I have put off writing about this for over a year now and I am not even sure why. I use the typical excuses; I don’t have the time, I don’t have anything to say, my story isn’t special. Then, finally, I grabbed my bottles of Frankincense and Orange essential oils, turned on my birth playlist and decided tonight was the night I was going to conquer this seemingly impossible task.
The decision to have a natural birth was not a difficult one. By the time I finished nursing school I knew the traditional hospital system was not serving women well in terms of birth and I wanted something different for myself. Side bar: If you have had or choose to have a hospital birth in the future I pray that your birth experience is equally as empowering and beautiful as I feel that mine was. No matter where or how you choose to birth your baby YOU did it and you are incredible for it.
Since Ryan and I had already been exploring caring for our health naturally by using essential oils and other Young Living products, exploring the natural option when it came to birth was our first step. Well… really it was actually me excitedly talking about it and him begrudgingly going along because umm I was the one who was going to have to deliver this baby. Ryan already knew once I had decided on something there was no changing my mind, so he conceded to learning and becoming as comfortable as possible as he could with the whole process.
We decided to deliver at Mercy Birthing Center in St. Louis because it was the best of both worlds for us. For me, it was a low intervention birthing center where I would be free to give birth as I chose and would be assisted by a midwife. For Ryan, while being in its own area, it is located inside a hospital (although you would never know) and that made him feel safer knowing if I needed any medical interventions they were readily available.
From the moment I found out I was pregnant I was researching and reaching for my oils, but even more so I was listening to my body. I quickly found my new perfume, Frankincense + Orange essential oils. Now, I could totally GEEK OUT on these two oils and what they did, and can do for your emotional health, but I won’t. What I will say is that using them in conjunction with the rest of my birth preparation (classes, exercises, prayer) made all the difference. Every time I was in Bryce’s (our sweet little man) room I would apply Frank + Orange. When I would go to birthing classes I would take Frank + Orange with me. Any time I was praying and meditating I would be diffusing… you guessed it… Frank + Orange.
The brain is a funny thing, especially when it comes to scents. Your Olfactory (smeller) system and Lymbic (memory/emotional) systems are woven intricately together. For example, the smell of cinnamon rolls makes me think of Christmas morning. And there is that strange “old lady” smell, that I can’t quite put my finger on, but will always make me think of my grandma’s house. Scent and memory are tied together in a way that we cannot fully understand. But while your brain is a complex machine that we may never fully understand, it can also be tricked.
Knowing that scent and memory are closely tied, I began creating a “memory” of Bryce’s birth while I was pregnant. I attached the smell of Frankincense + Orange to this amazingly beautiful birth that I was praying over, and envisioning in my mind. I know to many of you this will sound crazy, but I can also tell you this was my experience and the experience of many other women that I know.
Click here for the rest of Elizabeth’s birth story!
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