Sunday, August 26, 2012

It's New! It's Improved! It's.... New and Improved!

Hi, everyone!

I am cross-posting this from my hyperemesis (extreme morning sickness) blog, as I thought some of you birth professionals might like to see it! This is my plan and list for preparing my body for future pregnancies in the hope of avoiding or moderating the severe NVP (nausea and vomiting of pregnancy) to which I am so unfortunately prone. Please feel free to peruse, ask questions, and leave suggestions or comments!

For other great examples of HG plans/protocols, see Knocked Up, Knocked Over and various lists at (like this one).

You will notice that I don't have a detailed plan for HG treatment - it's mostly pre-conception. I pray that I never need that, but I'm not sure what I would write other than "Go to hospital and pray that I get treated well." Definitely a weak point.

Pre-Conception Plan


  • Diet

    • Clean (no junk food, get rid of additives)
    • Low sugar, low grain, no wheat
    • Very Low Carb (VLC) as soon as cycle returns
    • Lemon water (for alkalinity & liver cleansing)

  • Supplements

    • Multi (Super Mom)
    • Vitamin D
    • Alfalfa
    • Alpha Lipoic Acid
    • Vitamin C
    • Kelp
    • Vitamin B complex
    • Fish oil
    • Milk Thistle (look for brands with phytosome)
    • Yearly Liver Cleanse (dates done: May 2011, May 2012)
    • Perhaps DHA
    • Probiotics (Tummy Tune-Up by Beeyoutiful, see reference to NVP in link) 
    • Magnesium
      • Tablet form (Mg/Ca/Zinc)
      • Liquid Calcium-Magnesium
      • Epsom Salts for bathing and foot baths (evidence shows that magnesium is absorbed best transdermally rather than by oral supplement)

  • Exercise

    • Especially weight bearing exercises, since muscle mass helps with insulin/glucose metabolism. (Am I doing this? Noooo.)

  • Sunlight


  • Find a naturopath

    • I have several recommendations, plus the local naturopathic college.

  • Contact acupuncturist

    • I have the name, just need to confirm.


  • Bible verse memorization

    • Right now I am working on Psalm 121. I find that having Scripture verses to recite during stressful or panicky times is truly a lifeline, and it's one that I want to develop more fruitfully. 

Personal & Practical

  • Make the most of the time!

    • I find that the thought of future HG helps me to treasure my healthy times, and encourages me to use my time wisely - to take every advantage of time with my children, to train my children as much as possible in character and practical skills, etc. 

  • Work on organizational projects as much as possible



  • Diet

    • Strict VLC (very low carb)
    • Start protein shakes (zero-carb version)
    • Constant snacking - every hour at least
    • Lemon water - lots of it! 

  • Supplements

    • Add more epsom salts baths (daily)
    • Add Morning Sickness Comfort
    • Add digestive enzymes


  • Start Vitamin B/Magnesium/Folate shots at naturopathic college

  • Contact acupuncturist to let her know in advance
  • Get appointment with OB/GYN for Zofran prescription


  • Pray!

Personal & Practical

  • Buy paper supplies (plates, bowls, utensils)

  • Good resources for food for family while unable to cook: 
    • Fruit & vegetable platters 
    • Rotisserie chicken
    • Lunch meat
    • Easy kid snacks - gold fish, healthy bars, raisins, juice boxes, cheese sticks, cheerios & dry cereals

  • Arrange for housekeeping help if we need it.


And there you have it! Additional ideas, anyone? 

Feel free to let me know if you have questions about any of the above. (You will also find more specific links on the larger protocol.)

Happy Sabbath, everyone! 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Fail-Safe Acid Test

One of the most perplexing question for expectant parents, especially first-timers, is "Who should I invite to be at my birth?"

Best friend? Mom? Mother-in-law? Sister? Dad?

It's not an easy question to answer! And in almost 100% of cases, there are family politics involved - who will or will not be mortally insulted by not being invited, regardless of whether their presence is desired or would even be beneficial.

But here, I present the test-to-end-all tests - the one and only true question that can be used to determine "Do I want such-and-such a person at my birth?"

And here it is! Drumroll, please!

"Would I feel completely comfortable using the bathroom stark naked in front of this person?"

And that's it! If the answer is yes, then (possibly) go ahead and invite. If not, then don't issue the invitation.

You see, birth is not just a major life event. It is also an extremely intimate and often private moment. During the labor and birth process, a woman will be vulnerable and exposed. She might groan, yell, swear, or scream. She might throw up, go to the bathroom, and have any or all of her most intimate body parts fully exposed. If you're not comfortable doing any and all of the above in front of possible attendees, DON'T INVITE!

And there you have it!

Here are a couple more things to consider:

(1) Sometimes an easy way to calm family politics is to invite no family members rather than issuing selective invitations.

(2) Got people who are inviting themselves? Great! Don't call them till the baby is born. Cuts down on the anxious phone calls and texting-wars anyway and gives parents more chance to focus on their labor rather than fielding various communiques, friendly or hostile.

(3) Crowds can distract and tire a laboring mother (who usually goes into entertainment mode with large numbers of guests), and large, noisy crowds can cause a labor to stall. Beware inviting large numbers of people.

(4) It's much easier not to invite than to invite and retract later - so invite with caution.

(5) Make sure that your guests are on board with your birth plan. Disapproving guests ("I never would have had MY baby at HOME" etc.) can be a real downer, and can even cause birth shipwrecks (for example, encouraging an unmedicated mum to get an epidural) if they are consciously or unconsciously trying to impose their own preferences on the labor.

What would you think about offering pregnant mamas guidelines on whom to invite to their births? Doulas and nurses and midwives, chime in! (And everyone else too!)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

"The Artful Homemaker" - A Severe Morning Sickness Story

I found this five-time mama's HG story a few days ago, and really enjoyed reading it. Here it is:

My Morning Sickness Story

As I read this, I felt like I could have written a good deal of it myself, from my own experiences. I too am into healthy eating. I too have tried just about everything to get my body to stop overdoing the NVP thing. I too have consulted with Shonda Parker!

A few quick excerpts:
"I was so happy, when, after 10 months of marriage and longing for a baby, I finally found out I was expecting. My excitement turned to despair a few weeks later when the sickness hit. I was so unprepared for what was happening to me. Before conceiving, I had read every book on pregnancy I could get my hands on. I knew what to expect. But no one had mentioned this terrible misery I was experiencing. I couldn’t eat and I couldn’t drink, even though I was so hungry and so thirsty. Everything came right back up. Even tiny sips of water wouldn’t stay down. I had always been healthy, and hardly ever sick, so this was so difficult to understand.

"The books I read on morning sickness suggested eating crackers first thing in the morning (I can’t tell you how many times I heard that one!), getting exercise, drinking fresh juices, eating whole foods, lots of protein, etc. This didn’t apply to me. I was vomiting so many times a day and night that I lost count! I was so weak that I could barely stand up to walk to the bathroom. I started the pregnancy at around 107 pounds, and I was now down to 97 pounds just a few weeks into the pregnancy. I was seriously ill."
 Yup, this was me with #1.

And also:
"One thing that I’ve gained from being sick during my pregnancies is a heart of compassion and empathy for those mothers who suffer with severe morning sickness and any kind of sickness during pregnancy.  I would have never believed it was possible to be this sick just because you’re pregnant if I hadn’t experienced it myself!  Your whole life kind of comes to a stand-still.  It has been so bad at times (especially when I’m enduring the nausea along with a migraine at the same time) that I was literally writhing on my bed with tears streaming down my face, repeating a verse over and over and over to myself, trying to soothe myself in the midst of the suffering. "
 I would say that the biggest benefit I have gained from HG is sympathy and compassion for those undergoing physical suffering. Having been quite healthy all my life, I'm afraid (I'm ashamed to say) that I had more of a "Get ahold of yourself!" attitude toward those with physical problems. That is a fault which, I am happy to say, I no longer have! But it took HG to knock my foolishness out of my head.

This was a great article - I'm so glad she shared!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Children Are a Blessing Series!

I cannot wait to read this new series at a great blog that I read! Growing Home is starting a new series, "Children Are a Blessing" - check it out!

Here is the intro about the series:
"In a world where it's trendy, convenient, and sadly - normal - to view children as commodities which can be controlled to best satisfy our wants and "needs," it can be a difficult decision to leave our fertility in the hands of the Life-Giver who calls them Blessings.

"Who are we to trust when the experts tell us "no more?" How do we deal with our desire for more children while experiencing the pain of infertility? If God calls children blessings, then why does He allow miscarriage? What about special needs children? How do I know if God is calling us to adopt? What if my husband has already had a vasectomy?

"Welcome to a month-long series that will showcase real-life stories from women all across North America who've dealt with sheer exhaustion, complicated pregnancies, reversals, miscarriage, special needs, multiples, infertility, and much more with one, over-arching theme: God's grace and faithfulness to His word."
Join me in reading what this awesome blogger has to say over the coming weeks! 

When Little Ones Can't Stay: A Video

It's the tragic truth that birth is often intertwined with death - the (rare in this country) death of pregnant, intrapartum, and postpartum mothers, and, much more commonly, the death of babies - either in the womb or shortly after birth.

This video is from the funeral service of a sweet little one who died just a short seven weeks after he was born. His parents are amazing, and this is what they have to say: