What Does A Home Birth Look Like?

Most of us know what a hospital birth looks like. There is medical equipment strapped everywhere. Women generally keep the lights dim, except for the bright spotlight shining at the birth canal welcoming her baby ever so boldly from her warm dark sanctuary. There’s bleached white sheets, that don’t fool anyone for a second into thinking that hospital room is anywhere near safe from germs. There’s machines with beeps and lights and wires.

My cousins, Chris and Krystal Hohn, have been an amazing team since they first fell in love. They are both chiropractors in Goleta, CA. They supported each other through chiropractic school and now own and operate their own chiropractic office in Goleta, CA.  Most recently though, was their greatest team effort and payoff  as Krystal gave birth to Chris’ daughter in the home that they made with the help of a midwife.

Chris and Krystal Hohn have graciously offered their photos to Everything Birth’s Blog so that more families will be able to witness the loving and safe environment that a midwife assisted home birth can provide.

In early labor, Kristal Hohn decides to make a birthday cake to celebrate the birth of her daughter.

Since Krystal didn't have to spend her early labor getting situated in a hospital L&D room, she had time to decorate her cake.

Instead of walking the germy halls of the labor and delivery floor at the hospital, she eased into contractions in the comfort of her home.

Krystal can feel confident knowing that wall she is leaning on hasn't been thrown up on. Chris, her husband, finds it easy to make himself at home... since he is.

As labor gets more intense, Krystal was able to relax in a birth tub right in her own house.

I've tried being comfortable with my husband in a hospital bed and it just doesn't work. Being comfortable makes labor go much more smoothly.

A midwife assisted birth means that the initial exam is less disruptive for the child. Instead of the baby going to meet the doctor, the midwife, comes down to the baby. None of the most crucial and precious first few moments are lost. Bonding can begin right away.

After proper bonding time has happened, the baby is weighed in total comfort, not on a metal scale.

Krystal kisses her new baby girl. My cousin (once removed) was born in peace and will no nothing of the birth trauma that my children went through in the hospital. That is one lucky little girl.

My children were born in a hospital. So, I’m not about to challenge a woman who delivers in a hospital. I delivered there out of fear. My first daughter was stillborn because of a fluke chromosomal anomaly and for years, I lived in fear. I feel that my own hospital birthing puts me in a unique position to allow the Everything Birth Community to witness the gentleness of a home birth.

I’m not forcing anyone’s opinion. I’m not judging anyone’s choices. I just wanted you to see… because when I saw, tears of happiness flowed down my cheeks. Not because my cousin’s daughter was born, but because a little baby was born… gently.

-Dawn Papple

If you have your own birth photos, we’d love to see them. You can post them in our community forum, The Village. We’re not judgmental, we want to see your hospital birth pictures too!

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If You’re Alive, You Need Arnica

If You’re Alive, You Need Arnica

The back of my bathroom door is covered with a long organizer filled with homeopathic remedies of all kinds. I have a remedy for fevers, a remedy for coughs, a remedy for cracked lips, a remedy for throwing up, a remedy for gall stones, a remedy for boogers, a remedy for PMS, a remedy for… Well, you get my point.

If some mean, powerful being suddenly appeared before me and said that I had no choice, I had to get rid of all of my homeopathic remedies except one, I know just which remedy I would keep.

Hands down, I would choose Arnica.

Seriously, the only people who do not need to have Arnica in their medicine chest are people that are not alive.

My very favorite homeopathy expert is a man named Joe De Livera. He has studied homeopathy daily and extensively for over 40 years. It is his calling and his passion. He is eagerly documenting the multitude of ways that Arnica can be used homeopathically, because he is in his nineties and doesn’t want his experience to be lost when he passes on. Traditional homeopathy indicates arnica for muscle soreness, swelling and bruising, yet it has an almost infinite amount of seriously helpful homeopathic uses.

-Dawn Papple

My Other Child

I write about my two littlest children all the time. I do have an older one though. He’s nine. He’s going to be a scientist when he grows up… a DNA mutating scientist to be specific. He reads science books about anthropology, outer space, and all things repulsive. He also really likes The Diary of a Wimpy Kid but I explain to him, that wimpy is not really a nice word. Some kids, like him, are “highly sensitive children” and that that’s actually a good thing, that will make him an amazing adult.

His name is Noah. He’s half grown up now.

It went too fast.

Sometimes, when I’m laying with my daughter Ayla, I squint and pretend for a moment that she is Noah. Their features are similar enough that if I squint, I can live in the past for just a moment. It usually ends with a sadness, as I wonder who I will squint with when my youngest child is nine.

I am highly immersed in the world of infants and toddlers because of my blogging for Everything Birth. There is a whole other part of me that I don’t share on here though that you will all become one day if you aren’t already. If you don’t already know:

It happens too fast.

Right now, I listen to nearly endless monolouges about Ben 10 creatures and Spy Gear. Yesterday, I sat with my fingers on a lie detector testing machine as my nine year old questioned me about the missing chunks of his chocolate bar. (Not really sure why it said I was lying… broken piece of junk.)

Instead of being asked, “What’s Dat?” I get asked way harder questions like, “Why is Jagger so mean to me?” or “What happens when you die?” and “How do you kiss a girl?”

It went by too fast.

If only I could squint and go back in time… I’d burn each smell, touch and tiny, unrecognizable word into my memory.

-Dawn Papple

Baby Carriers for Shopping

Baby Carriers for Shopping

While braving the malls during the Christmas shopping season, I was armed with a baby carrier. I got many comments, such as, “Gosh, doesn’t that hurt your back?”  They must be thinking that all baby carriers are created equal, because my baby carrier was designed just for my back and my baby’s hips and spine. The baby carrier I was adorning (that caught so much attention while out shopping) was a Mei Tai style carrier and it was heavenly.

Not only did I not have to push around a stroller, which from what I can tell are designed solely to suit the ergonomic needs of a person 5’7.321 inches tall, but I also did not have to carry my baby in a detachable car seat that pretends to also be an infant carrier.  Now, these things are a total joke.  So, for added convenience, you can simply unsnap the car seat from the base, and… voila! You have an instant carrier that weighs a gabillion© pounds, will bang against your leg with every step, will increase your chiropractic bill by 300%, and will keep you adequately detached from your baby.

OR

You can use a wonderful baby carrier that takes less than a minute to tie on, and will provide you will the comfort of knowing people can’t touch your baby with their germy-money-and-flu-season-mouth touching-fingers without you knowing about it. It will also help you from getting stressed out at the mall because it’s really quite hard to stress when your gorgeous little baby is resting soundly and breathing deeply against your chest, with their little butts encompassed by the padded carrier situated perfectly for your hands to pat at will. As a bonus feature, with a well made baby carrier, you’re hands free. That means you will have… count ‘em… TWO hands to carry bags, go through your purse, browse through racks and bins of merchandise, resituate your pants, blow your nose, wash your hands (in that order please) or do whatever else your two hands desire.

…and the entire time…

Your back will thank you.

-Dawn Papple

Dear Teen-Aged Boy Driving Way Too Close Behind My Car,

Dear Teen-Aged Boy Driving Way Too Close Behind My Car,

I normally drive five mph above the speed limit. You wouldn’t know that though because as soon as you turned onto the road behind me, your front bumper became invisible to me, hidden by the angle of my rear view mirror and the trunk of my Impala. So, I tapped my break, and slowed down to 55 mph.

Now, I understand that you are in a hurry. I get that you’re hostile from the realization that someone else is on the road besides you. Don’t think for a minute that the curse words flying from your lips will intimidate me into driving faster though:

  • I guarantee that if there were not children in my car, I could out cuss you in a manner far more witty and creative and with far more command presence than your 17 years of age could ever muster.
  • Your cussing is a clear indicator to me that you are distracted, even more distracted than your inherent youth and reckless driving would automatically ensure.  In fact, you’re so distracted, that as a natural consequence, we will now be proceeding down this county road at five mph UNDER the speed limit.
  • I am a cloth diapering, homeopathic using, baby wearing, co-sleeping mom, I’m used to bullying. A little swearing from a teen-aged boy means nothing to me.

I have tapped my breaks now, two separate times, meaning, I have communicated with you the universal sign for, “Get off my tail,” but you persist.  Here’s what’s going on. When I took my driver’s education class exam almost twenty years ago, I got 100%. I learned something really important, and I still remember it. Do you realize that at all average driving speeds, (regardless of your score on “Street Racer” or “Mario Cart”)  it is physically impossible for your reaction time to allow you to put on your breaks in enough time to avoid a collision if there is less than two car lengths between us?

At any rate, while there is not two car lengths between us, I will tell you what IS between us.

You see, the reason why I am willing to slow down to whatever speed I feel safe with ( for as long as you continue to follow at this distance) is because in addition to my trunk, two bumpers and only about 10 feet of empty space, between you and I sit the three most precious little human beings to have ever existed.

You can’t win.  You see?

You can’t bully a mom when she’s got kids in the car.

It will get you nowhere.

Well, I take that back, you will get SOMEWHERE… eventually. You’ll just end up getting there at 35 miles per hour.

-Dawn Papple

Diapers Leaking Along the Stitching?

Diapers Leaking Along the Stitching?

Pocket diapers leaking along the stitching is a fairly common problem. I get asked about this all the time. I am happy to be able to inform you that this is a very easy fix.

When cloth diapers leak, there are a few causes.

  • You’ve dried the cloth diaper covers one too many times on heat and the PUL is now bad. This just sucks for you, because that means you’ve ruined your diapers. So, buy some more and follow the instructions this time. It will still be cheaper to buy a whole new set of diapers than to switch to disposables. If this were the case though, they’d leak everywhere, not just along the stitching.
  • Your cloth diapers are repelling because you use too much detergent, fabric softener or butt cream. This really isn’t a big deal you can find a million posts online about how to strip your diapers. Again though, this will not cause them to leak at the stitching.
  • You bought cheap cloth diapers. Yup, not all brands are created equal. Next time buy some diapers from Everything Birth, because they only sell diapers that they themselves would use. Again, it will still be cheaper to invest in some good cloth diapers than buy disposables.
  • Your baby holds in urine and then pees all at one time. There it is! The answer to why your diapers are leaking at the stitching! This is the easiest fix of them all!  All you have to do is double or triple stuff them! That’s why pocket diapers are so fabulous. You can add as many inserts as you want. Now, often, pocket diapers come with pre-fold diapers. So you may be asking yourself how in the world you would double or triple stuff them.  All you need to do is switch from pre-folds to micro cloth inserts. These hold way more wetness than they would appear to, so they work great and keep things trim.

If you have a diapering problem that I wasn’t able to solve, come join me at The Village, our free community forum for all of our blog readers and Everything Birth customers!

-Dawn Papple

A Homeopathic Substitute for Tums

A Homeopathic Substitute for Tums

My step-son turned five the other day and we had a party for him. My sister-in-law said she couldn’t possibly eat a thing because she had Mexican food right before and had awful indigestion. She then asked me for some Tums.

I have Tums.

Here’s the thing though, other people’s misfortunes when it comes to physical ailments are viewed differently by me. They are viewed as my window of opportunity to demonstrate how well homeopathic remedies work.

So, I got out the Tums, and I said she could have some… in ten minutes.

First, I told her, she had to try the Hyland’s Colic Tabs for her gas and indigestion. She’s always a good sport, so she agreed without hesitation. I gave her a couple of the Hyland’s Colic Tabs and then I sat the bottle of Tums in front of the poor girl. I reminded her that she could have some in ten minutes.

A more caring person, would probably have just given her both, but I didn’t want her to be able to thank the Tums when she felt better right away. So, the Tums sat there on the table, while we all chatted.

Less than ten minutes later, she pushed the Tums aside. She said, “You know what, I’m feeling all better. I guess I don’t even need the Tums anymore.”

I was thrilled.

I’d love to say I was thrilled because I am so compassionate towards human suffering and I was happy she was feeling better. The truth is, indigestion isn’t generally something I feel super sorry for people about. It is what it is. She had Mexican food and got indigestion. It happens all the time and we usually all get over it in a few hours or so. The reason I was thrilled is because I had before me, four adult witnesses to the remarkable healing effectiveness of homeopathic remedies.

So, the moral of the story is, before grabbing the Tums, grab your baby’s Hyland’s Colic Tabs, and then know first-hand how much they sooth your baby.

-Dawn Papple