A Life In Progress

The Last Time October 3, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — jdalsin @ 11:02 pm

Looks like I’ll be sticking to posts about natural cleaners and recycling.¬†ūüėČ

My last post obviously stirred up some emotions in some, myself included.¬† I was really hurt by some of the things said¬†because it is something I hold near and dear.¬† It’s¬†odd for me because I never let¬† the blogging world get me down, never really care much about who¬†says what in my comments.¬† But I’ve had a long, tiring week and the words that were left in the comments stung. ¬†I hope those of you who know me, those of you who’s opinions of me I value, do know that I didn’t post in judgement.¬† The comments that I found hurtful weren’t ones that simply disagreed with me. I always welcome different opinions and I know that we don’t all think alike.¬†¬†It was other stuff in the comments that upset me.

The one part of my post that I do think was poorly written by me was when I said something along the lines of “childbirth, done right.” I ended up going a bit of a¬†different direction with my post and so that line was likely taken out of context.¬† I did not mean to suggest that there is only one right way to¬†do it but can definitely understand why that line was taken that way.¬†

It was simply a post to encourage us as women to get informed and find out what is best for our bodies, what is best for our babies.  And that is all.

 

A Babe Is Born September 29, 2008

Filed under: Natural Health,Parenting — jdalsin @ 2:22 pm

Women tend to be defensive about their childbirth choices, much like they are about their parenting decisions.¬† Which is why I’ve hesitated to write a blog entry about a topic that has actually become a passion.¬† Childbirth.¬† Done properly.¬† Which is a big part of why I am becoming a doula.¬† As a disclaimer, I am not attacking you, no I don’t think you are a horrible mother and so on and so on.

I think most of my readers also read my A Little Bit of Us blog and will know about the choices I made when pregnant with Josephine.  If that includes you, feel free to skip these next two paragraphs.

While pregnant with Josie I decided that things this time around were going to be different.  Over the years I had learned a lot about the body, health, natural living, childbirth.  I happened to go to a prenatal yoga class taught by a wonderful instructor who also was starting up the first Hypnobirthing classes in Saskatchewan.  I signed up the minute I found out about them.  Hypnobirthing, which really does not involve any hypnosis in my opinion, is about relaxing and trusting your body to give birth, fearlessly, perfectly, just as intended.  I loved the classes and had almost complete faith after the very first class.  Hypnobirthing encourages you to avoid any and all interventions and unneccesary tests (getting your membranes stripped, being checked repeatedly for dialation, induction, epidurals, any medication at all while birthing, etc.)  So I practiced relaxing. I learned to trust my body, to know that it knew what it was doing.  I came to understand that my muscles and body would work in perfect harmony to birth my baby. 

Josie was 12 days late.¬† I unfortunately did end up being induced because my blood pressure was rising.¬† If there weren’t any health concerns, I without a doubt would have refused induction.¬† I wasn’t impatient.¬† I was excited to meet my baby girl but I knew she’d come when she was ready.¬† I was disappointed to have to be induced.¬† I cried, got over it and decided to roll with the punches.¬† I had my first surge (contraction) at around 9:30 p.m. on Sept. 24th.¬† I went to my bed to relax and listen to my hypnobirthing cds with my husband.¬† He rubbed my back and we relaxed.¬† I was so comfortable, in NO pain whatsoever.¬† I convinced myself I wasn’t in labor and turned off my cds and trotted off to the bathroom disappointed.¬† When I got up, the surges became strong. I told my husband to call his mom to come watch our oldest daughter and I headed back to the bed. Within 2 minutes of getting to the bed and turning my cds back on, I was again so relaxed, so comfortable.¬† We called and told my mother-in-law not to come.¬† Around 1:00 a.m. I turned off my cds for good and we decided to go to bed since I was clearly not in labor.¬† The surges were there, I could feel my muscles contracting, they just didn’t hurt.¬† Flex your stomach muscles as tight as you can.¬† That’s about how it felt for me.¬† I got up to get a glass of water and the surges came back strong.¬† I told my husband to call his mom and that we should just go to the hospital.¬† She arrived at our house at 1:20 a.m.¬† My body started shaking a little and at this point, I feel like I introduced fear.¬† I knew I was far along.¬† I got nervous.¬† I started to get uncomfortable as the surges intensified as we waited for her.¬† We arrived at the hospital at 1:40 a.m.¬† I got changed into a gown, laid on the bed and said to the nurse “Something is happening RIGHT NOW.”¬† She checked and sure enough, I was 10 cm and Josie was all by crowning.¬† She was born 13 minutes after arriving at the hospital with no doctor present. I can honestly say that I experienced pain for the car ride over to the hospital and that’s about it.¬† It was amazing.¬† It was shocking.¬† It was incredibly empowering and a little surreal.¬† A healthy baby girl.¬† 8 lbs 10.5 oz.¬†¬† September 25th, 2007.¬† A hypnobirthed baby.

I’ve had to deal with some personal grief over the last 53 minutes of my labor.¬† It was not as I planned it to go and while I am still proud of how well it all went, I wish I would have arrived at the hospital a little sooner so I would have had time to relax and then birthed Josie a little more calmly.¬† I feel like just recently I’ve dealt with that.¬† Since she is my last baby, I feel that I had to mourn the loss of the ‘perfect’ birth that I will never have.

So that’s my story.¬† Now here comes the cold, hard facts.¬† My honest feeling and thoughts on childbirth.

I think childbirth is completely 100% backwards from the way it’s intended to be.¬† It is not a medical condition or a disease that needs to be treated.¬† It’s a natural process. One that most of the time, goes perfectly well.¬† But from the minute we find out we are pregnant we are told about the risks of miscarriage, our babies are screened for diseases while still in utero, etc.¬† It’s crazy.

We are filled with all the wrong information and don’t have enough of the information that we really should know.¬† For example:

The affects of epidurals on our bodies and on our babies.

Did you know that …

Epidurals can and do lead to:

– higher c-section rates

– hypotension

– fetal distress

– IV Cannulation

– Trauma to blood vessels

– Punctured dura (which I’m 99% sure happened to me)

– infection

– backache

– abnormal uterine contractions

(Click here for more info: http://www.healing-arts.org/mehl-madrona/mmepidural.htm#medical_risks_epidurals_rates)

¬†And it’s proven fact that one intervention starts the ball rolling for more interventions.¬† People who get induced often get epidurals because the labor can be stronger.¬† Then epidurals can slow down labor so you need pitocin to speed things back up, etc, etc.

My biggest issue is that I think women are making uninformed decisions.¬† I think that if they knew what they were doing to their bodies, what harm it could potentially cause their babies, that epidurals can lead to troubles with breastfeeding and so on, we’d be making a lot smarter decisions.

And it truly does confuse me why so many women are making decisions that are not in the best interests of their babies.¬† Like choosing to have a c-section when it’s not medically neccesary.¬† Like being induced just because they are sick of waiting.¬† Or how some women avoid even gentle medications like tylenol while pregnant but in the hours leading up to birth fill themselves with drugs much more powerful and damaging than that.¬† Parenting begins at conception and from that point on, it is your job to take care of that child.

My only request of anyone would be to get informed before you are faced with making these decisions.  A few of my book recommendations would be:

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth

The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth

Birthing from Within

and of course,

Hypnobirthing: the Mongan Method

Would you rather watch a video?  Check out The Business of Being Born.  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0995061/

 

Want a little humor about what childbirth has unfortunately turned into? Check out this 4 minute Monty Python clip.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxOu1DyVQV8

We all try to make the best decision we can with the information we have.¬† The problem is, we don’t have the right information or enough of it.

 

Smooth as butter September 19, 2008

Filed under: Healthy Eating — jdalsin @ 2:21 pm

This year has been a year of quite a few changes. 

Cloth diapering and back.

Pescatarianism and back and back again and back.

A few things have remained important and we have not waivered on them.

 

One of those things, oddly enough, is magarine.¬† Margarine has not entered out house is nearly 10 months. I thought it would be so hard but it has been the easiest change we’ve made so far.

I went to go see Lorna Vanderhaeghe speak years ago at the Mind, Body, Spirit Convention.  She is kind of a health guru.  After listening to her speak, taking notes, getting many ideas, she suggested everyone leave with this one piece of advice, if nothing else.  Go home and throw out your margarine.

Of all the things.  Really? That was so important.  Not stop eating chips, take a multi-vitamin, eat more fruits and veggies but throw out your margarine.  I was skeptical.  It took me a while to finally do it but I did.  We use butter for everything now.  My baking? A thousand times better.  Sauteeing veggies and fish in butter over margarine? What a difference.

Need a little encouragement to do the same? Check out this that I have copied and pasted for another website:

 

The Dangers of Margarine

Unlike butter, margarine has few nutritional value whatsoever. Margarine was actually developed to fatten up turkeys, but the turkeys instead died from it. Those who invested in the development of margarine obviously wanted some return on their money, so instead added yellow colouring (margarine was initially white) to make it more attractive for human consumption.

“Here are some basic truths about margarine:

  • High in trans fatty acids
  • Has the same amount of calories as butter
  • Butter (8 grams) is slightly higher in saturated fats than margarine (5 grams).
  • Triples your risk of coronary heart disease
  • Increases LDL (bad cholesterol) and decreases HDL (good cholesterol)
  • Increases risk of cancer up to five fold
  • Lowers breast milk quality
  • Decreases immune system
  • Decreases insulin response
  • Eating butter increases the amount of absorption of nutrients from other foods. The same does not apply with margarine.

And are you ready for the very SHOCKING truth about margarine? It is only 1 molecule away from being plastic! So it’s almost like melting your tupperware container and spreading it on your toast. You can confirm this by placing some margarine on a bench top and leaving it there for a few days. No ants, no mould, no flies! It does not rot, doesn’t smell and attracts no microorganisms. Nothing will live on it as it’s almost plastic!”

From: http://hubpages.com/hub/junkfood

Also, “a 1994 Harvard¬†study found that women who consumed four or more teaspoons of margarine daily upped the risk of heart disease by 67 percent, compared with women who ate less than a teaspoon monthly.”

From Chatelaine, October 2008

And non-hydrogenated, while better than the alternative, is still junk!

So butter up your toast in the morning and use your margarine to test the above experiement in your garage. ūüėČ

 

Bounty September 11, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — jdalsin @ 8:32 pm

I have to share with you all something I’ve been doing for the past few weeks.¬† I went to a local organic grocery store and signed up for their “bin service”.¬† With this service, you give them a dollar amount and then each week they have a bin of delicious organic produce for you.¬† You can choose to have it delivered or picked up.¬† I am LOVING this!

Why do I love it so?  Let me count the ways.

1) It’s convenient.¬† I¬†have an assortment of fruits and veg waiting for me in a container labeled with my name.¬†¬† I pick it up. I take it home.¬† The end.

2) It’s introducing new things to our dinner table.¬† I haven’t received anything too exotic yet but there have been a few things in there that I don’t normally buy.¬† It’s neat to have more variety of fruits and veggies in our diet.¬† It’s making me try new things and expand on my current veggie recipes.

3) It’s all organic.¬† Organic produce is getting easier to find in most centres but you usually have a limited selection.¬† I can always find organic apples, lettuce, carrots¬†and bananas but green beans, canteloupe, oranges, etc. are a little harder to find. Until now.

4) I like the mystery. The surprise.¬† Each week the girls and I go to pick up our bin and get in the car and root through it like it’s a treasure chest. “What did we get this week?!” I holler into the backseat and then start calling out names of the fruits and veggies in our bin.¬†

5) It’s actually saving me money.¬† I didn’t expect that.¬† But the produce is such high quality that it lasts a bit longer, ripens properly and is always delish.¬† From the regular grocery store I’m constantly buying peaches that never ripen, tasteless necatarines that just get thrown out, bananas that somehow just go from green to brown, skipping the yellow stage all together.¬† I’m throwing a whole lot less out.

6) In the winter I may choose to go with the delivery option and pay a couple extra dollars a week so I don’t have to leave the house.¬† How sweet is that?

7) It’s supporting a local business and Canadian grown produce.¬†

8 ) It’s peaked Abby (and Jordan’s!) interest in fruits and veggies. They are eager to try the new things I bring home.

 

So that’s it.¬† I’m really enjoying this.¬† The picture above is my bin from today. Lettuce, tomatoes, nectarines, plums, apples, oranges, yellow beans, canteloupe, carrots, bananas. yum!

 

The Cup: Diva Style September 7, 2008

Filed under: Going Green,Me,Natural Health — jdalsin @ 3:01 pm

Just a fair warning, my male readers reader (Hi Mike C!) may want to tune out for this entry.¬† It may be too much information so read on with caution. ūüėČ

Many of us know the dangers of using tampons.¬† They¬†contain rayon to help with absorption and dioxins (a chemical used when bleaching) which are a known carcinogen. (If you want more info on this, google it.) There are also rumors that tampons cause you to bleed more and for longer and that they may even lead to cramping.¬† I’ve been thinking of giving tampons the boot for quite some time.

So, this past week I finally got up the courage to try out my Diva Cup. For those who don’t know, it’s a little silicone cup that you insert instead of a tampon.¬† Once it’s inside, it opens up, creating a tight seal and simply catches your flow.¬† Depending on your flow, you have to empty the cup a few times a day.¬† For me, 2-3 times.¬†

Anyway, after just one cycle, I am SOLD.¬† I will never go back to using tampons again.¬† This may be coincidence, I’m not sure, but I had no cramps this entire period. Not one.¬† That doesn’t happen. I always have atleast one or two days of moderate cramping and achiness.¬† And my period that usually lasts 7-8 days is almost gone after day 4.¬†¬† Maybe those aren’t just rumors after all!

There are other benefits to the Diva Cup as well.  First of all, you can buy them locally usually for around $40 or here online for about $17.  Compare that to the cost of pads and tampons.  Say $10 a month x 12 months x 35+ years of menstrating = $4200+. 

And for those who care about the environmental aspect, think about how much trash your cycle creates using tampons and pads compared to having no garabge from the Diva Cup.¬† Or consider the chemicals and processes used to make a tampon that are harmful to the earth compared to the resources needed to manufacture one cup. See?¬† You’ll be saving the earth too.

Best part of all, I keep forgetting that I even have my period.¬† For real.¬† I’ve had a few “oh yeah!” moments which, of course, is most excellent. Even Jordan, my husband, keeps saying he’s forgotten since garbage isn’t overflowing with wrappers and I’m not complaining about cramps and backaches.¬†

It’s only fair that I give the downsides too. Although there are few I’ll include them so this will be a fair review.¬† It’s a bit tricky to get in properly at first, making sure the cup has popped open and that it’s properly positioned.¬† I’d recommend wearing a pad for the first cycle just until you know you’ve got it right.¬† Some people get it right away while others take a few cycles to really master it.¬† Also, this may be too much info, but it is obviously a little messier than just putting in a tampon but really isn’t that big of a bother.

I believe that Diva Cup even has a money back guarantee if you don’t love it. So try it.¬† I’m so glad that I did! ūüôā

 

The Bod August 28, 2008

Filed under: Weight Loss — jdalsin @ 9:58 am

Ugh.

Scales lie.

They must.

Why do I weigh less than I have since even before we got married yet have more lovehandles and rolls than I can ever remember having?

I’m sick to death of trying to lose weight.¬† It doesn’t help that my husband Jordan said he’d rather me eat nachos and ice cream with him every night than have me be thinner than I am now. And so he makes nachos and buys me ice cream and really? Who could resist a gift, especially when it’s sitting right in front of you?

So, I’ve mentioned before that I want to lose 10 more lbs. but really have no interest in dieting.¬† I like to eat, I like to eat what I want, I like to eat whatever quantity I want and yes, I even like to eat when I’m not hungry. You don’t need to be hungry to enjoy a chocolate bar or potato skins.¬† You just don’t.

That leaves me with the option of exercising.  And so I have been! Yay me.

Oh, I guess I should preface by saying I quit running.  My knees hated it.  My girls hated it. The end of that tiny little chapter in my life. 

I just finished an 8 week yoga class that I really enjoyed, I’ve been walking with the girls a lot over the summer, I’ve been trying to be more active in general- less sitting on the couch, more playing with the girls- that kind of thing.

Since my yoga class ended I’ve decided to put to use the recumbent exercise bike my grandma gave me a few week ago.¬† It’s practically new, it’s so quiet and has a lot of features that I’m enjoying.¬† For example, it’s so quiet that yesterday I watched a rerun of Desperate Housewives while I bike 10 km in 28 minutes burning 150 calories.¬† I’m a stat person and those numbers keep me going. I plan on doing it 3-4x a week and hope that things like that will help me drop the last of these unwanted desperately clingy pounds.

I am also hoping to sign up for another more challenging yoga class starting in September. It’s Hot Yoga and I think I’m going to love it.¬† The class I just finished taking helped me grow leaps and bounds in terms of flexiblity. Wow! I’m looking forward to this next class to hopefully improve on that and also gain some strength, something I am sorely missing.

So there’s an update.¬† Not an exciting one but I thought I’d better post something on this poor neglected blog.

Anyone done Hot Yoga before? Thoughts?

 

The Place Where You Live August 20, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — jdalsin @ 1:56 pm

I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately so naturally, I brought my thoughts here to share with you all.

 

Jordan and I sometimes toss around the idea of moving.¬† Although Summerland is our ideal dream (because although a fairly wealthy town, I think it does fall under the catergory of what I’m describing below), these moves I’m going to refer to are local ones. While we like our house and some of our neighbours, this isn’t the area I’d like to raise my kids in.¬† I don’t know why.¬† It’s just a typical middle class neighbourhood. And I definitely HATE living on street that we do.¬† Too busy.

We always keep our eye on the market and houses that pop up for sale in a certain subdivision here called ‘Cathedral’.¬† It’s an old, old, area.¬† With Elm trees that reach over the streets, meeting the middle.¬† The houses are all character homes from the early nineteen hundreds. But the neighbourhood is bursting with character.¬† You’ll find more people wearing flowy skirts¬†and dread locks than brand name clothing.¬†¬† More people sitting on corner cafes talking to each other instead of on cell phones.¬† Many people in the neighbourhood don’t even own a vehicle but rely on their feet and public transportation and do this by choice.¬† The neighbourhood has a butcher, a bakery, cute little shops selling¬†clothing, specialty teas and a few doctors and dentists. ¬†Children are outside running! and playing! instead of sitting around texting each other.¬† On one corner you’ll see a wealthy family in their home and on the other, someone picking through a dumpster for leftover.¬† An artsy community, often throwing street fairs to sell their creations. Completely my cup of tea.¬† I’m a bit of a hippe at heart.¬† It’s diverse, for sure.¬† But I want my kids to see that. There are a variety of people with a variety of incomes but everyone there seems to have the same ideals.¬†All like minded.¬†O.k. not everyone. Just everyone I know who lives there. I’d love to live in a neighbourhood like that.

Some thinks it’s odd that I wouldn’t be dying to send my kids to one of the schools in a wealthy neighbourhood.¬† I really want them to go to school with kids who don’t get everything they want, who don’t all have cell phones by grade 6 and who have a little appreciation and respect for the people, the things, the nature around them.

I’m dreaming … I know.¬† I don’t think there are many of those kids that exist anymore and definitely not a whole school full of them.

And then sometimes Jordan and I dream of buying a place out of town.  Some place close enough to commute to work but just far enough away that it feels like we are out in the country.  A big garden that will hopefully help turn my black thumb green, a clothesline, a big yellow school bus trekking down gravel roads to pick up the girls and take them to their little school with small class rooms.

After typing this I just realized the common trend.¬† The key to what I’m looking for. Simplicity. A simple life. Something a little more ‘back to basics’.

Anyone know where or how I can find that without joining a religious colony?