The Birth of Jackson Lynn

leaf ranchctI remember looking over my fertility chart feeling queasy as I wondered… Could I really be pregnant again? It was the first time we had tried to conceive after the last miscarriage just a few months before. I was only 10 days past ovulation, there was no way I could be feeling sick already. I thought, its all in my head, its just not logical to have symptoms this early. But alas I could not wait, a few minutes later I watched a faint pink line stretch across the window, confirming what I had hoped for all along. I was pregnant! Suddenly a pang of terror ran through me. Would this child live? Two others had succumbed to the darkness of my body, denied the breath of life. There was no reason that this one should live either, sadness and woe filled my heart. I clung to the little hope I had left in my heart and I prayed that God would have mercy on me.

Sunday, October 14th, 2012 – 5 days past my estimated due date…

I awakened at what had become my usual time due to the incessant need to urinate and annoying back pain at 4:30 am. I waddled to the bathroom and then returned to bed hoping to sleep for a while before beginning my day. I lay there restless and hungry when I realized I needed to go to the bathroom again. I grumbled to my slumbering husband, “this is ridiculous, I just went pee! I cant believe I have to go again already!” I went to the bathroom again and upon returning to the bedroom, I felt a stirring in my abdomen. It wasn’t the normal violent attack that I had grown accustomed to from my extremely active and seemingly limber son, it was a flurrying of sort. Something inside told me “its time, your baby is coming today”. My first official labor pain was at 5:05 am. Brad, my husband, started tracking them on his phone to measure the duration and elapsed time. I decided to call my long time friend Hannah who had come to town to assist me in labor. I told her that I wasn’t sure if something was happening or not but I wanted to give her a heads up and that I would call her back later. Sure enough my contractions persisted and grew more intense. Hannah arrived sometime around 7:00 am to help me. I breathed deep and waded through my contractions like I was riding stormy ocean waves. They swept down harder and harder but I kept my focus on my baby. Hannah and I talked and laughed between pains and I got in and out of the bath tub a few times. Suddenly I felt overwhelmed and could not rationalize thought… all reason had left my mind. I remembered the great midwife Ina May Gaskin saying in her book “your brains have gone to your bottom” and so they had. My loving husband called the midwife and doula, then relayed to me their advice to rest and stay calm because I probably had a lot longer labor ahead of me being a first time mother. I could not accept what he was saying, I could understand the meaning of the words leaving his mouth but they held no relevance for me. I told Hannah, Brad and Eric (our friend and driver), “NO! This baby is coming soon! You do not understand, I am not doing this 12 HOURS!… We need to go to the birth center now!”

We made the hour long car drive to Lafayette from Baton Rouge where our birth team was waiting for us. They had the birth tub full of hot water and I could not have been more anxious to dive in. The warm water felt strange and almost foreign as every nerve in my body ignited with each rolling wave. I felt light and suspended, as if I could float away.

As my pain grew, I became acutely aware that my sons arrival was approaching. I made my way to the toilet where I regained some control over the pain and myself. At once, a shadow of fear fell over me. I went from total confidence in my body to sheer disbelief. I told my doula, “I don’t know about all this” she asked me what I meant in which I replied, “I’m just not sure, maybe I should be in the hospital.” She looked at me tenderly and said exactly what I needed to hear, “everything you need is right here, everything you wanted to happen is happening right now and your baby is coming soon.” In that moment I realized that unlike those other babies lost, I would soon be holding my very own son in my arms. Not a minute later I felt him push down hard inside me. This was it, no turning back, no room for doubt. This baby was coming out.

I stumbled across the room from the toilet to the bed and asked for the midwife to come in. She came in and asked if I was feeling pushy and with a nod I lowered myself to the bed for her to check me. Laying across that mattress became my personal hell for what seemed like ages as another violent wave crashed down on me. I felt as if my body might dismember itself right then and there. She assured me I was complete and asked if I was ready to push my baby out. “Yes” I cried out. I stood and felt him push down with such force that I felt he would fall out and on to the floor below. I felt a warm gush of liquid flow down my legs and splash at my feet. My bag of amniotic fluid had finally ruptured.

I rushed the 4 feet from the bedside to the birthing tub. I knew that if I didn’t get into the water right then, my dreams of a water birth would not come to fruition. The next and almost final wave brought my sons head down through the canal, the pressure was unbelievably strong. And then I felt it… a searing hot fire leaving my body and I remembered Hannah telling me “when you feel the ring of fire, that’s when the baby’s head is coming out.” Suddenly someone shouted “slow down, pant like a dog!” But I could not pant, I could not even remember what it would be to pant. After all, my brains were in my bottom just like Ina May had said. Yes, something primal took over me, that searing hot fire urged me to dig deeper, push harder and then, he left my body. Almost totally in one fluid motion he passed from womb, to water, to earth. Jackson Lynn Iverson took his first breath and then I heard his first cry. Instead of pain washing over me it was a wave of relief. Total relief and utter bliss flooded my soul. I turned over in the tub and took my living, breathing son in my arms. “Oh my God, I have a baby” I gasped. Surreal is the only appropriate way to describe the moment… He is my rainbow. My beauty & light after the flood of sorrow that could no longer hold a place in my life.

Jackson Lynn Iverson
Total labor 6.5hours
50 mins at birth center prior to birth
9 mins of pushing
8.2lbs and 20.5 inches long

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Mommy Necklaces Review & Giveaway!!!

THE 2 WINNERS OF THE MOMMY NECKLACES $10 OFF COUPON GIVEAWAY ARE:

#1 Hannah Birchman

#2 Wendy Little

Congratulations! I will contact you shortly with the coupon information and instructions.

A few months ago, I published a review for Mommy Necklaces and this week, the new owner contacted me. She offered 2 $10 off coupons to give away here on the blog.

To enter the drawing:

-You must like Mommy Necklaces on Facebook by clicking here.

-You must comment below stating that you would like to win the $10 coupon & that you have completed the above requirement.

Drawing will be held and announced on September 11, 2013- entries after September 10th will not be included.

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This is Jack enjoying my mommy necklace while nursing on our way to Salt Lake City.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Mommy Necklaces Review & Giveaway!!!

A few months ago, I published a review for Mommy Necklaces and this week, the new owner contacted me. She offered 2 $10 off coupons to give away here on the blog.

If you have never heard of Mommy Necklaces, check out my review below and make sure to visit the Mommy Necklace website by clicking here.

To enter the drawing:

-You must like Mommy Necklaces on Facebook by clicking here.

-You must comment below stating that you would like to win the $10 coupon & that you have completed the above requirement.

Drawing will be held and announced on September 11, 2013- entries after September 10th will not be included. 

Mommy Necklaces Review

What is it?

A necklace made with non-toxic beads, and a safety clasp for Mothers to wear with young children.

Features:

Affordable
Stylish colors and designs
Safety breakaway clasp
Non- toxic beads
Extra strong cord- can withstand 300 lbs of pressure

Summary:

The reason that I personally purchased a Mommy necklace is because Jack was doing too much damage. And by damage I mean digging and pinching with his fingernails into my neck and chest, many times breaking the skin. It hurt no matter how often I clipped his nails. Plus when he would nurse, he liked to put his hand in my mouth and hang his fingers from by bottom teeth! Disgusting! I needed something to keep his busy little hands occupied.

I purchased my necklace from Angel Britches locally here in Baton Rouge. It came with two donut rings that make a rattling noise when Jack shakes the necklace. He really enjoys it when I remember to wear it! It has pretty colors blue, green, red and orange and seems to match almost everything I wear. It’s not a teething necklace but I don’t worry about him biting it once in a while since the beads are non-toxic.

I would rate the Mommy Necklace a 5/5.

To visit the Mommy Necklaces web page Click here!

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This is Jack enjoying my mommy necklace while nursing on our way to Salt Lake City.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Earth Mama Angel Baby Giveaway Winner!

I’m now following the blog and I’ve liked you on Facebook! 9 weeks left in this pregnancy so I would love to win! =)

To claim your prize please go to http://www.earthmamaangelbaby.com/giveaway-winners and fill out the information required.

Thank you and keep reading Jacks Crunchy Mama!

Jacks Growing Independence

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My little Jack is turning 10 months on Aug 14th. That is only a measly 2 months from being a whole year old, and I for one am sad. Why should I be sad? My son is growing and thriving, he is happy and playful. Over the last few weeks, Jack has gotten his first tooth, taken his first steps, starting sleeping in his own bed (well not the whole night), & started to wean himself from breast feeding.

While all of those things I just mentioned seem like good things, and they are good, they are also terrible. Terrible because they all lead to independence from ME. My baby is turning into a boy, and boys grow up to be teenagers and then when they are about 40, they turn into adult men… I’m kidding about the last part, well kind of. And adult men do not and should not cuddle with their mothers.

Until the last few weeks, Jack has needed me in every single part of his daily life. In fact for the first 10 months in utero and much of his infancy thus far, he has needed me to stay alive. So his growing independence is bitter sweet. I am having so much fun playing with him, reading him books and finding new ways to make him laugh. But I am also finding myself missing my baby, he is in the same apartment, even the same room sometimes and I will start to cry. He has only begun to wean so he is still nursing a few times a day but it still saddens me. Sometimes I will offer to nurse him and he will slide off my lap to retrieve his noonie or a toy. REJECTED! That is the only way to describe what I feel when he would rather do other things when I am offering him the milk I have worked so hard to produce.

I am sure that this is just the natural progression of things and that my feelings toward these changes are normal. I can see why people tend to get pregnant again so soon after the weaning of a child. There is a longing in the heart of a mother for her baby to be snuggled up against her in the dead of the night where in those moments, they are the only 2 who exist.

 

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Earth Mama Angel Baby Review and Giveaway!

37 Weeks Pregnant With Jackson

37 Weeks Pregnant With Jackson

The product I am reviewing today is “A Little Something for Mama-To-Be” by Earth Mama Angel Baby. This is a mini kit of trial sized products for pregnancy including Organic Morning Wellness Tea, Earth Mama Body Butter, Happy Mama Wash, Happy Mama Spray and Natural Stretch Oil.

First of all I would like to say that this company is amazing and I would like for you to read their mission statement:

Earth Mama believes in the natural process of birth, and the healing power of nature. Our mission is to provide safe, herbal alternatives for pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women, and babies of all ages, and to help educate people about traditional plant medicine and safe personal care. We manufacture natural and organic products that work, combining generations of women’s wisdom and traditional plant medicine with the safety and assurances of contemporary evidence based research. If it doesn’t measure up to Mama’s standards, it doesn’t leave the building. That’sMama’s Promise®.

Read Mamas Promise by clicking here!

When I was pregnant with Jack, I used a variety of of products from Earth Mama Angel Baby and still use some of the baby care line for Jack now. I have tried almost all of the herbal teas from EMAB and they are all delicious. My favorite tea was the Third Trimester Tea. It is super yummy and made me feel relaxed and at ease in my last anxious few weeks. But lets talk about the products in the kit…

Organic Morning Wellness Tea:

This tea is caffeine free, contains ginger and mint so it soothes those rolling waves in the pit of your stomach during those early weeks of pregnancy. It is tasty all on its own but I like to add a tsp of honey to mine. I prefer it hot but when made into iced tea, it becomes a refreshing treat in the hot summer months.

Earth Mama Body Butter:

I hate to feel greasy after applying lotion or any kind of body product. I actually avoid body butters in general because I do not want to feel like a greased pig after a bath. BUT this body butter is like a thin layer of velvet all over your skin. It does not leave a sticky or unpleasant residue and has a light fragrance. The fragrance is a slightly sweet aroma with vanilla and orange. Love it!

Happy Mama Hand to Toe Wash:

This is a foaming wash that is scented with grapefruit and ginger. The one word that came to my mind while using it was ZING! This is an exhilarating fragrance in my opinion, refreshing and yummy. It is a foam wash, lathers well and rinses clean. And since this product is in the citrus family, it wont smell funny when you follow with the Body Butter above.

Happy Mama Spray:

I have to say, this was my favorite product in this kit. I had not tried this one before receiving this sampler and I was surprised when it was my favorite. When I am having a stressful day, I reach for it right away. The bottle says, “Naturally Uplifting Aromatherapy Mist”, and I could not agree more… UPLIFTING is the best word to describe this product. Just like the Butter and the Wash, it has a citrus aroma. All three products smell different but complimentary, so they work well together.

Natural Stretch Oil:

I used this product religiously when I was pregnant with Jack. I cannot say that I have 0 stretch marks but I can say that I did not have any until 38 weeks and I gained 64lbs. I feel like this product definitely helped my skin stretch with my growing baby and it also helped with the itching I had as my skin stretched. This is an oil and again where most will make you feel slippery and greasy, this one absorbs really well. Especially when applied immediately after a hot bath or shower. There is a smell to this product but it is faint. In fact I cannot even tell you what it smells like because it is so mild. Of all of the products in this kit and listed above, this would be my highest recommended during pregnancy.

This kit would be a perfect gift for any expectant mother and if you would like to order one of these or any of the other great products, please visit the Earth Mama website by clicking here.

Of course you could just get one of these “A Little Something for Mama-To-Be” for FREE! That’s right Jacks Crunchy Mama and Earth Mama Angel Baby is doing a GIVE-A-WAY! 1 US or Canadian Winner will recieve “A Little Something for Mama-To-Be”. Drawing will be held August 9th, 2013 at 6PM CST.

To enter the giveaway you must complete the following:

1. Be a follower of Jacks Crunchy Mama. (To follow this blog, look for a small +follow button at the bottom right corner of the screen from a desktop, or include your email in a comment and I will send you a direct link.)

2. Like Earth Mama on Facebook.

3. Comment below confirming that you have done the previous 2 requirements.

Like Earth Mama Angel Baby on Facebook by clicking this LINK!

Follow Earth Mama’s Blog

Follow Earth Mama Angel Baby on Twitter

Not Pregnant? Breastfeeding? Earth Mama has a whole line of nursing friendly products as well.

Earth Mama Angel Baby also offers a free e-book on their webpage “Herbs and Breastfeeding” so make sure and check that out as well.

“Disclaimer: Earth Mama Angel Baby provided this product for my review at no cost.”

Natural Birth Resources in Louisiana

Louisiana natural birth link

Most women think that they do not have many options when it comes to the birth experience but even more commonly than that, women do not even give it a thought at all.

The standard practice in the US is that a woman gets pregnant, schedules an appointment with an obstetrician, goes through a series of vaginal exams, ultrasounds and if she’s lucky escapes with a medicated vaginal birth. I say lucky because 1/3 of the women in the US will give birth via cesarean section. Which is necessary in some few cases. This has become the “normal” birth. But what is/ should be “normal” birth?
That is something that every mother must ask herself.

Do your research, know your options and decide for yourself what you want, are comfortable with and how you will feel about each choice. The only wrong choice is not choosing at all but relinquishing your body to a medical provider that many times does not practice informed consent.

Below is a list of natural birth educators, doulas, midwives and written resources. Most of these women will talk with you free of charge and help you discover what it is that you truly need and want for your birth experience.

Midwives

Emmy Trammell 985-974-2724

Alina Gardner Brmidwife@gmail.com

Sally Acosta 985-259-3557

Sherri Daigle 225-293-5836

Lynette Robinson at Gentle Choices birthing center 337-501-2916

Anne Lastrapes 337-278-4354

Doula/educational services

Lacey Hebert http://tolbirth.com/index.php/about

Nicki Pugh 225-819-7977 or visit her on Facebook at Old River Doula

Nola Nesting 504-655-1819 or visit them online by clicking here.

Jenny Dickerson 985-320-0016

Kira Smith 337-366-0303 http://www.motherbirthla.com/#2755

Rene Johnson Birth Help http://www.birthhelp.com/

My recommended reading list:

Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin
Ina Mays Guide to Childbirth
Active Birth by Janet Balaskas
Baby Catcher by Peggy Vincent
Pushed by Jennifer Block
Your Best Birth by Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein

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