I've wanted to share about a type of magic I use regularly as it's also a big part of my life, and a bit of a story I've needed to share.
Being a mother really has opened my eyes to using magic with what I have and in very mundane ways for my little girl.
So for for those who are interested in natural, everyday spells and recipes this is the post for you (especially for Mamas-to-be)!
First off, getting pregnant. It was a roller coaster ride for sure. Hubby and I tried for almost a year with constant mind-fucks from my body.
My uterus would be like:
Oh you have one more day till you're officially late. Woo!
Oh never mind, here's everything you've missed from your period this week at once. You have to miss work to go to the ER? Bummer, dude.
But when I finally did get pregnant and have Lily, I used a lot of different types of magic everyday to help myself and her. No one talks about the postpartum period at all when it comes to pregnancy so I prepared myself for the worst!
For those who don't know what padsicles are, they're normal period pads covered in aloe vera with Tucks pads, lavender oil, and numbing/cooling spray on top. You roll them up, pop them in the freezer, and use them after baby comes.
And boy do you need them! (Along with Depends.)
Because this was my first child, and I wanted to be prepared for everything, I added a bit of magic into the mix. I created a sigil for specifically postpartum healing to help me heal completely and quickly.
Good thing too; I had four degree tears!
I wrote the sigil on all the pads before I put them in the freezer. That extra boost had me healed within three weeks of delivery. Woo!
I've already mentioned using lavender on the padsicles. However, I used a couple of other things too.
First, I sniffed spearmint during labor to keep nausea and headaches away. I still threw up, but for different reasons than the actual labor.
Next, I used chamomile for baby girl's baths. They helped with her gas, the crying, and was pretty soothing for bedtime. Hey, anything you can do to get the baby to sleep is pretty fantastic.
I also used rosemary oil that was diluted in a spray bottle. I've always used this recipe but it really came in handy postpartum. No one ever tells you that all the hair that was building up during pregnancy (because you don't shed normally) all starts falling out after a few months. I've always used rosemary oil for hair growth, so boom! Used again!
Have I mentioned before how much I adore tea? Well I am now. I LOVE TEA!
Drinking tea during pregnancy was a must because your water intake has to be ridiculously high and I hate bland water. It's gross.
During my last trimester, I drank red raspberry leaf tea. It's a natural way to exercise your uteran muscles to help during labor. I actually didn't feel any contraction pain during labor. Don't know if it was only because of the tea but I bet it helped!
**NOTE: If you're pregnant and reading this, please be careful with red raspberry leaf tea. I talked to my doctor before taking any to make sure it was safe. Don't drink it in the first two trimesters; because it exercises the uteran muscles, there's a risk of miscarriage or pre-labor. Only drink in the third trimester with doctor's approval. Be safe for your little one!**
When I started having problems with milk supply, I used Mother's Milk tea to help boost it. It's mixed with all kinds of herbs, like fenugreek, that help you produce more milk. Tea for the win!
Honestly this has to be the most magical substance on the planet.
For one, it's made just for your baby if you decide to breastfeed. Your body can tell from your baby's saliva what nutrients they need and provides them for you.
It's also fantastic at healing cuts; my daughter was pulled out with some forceps that almost cut into her eye. She was bleeding in a few different spots on her head because of it. Not only that but once teething kicked in, she started scratching the hell out of her face. She'd wake up covered in blood from clawing herself.
Adding some breastmilk to her bath helped quickly heal her skin and keep it incredibly soft and smooth. It also helped her baby eczema, rashes, and baby acne.
I want to cut in for a moment as we go over breastmilk and magic. There honestly hasn't been a substance that's taken over my life quite like this one. I never thought that one day I'd be measuring my worth as a mother in how much milk I can give my baby.
Let me explain:
My daughter was born a week late but very healthy. Average sized, beautiful blue eyes (that she still has), and was just the sweetest little flower.
I had an oversupply at first, which means I was producing more than my daughter needed to eat. That was fine; I could have a bunch of milk ready for her at home for Daddy to give her.
I wasn't home after the first two weeks of her life. I had school, work, rehearsals, and too many other obligations. So Lily would scream for me, driving Daddy crazy, until I came home. And I'd sit in class, bleeding after birth, leaking all over, and balling because I couldn't be with my baby. I started having ridiculously bad postpartum anxiety, so hubby started bringing Lily to me for work in which my wonderful boss let me wear her the whole time.
During my postpartum check up, the last time I've seen my doctor, I was put on Nuvaring. I was told it was safe for breastfeeding and I'd have no issues.
Lily was growing fast and perfectly; a very healthy baby.
Then winter break hit and I was home. I stopped pumping as much; I could feed on demand now. Lily hit her 4-month-old regression and we were told by our doctor to start her on solids to help her eat.
Two months pass, we go to the doctor. Lily's lost a pound and a half, which is a lot for an infant. I'm told that I need to do more for my baby (meaning feed her for at least an hour more) and only give baby cereal, no baby fruits, veggies, or meats. Problem: I have class and work. How can I feed baby for an hour or more when 1) I can't stay home that long and 2) she won't eat for an hour? So we just kept struggling.
Every week we went to see the doctor and Lily wasn't gained as fast as she wanted (the doctor wanted seven ounces a week). I was sick of fighting with nursing, listening to an accusatory doctor, and losing my dream of breastfeeding my daughter like I used to. So I went to a lactation consultant.
We found out a couple of things at the appointment:
I was a little more than furious. I had been made to be a horrible, irresponsible mother for having my baby lose weight when I was just listening to my doctor.
I wasn't enjoying nursing my daughter anymore; between teething and low supply Lily was hard to feed due to her frustration. She wanted to nurse but it was a battle every meal.
I didn't want to supplement. I still don't. But I want my daughter to grow. So I switched to the Nexplanon, which is safer for breastfeeding, upped my daughters meal intake, and started chugging Mother's Milk and pumping like a madwoman.
Slowly everything's coming back; at least Lily can have milk with every meal now. But it's still hard. Half of my time nursing her has been tears, frustration, and fighting. I hate that I have memories of resentment when trying to feed my child. I want to be a better mother than that. And it's a side of motherhood no one ever hears about.
I found a way to remember my time feeding Lily with Precious Mammaries. This company creates jewelry from ashes, hair, placentas, and breastmilk for mothers. Because each drop of milk is made specifically for our babies, it has it's own unique thumb print design. You can feel the texture and see the design in the jewelry you receive.
I decided to send in my milk and get a pendant. Even though I plan to have more children and breastfeed, I want to remember feeding my first little girl.
Plus, what if my supply is permanently fucked up because of the birth control?
What if I can't breastfeed my child at some point?
I want to remember that I am a breastfeeding mother, even if I'm almost exclusively pumping everyday.
I want to remember those moments where I'd play with Lily and make her smile.
I want to remind myself that I'm a good mother who's doing her best, despite all the obstacles and mistakes.
I want to keep sending those loving vibes of energy through my milk to her, telling her that's she's smart and wonderful and can do anything in her life, even if I have to give in to formula feeding at some point.
I want to remember what it was like being a mommy for the first time and how wonderful it felt feeding my baby.
And if I ever have another child, I'll get one for them as well.
But for now I'll do what I can:
I'll hum sweet and silly songs as I mix her breastmilk, willing it to be as nutritious as possible.
I'll put lavender and chamomile in her bath when she's sick and sing musicals through the night to soother her through the night.
I'll speak to her soothingly as she stares at my pendulum swinging in circles, clearing all the bad memories and scary monsters out of her room.
I'll hold her tight, make her giggle, and cover her in kisses.
Because she's the little love I've been waiting for my whole life and I'll do whatever I can to keep her healthy and growing.
If you're having any issues like this as a breastfeeding mother, talk to Rachel from Precious Mammaries and get something for yourself. I know it's probably going to be my first and favorite Mother's Day gift ever.