Wednesday, August 21, 2013

My 12 Days Early Bundle of Joy

Last Wednesday started out just like any other normal pregnant day. I got ready and worked in the morning at my desk job. I had stopped walking to work a couple weeks earlier because being full term pregnant, it took me double the time it normally would to get there and it tires me out way too much. That afternoon around 3:30 I laid on the couch to take my nap when all of a sudden I hear almost like a 'woosh' sound and had water coming out, immediately I run to the bathroom. I-was-shocked! I contacted my husband who luckily was working close to home that day so it didn't take him long to get back. We went in to see my midwife to just make sure that it indeed was my water that broke (since it wasn't much water). As she was talking she confirmed that it was my water and that because I am strep positive I need to get started on anti-biotics until my baby comes. At first I was thinking it was some medicine that I could take home until I need to go to the hospital. But she confirmed that no, I was going to the hospital right now and when I leave the hospital I will have my baby in my arms. I think the shock of that is what made my contractions start in the room just then. 

I was not prepared for this. My sister and mom both told me that the doctors usually broke their water for them, so I was expecting my labor to start with contractions. I had it all planned out; walks, certain labor positions, and then when I get to the hospital, I planned on getting in the jacuzzi until I was fully dilated. I was going to have my baby all natural. Then reality happened...
IV with anti-biotics, electrolytes, and pitocin. Two straps over my belly, one to monitor contractions, another for the babies heart beat. No walking around, no jacuzzi, I was stuck. After a short time I was dilated to a 3 and my non stop contractions went from predicting my baby being born Thursday afternoon to her expectancy to be that night with only just the bare amount of pitocin being given to me. Because I was strapped down since the beginning of labor, it wasn't difficult for me to change my mind about having an epidural. I felt great afterwards! And at 2:33 AM after pushing for just 30 minutes, my baby girl, Brigitte Jodell Ayama was born. I even watched the birth with a standing mirror! It was so cool! Overall, labor was not bad and I joked in between every labor pain before I got the epidural. For having my labor plans ruined, I couldn't have been more pleased with how it turned out. I was always scared of what it would be like but ultimately, it felt so natural, instinctive. And lets be honest, the epidural at the end helped too! :)

She came out and I instantly fell in love. At 12 days early she was born August 15th, 6 lbs 3 oz and 19 inches long. She's healthy, a great nurser, doesn't cry much and really just a great joy in my life. I feel so blessed!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Manna Bread

"Today's modern mass-produced bread is a far cry from the original bread of the ancients, consisting of bleached and demineralized white flour,...hydrogenated vegetable oil, yeast or baking soda, lard or butter, and chemicalized table salt -all injurious to the health. While healthier whole-grain breads have been re-introduced into the mainstream market in the past few decades, they still cannot compare to essence or manna bread."

This is what I have been reading mostly about. So I decided to try making my own manna bread after reading up on a few recipes online. Here's what I came up with:

  • 2 cups of wheat berries, soak overnight and for 2-3 days sprout them by rinsing 3 times in the day until the sprout is about the length of the grain, (no longer or it will start to taste 'grassy'). 
  • Place in a food processor until you get a smooth sticky paste. You can also incorporate spices, nuts and seeds, salt, dried fruit. Whatever you'd like at this point.
  • Put in the oven at 225 degrees F for 2-3 hours, depending on how moist you want it.

I put pumpkin and flax seeds on top of my manna bread. Now that I have tried a basic recipe of just wheat, I think I will incorporate more sprouted grains and more flavor with salt and spices, as well as dehydrate for only 2 hours so it's a little moist. Sprouted grains are super good for you. Did you know that wheat berries ground up into flour has no vitamin C in it, but if sprouted you can get 2% of your daily amount per serving? I am excited about the endless possibilities to this simple ancient bread recipe and hope you venture to try it as well!

Photos by: yours truly

Monday, August 12, 2013

How Others Live...Happily Ever After in 351 Sq Ft.

 Ren and Natale on October 13, 2007, were at a restaurant celebrating Ren's 31st birthday with some close friends. They came home that night, in rural Ashley Falls, Massachusetts, to their house in flames. They had just recently renovated the 1,400 square foot ranch house. After a sleepless night at a friends, they came back to find that their entire house, as well as Natale's shop, where he worked from, was completely destroyed. Personal belongings, like wet and tattered wedding photos and files were blowing everywhere on their property. Ren described the seen as, "...nauseating to have all your personal stuff blowing around. You feel so exposed."
 After weeks of clearing out their home and throwing almost all but what they had with them that night at the restaurant away, they discussed what they should do next. Build? Move? Run off to a different country? But they liked their jobs, and ultimately just wanted to be able to get back on their property as soon as possible. The solution? combining two 1940's cottages on their property that someone gave Natale back in 2003. They spent the next 9 weeks combining and renovating them into a 351 sq ft house. The adjustment took some getting used to but they both have agreed that this trial and downsizing has brought their relationship even closer.
To get the full story visit: Real Simple Magazine
Photos by William Waldron

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

DIY: Lotion for Sensitive Skin

Do you think that your beauty products are safe because it has the word 'pure' or 'natural' on it? Think again! Many of our products have toxic chemicals in them that pollute our environment and are absorbed into our skin. When I say toxic, I mean things that are linked to cancer! And since only about 10-15% of cancer is genetic, the rest being environmental reasons, it's so so SO important that we are careful what we are putting on our bodies. Our skin is our biggest organ and absorbs everything we put on it, I learned this out when I was putting progesterone cream on my skin to help balance my hormones. I have a hard time trusting products so for the most part, I just choose to make my own.

If you don't believe me, check out this website: Skin Deep
And please take a few moments to watch this YouTube video: The Story of Cosmetics

So if you are looking for a great alternative to lotion, and if you're like me, with dry skin living where there isn't much humidity, try this recipe that I have found from the book: My Home Pharmacy: How Foods and Herbs Can Be Your Medicine

1/3 cup coconut oil
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon emulsifying wax or beeswax
1/8 teaspoon lecithin (I don't put this in because I don't have it, but it helps with emulsifying too)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup aloe vera gel (don't just buy what ever is on the shelf because it's not pure aloe vera gel)
a few drops of an essential oil (I use lavender)

Blend the coconut oil, olive oil, wax and lecithin in a double boiler, heating just enough to melt and mix the ingredients. Add 1/2 cup boiling water and stir thorougly. When the mixture cools to room temperature, add 1/2 cup aloe vera gel. Mix well by hand or with a hand blender, then add the essential oils.

Don't stress about the cost of ingredients, this lotion lasts a good while, plus nothing in here is toxic and won't make you ill over time.

(Click on this picture so you can actually read everything on it!)

If you are looking for something more convenient, or are looking for some of these ingredients and don't have a natural foods store near you, check out: Vita Cost it's a discount online store for natural products.


Pictures by: Mind Body Green & Toxic Beauty

Friday, August 2, 2013

The Light at The End of The Tunnel

 I only have a few more weeks until I am due! Which means that my baby could come anytime from now until then!!! Just a couple of weeks ago my amazingly talented cousin Myra took some pregnancy photos for my husband and I. They turned out beautifully, couldn't be more happy. Love the picture of my European husband at the bottom! It's been getting me thinking of all the things I still need to do before my baby gets here, like pack my hospital bag, deep clean my house, finish washing baby clothes, the list goes on. Since I have been trying really hard to not surf the internet this week (which I will talk more about later), one of the things I wanted to do this week was finish preparing for my babies arrival, but somehow, I've still filled the time up with other things. Mostly productive, but I haven't yet got that 'nesting' boost of energy women talk about and am still so tired by the time noon hits. In the meantime, I hope all who visits my blog enjoys my pictures.

Photos done by: Myra Merrill at