Saturday, December 29, 2012

Essential Oil Recipe: Woodsy Labor Blend

Is it just me, or do other doulas and midwives ever get mamas who just aren't relaxed by the aromas of lavender, jasmine, and vanilla? They feel more at ease by "woodsy" scents and the smells of cooking herbs. It's always important to know ahead of time what scents your client does and does not like and feel relaxed by if you are planning to use aromatherapy for her labor. Then you can even prepare a special blend just for her, and if she's like one of those woodsy-scent-lovers I just mentioned, this Woodsy Labor Blend will be perfect! 

Woodsy Labor Blend
  •  42 drops Ylang Ylang (Shh, don't tell - it's the secret ingredient!)
  • 120 drops Pine
  • 100 drops Sage
  • 20 drops Sweet Basil (Trust me. It does the trick.)
Add essential oils to glass mixing bottle. Close the bottle and swirl it a few times. Lightly diffuse into the labor room for all your outdoorswoman mamas!

This recipe will fill a 30 ml bottle about a third of the way full - most likely all you'll need and more for one woman's birth. But you can for sure multiply the recipe if you want to yield more of the blend!

Also, be sure to wash your hands after preparing this blend (and anytime after using essential oils). The oils will undoubtedly get on your hands, even if you don't realize it, and consequently get on everything you touch after that - not a good thing!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Jesus, I am in complete awe of You this Christmas.

Thank You for humbling Yourself to the point of birth.

So many people talk about how Christmas is really about how You came for the purpose of humbling yourself to the point of death, and how amazing that is. And that is so true. But I am infinitely more amazed at You humbling Yourself to the form of a baby. 

I can't believe that You, the Son of the Most High God, started out as one cell - just like me. And You spent the first ten months of Your life (give or take) inside a bag of amniotic fluid, which was inside the uterus of a poor teenage girl. And You got Your nutrients from a placenta, through an umbilical cord. And You kicked Your young mommy from the inside and made her have to pee a lot, but You also gave her a big, beautiful belly with that gorgeous navel stretched to its max. She probably had at least some of the common pregnancy symptoms - morning sickness, sore boobs, mood swings, bloating, stretch marks, swelling, cravings, hypersensitivity to smell, fatigue, leaky boobs, weight gain. But I bet she worked really hard while You were growing inside of her. And it's likely she had the nesting instinct while journeying to Bethlehem - I don't know how that would have manifested itself, but I know it probably happened.

And then Your body signaled to Your Mommy's body (two separate entities, yet physically attached) that it was time for her to birth You. So maybe her water broke, maybe she lost her mucus plug. Contractions got started up. All while just getting into Bethlehem.

And You, the Savior of the world, succumbed to the weight of these contractions. Each surge brought You further down in Your mommy's womb, and then, her pelvis. Her movements helped you to get in the perfect position for Your birth. She moaned, swayed, breathed, and labored. According to today's primip stats, this could have lasted anywhere from 12-24 hours, but we really have no idea.

And then it was time for You to be born. You humbled Yourself right down to squeezing through a birth canal. Your naked mommy probably hollered some around this time, and maybe even cussed (you know, since she was sinful and everything). She probably pooped, too. We don't truly know where this happened, but it was somewhere with animals around, we know that. Maybe a cave, maybe a field. Nothing glamorous by any stretch. There was no inflatable birthing tub, no Hypnobabies CD, no epidural. But your mommy managed.

And Your head appeared and Your mommy vocalized louder at the ring of fire, and in one holy moment, You entered the world. Through a vagina. Covered in blood, amniotic fluid, vernix, and maybe even meconium. You. The King Jesus. 

And Your midwife probably caught Your naked body (or maybe Your daddy, or maybe even Your mommy), and placed You on Your mommy's chest. And that same bogus oxytocin thing happened, the same one that happens with every mommy and baby. And You screamed and cried to signal to everyone that You were alive. And You rooted, just like any other newborn, and eventually found Your mommy's breast, and sucked a marble-sized portion of colostrum. After that, Your mommy placed You in a feeding trough - yes, a feeding trough - doesn't sound as pretty as "manger," does it? And that is where you laid.

This kind of thing happens every day. Mommies grow babies and go into labor and give birth through this amazing process. But it happened to You, too. That's what blows my mind.

There are so many things I don't understand about Christmas. How God incarnate could be a fetus and then a newborn dependent on His mother for everything, I can't explain. But You did it.

And that's what we celebrate on Christmas. Every believer - the midwife and doula believers and the Christians who had three c-sections and the sons and daughters of God who just (wrongly) think that birth is weird, gross, and improper - we all come together and celebrate it. Birth. But not just any birth. YOUR birth.

So next time I hold a newborn baby, I'm going to think of You. I've certainly done it before, and have never been able to wrap my mind around it. I probably never will be. But I like imagining You as one of those babies that I hold in my arms, sometimes. You were probably cute, too. <3