I Ate My Placenta

Yep. I did. I gobbled it all up!

Well, I added it to smoothies immediately postpartum and then had my dear friend encapsulate the rest for me.

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It was something I had planned to do when I was pregnant with bunkers, too, but his birth didn’t go as planned so that didn’t happen.

During my pregnancy with my baby girl I once again wished to consume my placenta and this time I was able to fulfill that wish! And what a difference it has made for me during this postpartum period!

The are many benefits to consuming your placenta, but for me my main interest was in helping postpartum depression.

You can read more about the “whys” here.

Now that I am 10 weeks postpartum I can tell you a few things I feel like eating my placenta has helped with:

– Milk production. It took four long days for my milk to come in after Bunker’s birth. This time it was just 36 hours! And my milk supply has been ample! I just barely made enough when I was pumping for Bunkers.

– Postpartum depression. I’m not even 3 months out from birth, so I realize things can change, but I have none of the intense ‘dread’ I had in the first six months or so after Bunkers was born. In fact, 90% of the time I feel really, really fabulous!

-Nutrition. Placentas have TONS of nutrients in them! It’s been like taking a perfectly formulated multivitamin and I have felt very healthy; I didn’t feel this great even a year after Bunkers was born.

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Placenta Smoothie Recipe

I did lots of research on placenta smoothies when I was pregnant. I wanted a tasty smoothie but also something packed with nutrition. I picked ingredients from several different things I read and also added in some vitamins and nutrient dense foods to create a tasty and nutrition packed part birth recovery food!

Immediately following the birth, cut three 1.5-inch square pieces from the placenta for your three smoothies. Have your first one immediately postpartum and then the others every 24 hours. After you cut your three pieces you can place the remaining two pieces in the freezer for second and third smoothies. Save the rest of your placenta for encapsulation! Speak with the person doing your encapsulation and see if they want your placenta put in the fridge or freezer.

Blend together:
1 piece of placenta
1/2 can coconut milk (about 1.5 cups)
1/2 an avocado
1/2 cup salted cashews
1/2-1 cup pineapple juice
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 t magnesium powder
1/2 t vitamin c
2 T collagen hydrolysate (protein)
1/2 t Himalayan pink salt
1/2-1 T manuka honey, to desired sweetness
Water as needed for consistency

We used an immersion blender for this and it worked great; we put all of the ingredients into a quart jar and blended away! A strong standard blender will work, too.

I hope I have inspired you to give it a go!

Homebirth of our Girl

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We did it! We had a homebirth!

When I last posted I was 37.5 weeks and I still had 2 weeks to go!

Wednesday I cleaned and organized for 8 hours. I was 39 weeks and 2 days pregnant. I had such a strong urge to prepare!

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I woke up on Thursday morning at 1am with what felt like period cramps and I was starting to lose my mucus plug. Nothing too intense but it felt different. I did my best to get more sleep.  At 7am I text my midwife to let her know that the contractions were very consistent. I had a midwife appointment scheduled for that day, so she said she would see me in a few hours.

I went about my morning breathing through the contractions and starting to use my hypnobirthing techniques. The drive to the midwife was interesting and took almost twice as long because of a crazy rainstorm. Once I arrived the midwife observed some contractions and did a vaginal exam and told me I was at 1-2cm. She said it could be today, or it could be next week, we would just have to see!

I drove home and B and I frantically worked on getting everything ready. I knew it was going to be soon. I text everyone who needed to know. I did more cleaning. I got out the birth box and we rearranged the living room for the pool.

At 3pm I felt what I thought was my water breaking. A small dribble. I called the midwife and she talked with me a bit and listened to my contractions and then WOOSH my waters fully released. She said she would be there by 6pm.

I went to the closet to change my pants and had such an overwhelming feeling of gratitude and awe over my body and my baby. How amazing that my body was naturally doing its thing to get my baby out! What a cool experience this was going to be!

Everyone arrived about the same time. The midwife, student midwife, doula, my bff (and her 8 day old baby!) my aunt. Brandon made everyone dinner and I sat on the couch and chatted and breathed through contractions.

My wonderful doula started setting up the birth pool. When it was time to full it up the water coming out was rusty. We checked the other faucets and that water was rusty, too. Earlier in the day we had run several loads of laundry and dishes and the hot water tank had been nearly emptied. It’s an old tank and apparently has some rust on the bottom and that had been unsettled. The midwife said I couldn’t birth a baby in that water.

Thankfully it was still early. I was still managing my contractions just fine with breath and hypnobirthing techniques. I just rolled with it and the birth pool was packed back up and put away.

About this time it was evening and I was ready to lay down and just labor by myself in the bedroom. And that is what I did for many hours while my birth team hung out and slept in the living room.

Those hours are a blur of breathing and contracting and connecting with my body and my baby. It was a time of deep introspection and wonder for me. Things were getting stronger and more intense.

By 4am I was in the depths of it. I was starting to feel tired and like I couldn’t handle the intensity anymore. Thankfully I had such a great support team. B helped me take a shower. I sat on the toilet. I sat on the birth ball. I rolled around the bed. My contractions were one after another. I entered transition.

I remember saying things like “I can’t do this anymore!” and in the back of my mind my internal doula was saying, “Of course you can! You’re just in transition!” And I believed myself, but the pain was intense and the hypnobirthing wasn’t working for me anymore.

I believe I was in transition for about two hours. The midwife and doula were with me that while time, but I was still feeling very introspective and was still just rolling around the bed. I was frustrated about the birth pool.

The midwife suggested maybe I should take another shower with B. I didn’t really want to, but I started to get up out of bed anyway. As I did I had a gush of water. With the next contraction I felt pushy and I told the midwife. She rushed out to get the rest of the birth team and her supplies.

What an amazing feeling it is to feel pushing naturally! As soon as I realized I was feeling the urge to push I felt relief. It was going to be over soon and I was going to meet my baby! The room filled with my people and the birth supplies. I was standing at the end of my bed. During each contraction I would squat a bit and during each resting phase I would lean over the birth ball on my bed. Everyone was there offering support and encouragement and it was exactly what I needed, despite preferring to make on my own for the most part. It felt like a party, a celebration! And it was!

Just 7 minutes after I told the midwife I was feeling pushy my baby girl was born. The pushing felt really actually so relieving. I remember the pushing being so painful with Bunker’s birth, but I was on my back in a hospital bed pushing without the urge to do so. There must be something about a natural birth (and perhaps pushing while standing/squatting) that helped me have literally no ring of fire or any intense pain while birthing.

The midwife and my wonderful husband were behind me and together they caught my baby and helped to hand her to me so I could turn around and sit on the bed. Relief! I had done it! What a magical feeling!!

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Everything is a bit of a blur after that. But I was instantly energized and in love with my baby! And everyone around me! It was as if a love bomb went off!

I birthed the placenta, my aunt cut the cord, I had a shower and got fresh clothes. A wonderful meal was made for me and my first placenta smoothie. My baby latched on. It was bliss!

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The midwife and student midwife checked me over (no tears) and checked out our baby girl. She was 7 pounds 7 ounces and 20 inches long. Born at 7:08 am.

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Bunkers was with my wonderful parents throughout my labor and they brought him over to meet the new baby about 10am. He was so proud!

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What an amazing experience it all was. A truly once in a lifetime experience for me. I feel so blessed to have experienced a naturally starting and naturally occurring birth in my own home. What a gift! 🌹

Nesting

Happy New Year! 2016 is going to be fabulous!

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We are settling in and getting ready for our baby girl to arrive! Currently I am 37.5 weeks and (as far as I am aware) not showing any signs of impending labor. But that’s just fine – I have some things I want to get done before she comes!

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I’ve got all of her bitty clothes, diapers, blankets, and carriers washed and put away! I love this setup that I made for their clothes. All of Bunker’s stuff is on the left: shirts and sweaters hanging, pants in the bin below them. Then he has the bottom two drawers in the center: shallow one for socks and undies and the bottom one for pajamas and woolen undergarments. 

The way I made the wardrobe was by adding dowels to Ikea Trofast shelving. We bought some 1 inch dowels at the hardware store and B cut them to size and screwed them in. Easy! I just love the way it turned out. And the storage space on top for diapers is excellent, too.

This whole set up is in our master bedroom. We just rearranged the room (nesting!) And it’s so so fabulous. I truly believe in the energy flow of a space because it’s just 100x better, now!

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In other news, we got kittens! We got them in November as a surprise for Rhyko. He really loves cats and had been asking for them one for a while. Previously we had attempted having one kitten and that did not work out. One kitten will play with you with claws as a litter mate stand in! Ouch! And it just didn’t work at the condo – there was nowhere for the cat box to go! Anyhow, we got a pair of older kittens from different litters and they have just been a joy! They are slightly naughty, but I suspect all kittens are!

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We also went on our fun vacation that I talked about! It was really lovely. The weather was perfect and we all had a great time.

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I think that’s all for now! I have some ideas in the works for my blog so stay tuned, but don’t hold your breath! I am having a baby, afterall! 🙂

Warmly,
Christina

Pottery Class

I took a pottery class recently and really enjoyed it! It was actually a lot more difficult than I thought it was going to be! Getting the clay centered on the wheel is the hardest part!

195I ended up missing two classes because we were on vacation, so I didn’t get to make as many pieces as my classmates, but it was still a great learning experience.

197The teacher is really neat. She’s been doing pottery for as long as I have been alive! She’s an amazing artist. And a great teacher!

I’m all signed up for the next set of classes and they start next week! I literally can’t wait! So excited.

My goals for this session are:

To make taller mugs (mine came out toddler sized, which worked out okay for my toddler…!)

To make more pieces (spend less time per piece and go to open studio practice hours)

Make at least 3 bowls

Make at least 6 mugs

Attempt making a plate

Try out a painting glaze

Ground Pork Breakfast Sausage

We really like breakfast sausage but couldn’t find any commercially prepared sausage that didn’t have sugar, preservatives or PUFAs. We like to do things ourselves, so naturally we opted to start making our own breakfast sausage. We even bought half a hog so we would have lots of lovely ground pork to work with!

Breakfast Sausage

Ingredients

1 lb pork

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon dry rubbed sage

1 teaspoon dry parsley flakes

1/2 teaspoon garlic granules (NOT garlic salt)

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Method

Combine all ingredients and mix well with your hands.

Cook to your desired preparations: meat balls, sausage patties, sausage crumbles, etc. Cook well and all the way through so there is no pink left.

Enjoy!

Bunkers enjoying some sausage and water kefir. Shirtless, naturally ;)

Bunkers enjoying some sausage and water kefir. Shirtless, naturally 😉

New Etsy Shoppe Items for the Holidays!

Just popping in to put out there that I have stocked my Etsy shoppe a little for the upcoming holiday season. Just like last year I have listed a few fabric gift bags, but I have also added a new item – bunting banners. A few baby wool pants are still left, as well! Also toys for kids: bean bags and Waldorf style blank dolls to make elves or gnomes! Very cute and very fun!

Feel free to stop by! 

Perfect Oven Roasted Chicken

This is going to be a long, picture-less recipe blog post. Sorry! I have a pet peeve with picture-less recipe blog posts and here I am publishing one! I just don’t have a picture of my very own roast chicken because a)why would I? b)I’m usually quite hungry and ready to eat when this delicious roast chicken comes out and c)do you not know what a roast chicken looks like? 😉 I will add one next time we make a roast chicken! Promise! Anyway, read it and you won’t be sorry. 

I used to dislike oven roasted chicken. It was always so dry. It could only be used to make chicken sandwiches with LOTS of mayonnaise.

However, one night we were watching Cook’s Country America’s Test Kitchen and our lives were changed. For reals.

Okay, so it wasn’t exactly life changing… but it was profound! Maybe it was life changing?!

Oh, anyway. We took notes as we watched the episode and I kid you not we haven’t had a dry chicken since. They come out perfect every time if you follow the directions to a T!

I’m small enough I think I can post our adaptation to the ATK chicken recipe. For now 😉

Firstly, you need a chicken. A whole bird. Sometimes called a fryer. Or a roaster. But a whole raw chicken! And it needs to be 4-5 pounds. No smaller.

And here’s what you need to go along with that chicken:

1 onion

1 head garlic

Butter

Salt

You can also use any of your favorite chicken herbs. I like rosemary, sage and thyme. Fresh or dry is fine.

To start, get your oven preheating to 450*.

Wash you chicken (remove the bag inside!) and pat it nice and dry. Place it in a 9×13 glass baking dish. Truss your chicken! It’s important for a juicy and evenly cooked bird!

Cut the onion like you would cut an apple and then place pieces all around the chicken in the dish. Put some inside the bird if you’re feeling cheeky.

Peel the whole head of garlic. Click that link. Go on, do it. MIND BLOWN, right?! Cut the cloves in half and place them around the chicken (and inside!) with the onions.

Melt some butter. I’m not afraid of healthy fats, so I use about 1/3 cup of butter. Slowly pour it over the chicken and rub it in. Get it all over the top, wings and legs of the bird.

Sprinkle salt all over the bird, too. Yum.

Once your oven is fully preheated, place your prepared bird in.

Here’s where it get important!

You’re going to cook the chicken with the oven ON and then you’re going to cook it with the oven OFF. You’ll cook it at 450 for a set time, then – WITHOUT OPENING THE OVEN OR TAKING THE CHICKEN OUT – you’re going to continue to cook it with the oven OFF.

Here’s how the times breaks down:

4lb chicken – 30 minutes with oven ON at 450, then 30 minutes with oven OFF

5lb chicken – 35 minutes with oven ON at 450, then 30 minutes with oven OFF

Once it’s done with both cook times, remove the bird and let it rest 20 minutes. This is also super important because you want to give the bird a chance to not only cool before eating, but this rest time will lock in the juices so they don’t all come pouring out when you cut into the bird. Some juices will flow, don’t worry, but it will be nice and moist all the same!

Now for the best part! Eat it! Eat the skin, too. It’s super tasty. So are those onions, ohmygoodness. And the garlic? Don’t get me started. YUM.

And then pick the bones clean and toss the carcass (sorry, I dislike that word, too) and any leftover herbs, onions and garlic into your crock pot. Fill with water and cook on high for an hour or so until it’s bubbling and then switch to low. Cook 12-24 hours and you’ll be rewarded with a fabulous chicken stock!

Let me know if you try it out!