Friday, September 5, 2014

My Birth Story


My birth story really starts around 36 weeks, when I finally decided that I needed to manifest the birth that I’ve always wanted even before becoming pregnant, a homebirth.  I wasn’t able to pursue a homebirth when I was first pregnant due to having a new high profile job, and there being no local homebirth midwives for me to easily slip out and see for visits.  I was seeing a wonderful group of local midwives that deliver at the St. Joe’s birth center, and I kept telling myself that it will be fine, even though it wasn’t what I truly wanted.

I sought out Sandra, a homebirth midwife out of Ithaca at the suggestion of someone I met after a Mama Birth Yoga class.  When she agreed to take me on at 36 weeks, it was like a weight lifted off me and I was instantly at ease and at peace with my pregnancy and birth.  I was so thankful that I listened to myself and sought out what was right for us.

At 39 weeks and several days, I woke up at 5am with some period-like cramps.  At 7am I lost my mucus plug.  Being my first pregnancy, I figured it could be days or today – so best that I clean my house one last time (prepping for a homebirth takes SERIOUS work!) and I also spent hours in my home office working and making lots of calls.  I actually noticed I was having contractions mid afternoon while going through a legal brief with my boss.  I smiled and thought about how cool that was.

By dinner time, the contractions were a bit more consistent, but I didn’t have to pay attention to them.  As my husband and I were about to go out and have a nice Friday night dinner, I decided that they were just a BIT too intense for me to go out of the house, despite my initial denial.  I decided to time them and they were exactly a minute long, 6 minutes apart for an hour.  By 10:30 pm they were 4 minutes apart and intense.  I called my Doula and I told her to come at her own pace and not to feel rushed.  At a bit after midnight she arrived and we went upstairs to labor on the ball and bed.  She was very pleased at how I was totally giving in to the contractions and I was 3 minutes apart.  Her presence was instantly comforting and anchored me to my confidence. 

She encouraged my husband to fill the birth tub downstairs, he was thankful for a job to do.  I called my midwife and she asked if she could listen to me labor on speaker phone while she got ready.  Ironically, I got a couple of major contractions back to back while she was listening.  That was intimidating but she was reassuring that she would leave her home, about an hour and a half away, right then.
 

I got in the tub at around 1am, it was INCREDIBLE!  The buoyancy of the water was a great compliment to my Doula’s soothing touch and Don’s strong presence.  My midwife arrived, calm and quiet.  She knelt down near me and just witnessed.  When I noticed her I smiled and greeted her, and she smiled back. 
 
After a while when I was catching my breath between contractions she asked how I was and she asked me when I would be ready to let her check some vitals.  It really hit me then, that this was MY birth.  I was in control and what I did was assemble a close group of people that were there to be on the journey with me, and love me through it.  I felt to secure and so in control.  I continued to labor and ride the contractions.  I remember them being very intense, I never registered pain or negative feelings.  It turns out that of all the hypnobirth music I prepared, what really chilled me out was Tom Petty and his whiney voice.  Ha!  When my nurse arrived in the 3am hour or I asked, “Is that Morgan Freeman here to narrate my birth?  Cause this is going to be epic!”  HA!  At least there was a few chuckles.  Perhaps my happy state is what prompted my midwife to suggest exiting the tub and using the toilet to see if we could intensify the contractions.  Well, the laugh was on me, because it SURE DID! 
 

I never understood the need for a cervical dilation check in labor, I wanted to trust that if I listened my body would tell me what I needed to know.  Additionally, my midwife didn’t push or require them to assess my status.  She offered to check my cervix if I wanted to know where we stood.  But I really didn’t want to know.  As I stood up my water broke, and I figured that was enough of a sign that I was progressing, no centimeters need be known!

I got back in the tub and everything continued to intensify, I started to have to use horse breath during the entire contraction to keep myself from resisting.  Up until then I have to say that lions breath and very deep moaning really got me through.  I doubt I took a single wave in silence the whole 20hrs!!!  Hours later, after 7am, my midwife again suggested that I consider a cervical exam, because I was showing signs I was ready for Stage 2.  I was totally ready for her to check, she did, and I was fully dilated!  How proud I was that I trusted my body!  How much encouragement my midwife, nurse, Doula and husband had on their faces when they looked at me!  My husband called my bestie, a photographer, at 7:30am to tell her to come on over – the baby would be here REALLY SOON!  It was 14 hours in and I was almost done.
 

Wait...whats that?  I WASN’T almost done?!  Not even close?!  Aww man!!  Yep:  I pushed for 5 hours and 15 minutes.  In hindsight I wonder if it was because I held back a bit.  I could have been pushing three times during a contraction and I did one good one and a half assed one.  I just couldn’t surrender.  It brings tears to my eyes to think of how my midwife supported me.  She always encouraged me, she helped me gain confidence and above all – she kept telling me that this was my journey.  Nothing was wrong with me, I was doing right by trusting my body and taking my time.

We tried the toilet for an hour, and that really helped me focus on the right type of pushing but the intensity was taking over me.  It was so tough to surrender and truly push.  Eventually we moved to the living room for me to hang on my husband’s knees and squat. 
 
I was pushing more effectively but I was so weak that my legs couldn’t squat anymore.  I started to panic internally that my body would give out before my spirit would.  My team moved me on to a leaning back position on the couch with my legs up and supported – essentially, it was the position I was always SURE I wouldn’t deliver in!  But it was all my body could support. 
 
I pushed for a few hours in this position.  The baby had a great heart rate the whole time, and I had 100% support & attention of my team.  I finally felt the baby crown and I resisted pushing to let my body adjust and soon I was able to push the baby out!  It was impossible for my brain to process the sensation, since it had been such a long time coming!  My warm sweet baby came right to my chest. 
 
 Over a minute later I looked around and said, “Well, what IS it?!”  Wouldn’t ya know?  Nobody thought to look!  We were just so happy!  My midwife looked and said it was a boy and my heart exploded with joy – mainly because I assumed he was a boy all along and I love being right!  We stared at him.  I delivered the placenta no problem (FYI – I encapsulated it and I highly recommend consumption of it in this form, it has helped me immensely during post partum!)

My husband asked me what his name was, and I definitively said “Rocco!”

 

Rocco Eraldo Pinti was born at 12:45pm at 7lbs 14oz and 20” long.

 



I was dunked back in the birth tub to clean off and my loving team carried me up to bed and tucked me in.  They cared for me and Don and they cleaned up my house.  We ate a snack and smiled at the baby.  It was exactly the journey I manifested in my mind.  Soon our parents were in our bedroom, all of us sitting on the bed staring in wonder at the next generation!  For me, being able to recover at home was critical, because I truly struggled those first few days from the toll that pushing took on my body.

If I could share anything with you, its that you should birth without fear.  Its also that you deserve to have a safe empowering birth, where you’re supported and respected.  It should not matter where you birth, but how you birth.

 

 

Thank you to:

Sandra Londino of BirthRoot Midwifery www.sandralondino.com

Megan Crossgrove, RN

Doulas of CNY, Cristina Reed & Chris Goldman: www.doulasofcny.com

Sarah Oakley of MamaBirth Yoga www.mamabirthyoga.com

The Synergy Center Practitioners, http://www.synergyhhw.com/

Dr. Jessica Sielawa, DC, CACCP (Chiropractic Care)

Kari Gardner, L/AC. (Acupuncture)
Erika DeSocio Photography

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Oxybensone and avobenzone free sun protection

Here are some product recommendations for you and your family to avoid what could be, a potentially harmful (and popularly used) ingredient: oxybensone

Oxybensone has been linked to free-radical (re: cancer causing) damage in adults.  Although the Skin Cancer institute will not confirm that this is true, they can confirm that this chemical should not be used on children or pregnant women.  Additionally, it is ALWAYS better to use a form of sun protection, even with this ingredient, than ever going a day without using SPF!

My favorite: Honest Co's chemical free SPF ($8+)
HonestCo.com and Target















Super smooth with tons of application options available: Supergoop Products
Sephora and Ulta $15-$45




















Hydrating and great for makeup wearers: Coola sun care $8-$25
Sephora, Birchbox.com


Friday, May 9, 2014

My latest obsession

As Spring is finally here, I am totally obsessed with funky color eyeliner - particularly mint green and yellow!

I while back I got my hands on Stila's "Mint Julep" waterproof liner, and I loved it!  I can't wait for the fun outfits to start so I can accentuate my eyes with the perfect mint (NOT turquoise) shade!



Then suddenly, I came across the most PERFECT product - something from my dreams!

a pencil that has BOTH amazing colors of the moment in one pencil?!?!!?!?!

Its true, Smashbox's limited edition collection called "Santigold" has two dual ended pencils in 'in the moment' shades
 
The mint pencil is perfection, a true mint and not a turquoise - and the yellow that goes with it is a metallic yellow, so its funky, and quite honestly, more versatile than the matte sun yellow on the other pencil (paired with the blue)

The Santigold collection is worth mentioning, because its Egyptian-inspired and super funky and the packaging makes you feel a World away when you use it!  (PS- the gold pyramid ring that houses a pink balm is incredible and totally a fun splurge!)
 
When attempting to do the mint or yellow eye - you can be more subtle and just add accents (I like accenting the inner corner of the eye)
or you can go full drama!  But there is no question, the yellow eyeliner look is on trend and for good reason - it defies traditional makeup logic while being simplistic at the same time!




Flashback Friday!

video
Flashback to my Smokey Eye Tutorial on Bridge Street

Friday, March 7, 2014

Friday Flashback: Sunless Tanning Video

video

2 Hot Makeup Trends to Look for this Spring

There is some buzz surrounding 2 very distinct color trends showing up in makeup on runways and pre-Spring catalogs - and its actually awesome for people from my hometown - Syracuse!  You'll see why!

Orange Lipstick

Orange is SO hot for Spring - and actually, before you blanch at the thought of it, it really is a universal color and there are many shades!  True orange works on nearly all shades of skin - and you can keep the eyes subtle or go for soft tawnies and golds- and it actually looks vibrant!

A soft matte that you apply with your ring finger and 'press' into lips looks so natural and fresh!


But heavily layered bright orange is whats been on the runways


and its HOT HOT HOT!

I scoped this out in some magazines as well!




So give it a try already - you'll like it!!!

Best drug store find:
Revlon's Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in "Rendezvous"
 

Department Store:
MAC "Morange" Lipstick



The options are really endless!


The other color trend is bold blue eyeliner (not with the orange lipstick - unless you're going to an SU game!)







I love it in liquid form, because it will glide on and stay on, and will look very bold!  that's what the look is about!  I also prefer to keep the rest of my makeup more minimal, so that the blue has more impact!



 I like NYX Studio Formula


Urban Decay 24/7 Liquid Liner


And my fav bargain buy for $10 is Sephora Brand Liquid Liner - it has major staying power!



There you have it!  2 awesome Spring trends to try soon!!!



Thursday, March 6, 2014

Shaving Tips and Tricks

Oh Shaving, its so necessary (nearly 90% of the men around the World shave DAILY!) and yet such a pain too!



But here are some things you should know before you swipe your razor again!

- Shaving works best on moist, hydrated skin!  Your skin has the most moisture in the evening, versus the driest in the morning. 
- What if you don't want to shave at night?  You like it as part of your morning routine?  Well try to shave AFTER the shower, when skin is warm, moist and hair is best prepped.
- Why?  Because wet hair is nearly half as strong as dry hair, making it much easier to shave, which means less tugging and pulling on your skin!



- We remove just as much skin as we do hair when we shave!  Dead skin cells collect on the surface of skin, and are removed with the razor.  So its important to clean your razor while shaving and VERY well after shaving!
- To clean your razor after shaving, soak in alcohol, pat totally dry, and store the blade/cartridge back in its plastic protector.
- Any surface the blade touches (including your medicine cabinet) dulls the blade - leading to a dull blade that can cause you razor burn and irritation!


- The multi-blade disposable cartridges are thought to be the best shaving razors to use - but how do you know when to throw them out?
- The moisture strip is a marketing ploy to get you to think your razor needs to be thrown out when it doesn't (thanks razor companies!)
- If you clean and dry your razor after every use and protect it - you can get at least a dozen uses.  But if the blade looks uneven, get rid of it! 
- Oh, and those cheap razors?  Throw them out after each use - they are worthless!


Now you've got some facts and tips for your next shave!!