For a decade now I have been pregnant and having babies and working, always balancing being the mama, the care giver, and providing services. First pregnancy was maybe the toughest, because as much as I tried to be good about everything (eating balanced meal, walking and exercise), I still gain the most weight, and was tired after the birth for about 9 months. It was my first time to get used to not getting enough sleep every night, and putting all my energy and effort to taking care of the little baby and still do all the things.

Second pregnancy was amazing, I was walking more, had a midwife to support me and gave me lots of advice, weekly gatherings with other pregnant moms, lots of self care with moxa (dried mugwort) treatment, and learned the importance of keeping my ankles warm of ALL time no matter if you are pregnant during the summer or not.

Inside ankle, the meridians or the pathway that runs through there goes up to lower abdomen, by keeping this area nice and warm will help uterus to be relaxed and keep the blood circulation going. Which is very important during pregnancy. Also for painful period, you can think about this same theory.

Growing a human is a incredible job.

The idea of growing a baby human in my belly, I was into eating super well with organic ingredients, making green smoothies everyday, taking supplements, and exercising with bouncy ball every week. My hippie husband introduced me to this idea of having a water birth, and we YouTube and google it, then it became a dream to have a water birth at home. You know what else… making placenta pills at home…

Market who sells placenta pills, they use pig’s placenta, why not have your own placenta when you know what you have been eating to make that placenta. I have spend a lot of money eating well and keeping myself healthy, I WANT my placenta. During my school years in Traditional Chinese Medicine, we hear about how to process raw placenta into safe pills. I would tell you if you want to know, but I can’t share here right now, but you would need some help and understanding from your people to support your needs.

My husband is little different. A good guy. A smart guy. He is interesting, I recommend getting to know him yourself too! Anyways, with my mom’s help too, they worked together to process my placenta after I gave birth. Let me tell you how wonderful placenta works for recovery, day and night differences in recovery compare to after birth from the first one. I am completely dedicated to my alternative life style at this point in my life, recognizing what my body tells me, and listen to my heart what feels right.

I find water birth at home was much more relaxing and easy than delivering baby at the hospital. I’ve learned that slightest stress you feel will slow down or stops your dilation (when cervix is opening for birth). When I was giving birth at the hospital I was stuck at 9.5cm for 2 hours, because the woman next to me was screaming and freaking out a little bit, then a nurse walked by me with a huge suction gadget… (my thoughts were, is she going to stick that up in her to pull the baby out?!) I was not suggested to push and advised to stay put.

I think when the mom is having a baby and being depended on other people around telling her what to do, it loses confident in the mom to listen to her own body. I spoked to several women and had talked about labor situation and wished that they thought about it and knew about being more prepared. Only if they had a midwife to walk that through with them. For me, the focus to feel my body and the freedom of being at my own house environment with people you trust was very nice during the labor.

When preparing your home for labor, you have all the time in the world to get ready. Of course your midwife will provided the list of items and things for you to gathered, she will then make sure that you have a birth plan too like where you want to have this baby. You tell her where all the towels and sheets are so they are are ready to take over. You will be in close contact with your midwife, so she is ready for you at anytime of the day. You just have to call her when you know it’s happening!

I know what you are thinking, what happenings when things are going somehow wrong? You will have your OBGYN Doctor who you have seeing and he or she knows that you are doing home birth, so if your midwife make that decision at the spot of birth, somehow you need to go into the hospital, then she will come with you. She will stay and take care of you after birth. Your midwife is your trusted personal during your pregnancy, guidance and expertise that will help you get through some challenging time of life.

To be in excellent condition to home birth you do have to work for it, but you do get to make many decisions to comfort and make it magical.

6 years later with third baby, I was happy to be pregnant, but it had been a while. My body had little bit of hard time adjusting to being pregnant, felt heavier and slower to move from early stage, maybe because it was a boy? An old veggie stand lady in Japan told me carrying girl feels lighter than carrying a boy…….. For me this was true! I also had early onset of having problems with having hemorrhoid with bleeding and easy irritation… This indicates me that my general health was not in the best shape, maybe had been drinking alcohol more, not enough greens in my life, was under a good amount of pressure after moving across the ocean from Japan back to US, finding a balance in life, and starting to work in a new environment in new town. Not to mention, my mom was dying of cancer at the same time too…

Stress during pregnancy is not good. It is not good for the baby or the mom. Everything becomes harder than it should. Pregnancy is something you can really enjoy and take time and put all the focus into growing a healthy happy baby. I think we forget that, especially now with busy lives and so many things happening around us. There are so much to consider and worry about in this world today with negative and sadness all around us, and if we focus on that it is hard to look for positive and light in the world.

My mom’s passing was very difficult and still it is hard to believe that she is gone, but we feel that she watches over us. My husband and I really wanted another baby, a baby girl… We only wanted a girl. It is 50/50 and we never know, but I felt that another pair of kids will be fun. Older two are getting old now 11 and 9 years old. As soon as I got pregnant, of course it is a little bit of shock for a few days, but everything gets figured out. I was definitely in better shape mentally, physically, and spiritually. No painful hemorrhoid incidents, a mean, its there but not causing me pain. My body felt light and I walked a lot even pushing my 2 year old in his stroller this summer going around Tokyo.

While my memory is fresh from this pregnancy, I wanted to write up my experiences and share some tips to help more women out there who are trying to get pregnant or is pregnant for the first time, or wants to enjoy pregnancy and have healthy happy baby. Also want to share and guild your mental, physical, and spiritual alignment going into the delivery. That big day. It happens to all pregnancy. It is scary and worry some for each and every time. We just never know what could happen, but we can be prepared as much as possible. For safe and comfortable birth, I highly recommend you get yourself a midwife. They are the golden ticket to you and your husband and your baby’s big day.

Midwife knows a lot about pregnancy and the new born baby. She will come to your home and check all is well with you and the baby. Blood tests are done, urine tests are done every visit, and we talk about everything that is going on. She listened to my voice for true concerns, and gave me the right advice that is the best thing to do for the safety of the baby and me. She reminds me of what is important. Stress causes blood pressure to go up, always reminding me to drink more water, take more walks, have self care time out just for me, never feel guilty for giving yourself a time to rest, and go out for you. She also makes sure that I was taking my supplements!

As the day gets closer, she came over every week, making sure the birth plan and birth supplies were there, still listening to any concerns that I would have. Having someone right there for you is the best thing for preparing for birth. Birth happens to you and the baby, but you need the support going through something so serious and dramatic event that is miracle of life. I started my birth meditation around 2 months before the due date. Putting my mind into the birth itself, meditation for smooth birth, trusting my body and natural pull of the moon cycle. I had baby blissing instead of baby shower, because I wanted to have trusted women to come together and put positive intention for the birth.

I felt that I needed to do gathering in spiritual level for protection for me and the baby, because this was my first birth without my mom. I needed to insure that my birth was being protected and guided. I felt my mom, and several other ladies felt her too. As a health care provider, for some reason I am not good at receiving care myself, (this might be true to all women) but I surrender to receive that day. That was amazing and so grateful for nurturing power of women. We support each other and we need each other. Thanks to beautiful prayer beads and powerful words on the coloring cards, candles, flower, oils, prayers and support, I had a fast and smooth birth. I listen to my body, trusted in every process, and there she was. We had our dream come true.

I feel that us women and the sisterhood needs to be celebrated more often. Gathering together to support one another, to listen to each other, to understand each other, and to be there. This is why I am adding new program to my wellness plan. I want to share how to have Healthy Happy Pregnancy and share my knowledge as advanced baby alternative care once a month on Full Moon Baby Clinic & Mama Care for you. Full Moon Baby Clinic is simple 5 to 10 minute treatment for each baby that will help them sleep better and feel better. Mama Care is to learn how, when, and where to rub your baby and yourself according to different situations. Mama will receive some kind of therapeutic treatment too. You will learn more symptom base technique that you can easy try at home. I understand as a busy mom, you don’t want to go out and worry each and every little concerns. More tool you have in your pocket, more knowledge to help your little one with your own hands, and more power to you.

If you are considering about having a baby, I am so glad that you are reading this right now and found me. I would love to share some time with you and see where you are in the process. I hope you are enjoying and having fun with your journey of becoming a parent. If it has been a stressful one, please let me know how it has been a stressful one, I hope to help you with some guidance, maybe you need herbal supplement, hopefully we can pin point what needs to happen for you. Please go have sex in regular basis and have lots fun practicing, and feel the Love!!

For you and me, for mamas, for sisters and women, for beauty, and for our spiritual needs.

I am here for you.

Love, Love, Love to the World~

Maya Kathleen Washizu LAc.