likely to turn completely around to see if you made the right choice or read the sign right.

That's how it is in my walk. When I get stiff necked I stop following God, pick up my load, and get ahead of Him, thinking I know what's best. The problem is that I can't see that I'm going in the wrong direction. Then I get blind-sided by different trials. Eventually I finally swallow my pride and stop to turn and check, but the whole time I've been carrying my burdens alone - and it was MY choice to.

Lord, teach me to bear no burden, to lay it all at Your feet. I understand the concept, but so often forget HOW to. Pry my fingers open when I refuse to let go and send me warnings when I choose the wrong path or when I forget I'm not in this alone.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Birth Advice and Stories

This weekend a couple interesting things have been said to us regarding labor and birth.

First off, I feel I should be welcomed to some club about unwanted advice from cashiers.

We were at Target checking out and the cashier asked when I was due and then proceeded to give me advice..."Take the epidural!" The lady behind us chimed in agreeing with her and saying her first child was all natural. Thanks, but that's just not in our plans! Big Red and I sorta giggled and then let her know we're planning a natural birth.

Next, at church on Sunday, our pastor's mom came up to me and stated, "I'm prophesying that you're going to have a girl!" She's very sweet! She proceeded to let us know that she carried high, like I am, with her girls, and lower with the boys. Big Red insisted on asking if she could tell the hair color - red! Later that day my girlfriend, who previously was thinking I may have a boy, said the same thing about the baby's gender. and yellow it will stay!

We also got to hear a couple birthing stories. One was from an older, lively lady who mentioned that doctors aren't gods and nurses don't walk on water. She had a C-section and, as they wouldn't let her go home, she entertained herself with harassing the nurses. She would check the charts of the ladies in her room while the nurses had coffee and would order them to get coffee for a woman who just had a baby, stating that the mother knew what was best.

The other story was from a family at church. The mother started leaking water and had to be on bed rest for almost a week. Their daughter was born a few weeks early, but because her mother was on a specific arthritis medication, her lungs were fully developed. The afternoon she was born, her mother insisted that the baby was on the way. The nurses continued to shrug her off until her husband convinced them to check her...she was crowning. By the time they rushed her to the delivery room, her daughter was laying on the gurney with her.

This isn't the first time I've heard of nurses and doctors ignoring a mother when she let them know her baby was coming out. Common sense tells me to listen to the mother, especially if she's had a couple kids before!