Friday, September 13, 2013

Drug Free Childbirth - 6 months later

YIKES!!! I remember seeing this image before both of my children were born and thinking who in their right mind would refuse to get an epidural? Never thought I would do it twice! After my first natural childbirth experience being so long and painful I thought a few times about getting the epidural. But at the same time I felt like childbirth was an amazing experience that is so natural, I didn't want to mess with it. I will say my second time around was so much different. It was beautiful. It was perfect.

I was in pre-labor for 3weeks before she got here, that was annoying. Especially because I went to the doctor and hospital multiple times expecting to be coming home with a baby, only to be sent home. I couldn't sleep or eat or do anything really, it was painful enough to cause a whole bunch of problems but not enough to move that baby along.

When my water broke in the middle of the night it was like the movies huge gushes of water! She was pasted her due date by 5 days so she had a bowl movement in the womb (Meconium) so the water was brownish/yellow and cloudy. I was freaked out and just wanted to get to the hospital even though I had no contractions. Good thing, because as soon as we got to the hospital my contractions started. No pitocin this time! It was awesome to be able to walk around the room and use the birthing ball because I was not attached to any IV. Jeremie and I were laughing and dancing through the beginning stages of labor.

When the contractions got really strong all I wanted to do was lay in the bed. I would pass out during them because they were so intense. Jeremie had a bucket of ice water with lemon extracts in it, he dipped a wash cloth in it and put it over my face during. It helped so much with nausea and distracted me from the pain for a couple seconds. When I felt that urge to push I was only 9.5cm dilated again, just like with Avery. My midwives let me try. Think I only pushed for about 15minutes and she was here. And just like with Avery I felt absolutely no pain through the actual child birth! It's insane to me that our bodies can do that! And again that rush of hormones right after childbirth is worth the hours of labor. NEVER have I ever felt so alive! And happy!

Seconds after Karter was born
No tearing this time either! Which makes the recovery so much better, I was working out again 2wks after she was born. My conclusion, I think you have to pay your dues on the first one and baby #2 is like a cake walk. I went into the hospital around 4am and Karter was born at 7:30am. I mean don't get me wrong, labor is still a very painful experience but it was nothing like the first time. I was scared and it took 33hrs....compared to 3hrs this time. As soon as I had her I couldn't wait to have another one....same plan no epidural, all natural.

 Ladies its your decision. So please don't let me or anyone else convince you on what is right for you and your baby.  If you are thinking about doing it drug free.... I highly recommend giving it a try...never will you get to experience something so amazing in your life. So empowering. So beautiful....and a short 6months later I can not for the life of me even remember what the pain actually felt like. But my perspective on what I am capable of doing has been forever changed!

Avery meeting his sister 4hrs after she was born.
Miss Karter Paige today, 6moths old

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Someone should do something...

"Someone" should do something about that... then I realized that person was me. While I do wholeheartedly believe that my life and everything that happens to me is my responsibility....I have struggled with taking responsibility in places that were outside of my little world. For example, when I see something in the community that needs to change or I see some big problem that needs to be addressed. I have a tendency to say "someone should do something..." but why not me? Why don't I have the same sense of responsibility for my community as I do for my own life? Why is it okay to turn the other way?.... if I'm being honest, it's not.

While I'm a dreamer, I'm grounded enough to know that I can't solve everything that needs to be fixed in our society. BUT if not me, than who? WHO is responsible? Who is responsible for making the world a better place? I may not be the smartest, richest, prettiest, strongest, or most powerful...but I know that I can do small things to make a big difference, I do realize the power of taking an action. ANY action is better than just a good intention. From one of my favorite books by Andy Andrews:

“Everything you do matters. Every move you make, every action you take...matters. Not just to you, or your family, or your business or hometown. Everything you do matters to all of us forever.”  -The Butterfly Effect

I want to share a story of how I experienced the Butterfly Effect firsthand. This is not to brag at all, I want to share because I hope that it will encourage you to take small actions when you have opportunities presented to you, that you will find courage and strength to take action and trust that you can make a difference in the world. 

About a month ago, my sister shared a YouTube video on her Facebook page of her friends, The Haworths, they were auditioning for a catastrophe show on HGTV.  He's a wounded solider,  they both are fellow Olmsted Falls Alumni and their story just is not fair. I watched and my first thought..."Someone should do Something for this family" Then I got a tug on my heartstring, loud and clear I heard "Shanna, you should do something".

It scared me a little, like what could I do? This family needs $100,000. I decided to pray and sleep on it. In the morning I had an even clearer picture of what I should do and that I was fully capable of taking action. SO I did, reached out to my sister and asked if she could get in contact with the family and see if they would be open to me setting up fundraising efforts for them. After a few days and their approval, I set up an online funding site and started working with my sister, my AdvoCare Teammates, The CrossFit Box and other local businesses to start something to help the Haworths rebuild their home.

After a couple of days in, I had a lot of doubts; what was I thinking? How is this going to help them? What if no one joins me? What if we only raise $200? This is such a dumb idea. I always have these big plans that never work out. Who am I to make a difference? I'm 9months pregnant why would I start something like this now?  blah..blah..blah.

A short month later we have had lots of media coverage, had 14 local businesses get involved, had multiple contractors volunteer their time, got offers to have most of the materials donated, got the attention of a non-profit agency that is covering their cost to live while they rebuild their house,  raised $9,500 online alone, held a fundraising event at The CrossFit Box that brought in an additional $3,100 and raised over $3,000 off line. They still need more to finish, but because of our efforts, a local Nonprofit called NEOPAT is going to take over to help raise the rest.

The Haworth's are going to get their house rebuilt. I am overwhelmed, amazed and honored to have been able to be part of something so incredible. Never would I have thought that my tiny action would create such a huge ripple effect...or maybe it was my sister who started it by sharing their story...or maybe it was the person that encouraged the Haworth's to apply for the HGTV show...

See we all have our part to play, they are all equally important and they all make a difference. Our actions, small every day actions do in fact change the world. We just have to decide what kind of change that is going to be. Pay attention, take responsibility and have the courage to take action when it's your turn. YOU will be blown away by the experiences that you will have the opportunity to be a part of, by the legacy that you will get to leave behind and by your ability to change the world. Never underestimate the effects that your small actions can have in the world.