Live Blood Microscopy- Microcell Sciences

10/17
Our BLOOD has the ability to tell us a story about our current health. Through Live Blood Cell microscopy our specialists at MICROCELL SCIENCES INC have the ability to uncover that story through a single drop of blood from our clients.Our mission at MICROCELL SCIENCES INC is to compliment the services offered by Naturopathic Doctors and Practitioners. Our team of live blood cell analysists, trained by Shannon Gregory, are dedicated to helping Naturopathic Doctors and Practitioners develop a unique, highly specialized and holistic treatment plan for their clients.With a simple drop of blood drawn painlessly from the tip of a finger, we are able to see the integrity of our patients’ cells through the use of high-resolution dark field microscopy. Our specialists have been trained to identify conditions such as parasites, yeast, inflammation, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, acidity, dehydration, stress, allergies, toxin overload and many others. Symptomology alone isn’t enough to accurately asses a clients’ wellbeing. Through blood cell analysis, urine and metal testing, we are able to provide the Practitioner with a detailed report which gives them the confidence to make recommendations to improve the health of their clients.Each visit is 45 minutes long. The client is tested and provided a visual interpretation of their blood status. At the end of every appointment, the client is provided with a detailed report of our findings, handouts and high-resolution photos of their blood. Clients are able to book 15 to 30 minute follow-up visits to see and track their progress. We have found this method to be highly motivating and engaging for both the client and Naturopathic Doctor or Practitioner.We strive to provide professional and affordable live blood cell testing for many Practitioners who refer to our service. We give you the data you need to heal your patients. Our results-based methods will enhance your reputation in the medical field. To learn more about  Microcell Sciences check out their website www.microcellsciences.com 

 

Meet Christine Evans

Christine is based in Oakville, Ontario.  Her 20 years of working experience consists of over 12 years of sales in which she was recognized on several occasions as a top 10 performer nationally.  She has spent the past 8 years working in an operational role directly with the CEO on special projects, as well as the company’s budgeting, forecasting and purchasing.  Christine also managed all operational costs and expenses for two of the company’s properties.

Christine has 2 teenaged children that currently attend high school and both play competitive sports.  Family time is important to Christine and her husband Tim and they both can been seen attending as many events as possible in the stands.  Unfortunately, Christine lost her Mother to cancer many years ago.  Her mother (age 51) was far too young to leave this earth, sadly her mother did not recognize some of the key signs regarding her symptoms until it was too late.  Since that day, Christine has taken a huge interest in understanding the importance of what it means to educate yourself on understanding your body and the symptoms that effect you from living a healthier and more active life style.  

In 2008, she met Shannon Gregory (Microcell Sciences Inc).  Christine would express to Shannon how thankful she was for the Live Blood Analysis.  Christine has been bringing her whole family to Shannon since that initial meeting.  Over the years Christine was SO passionate about how the Live Blood can help detect and or prevent different types of illnesses that she said to Shannon, “I want to do what you do, help heal people!”

 So the story begins….. 

Christines hours: Tuesday’s 11am-7pm 

Online booking click here

In vibrant health,

5 Habits to Ground Yourself and Protect your Mental Wellness 

10/17

Written by Dr. Lisa Knapper ND  

For many people, life is always in overdrive, running from task to task, trying to balance their home and work responsibilities and never really taking time for themselves. Sounds all too familiar, doesn’t it? Maybe you’re starting to feel more anxious, run down or irritable.

Rest assured, you’re not alone. There are steps (big and small) that you can take daily to initiate change. Finding a way to prioritize your mental wellness and feel grounded every day is a great step in the right direction.

How can we get started?

Let’s talk about being grounded. Being grounded means fully living in your body, being able to process the present moment and respond in a balanced way. It means taking time for yourself to make sure that your mental and physical health are in tune with each other. Just like anything else, it’s a practice. Some days you feel all Zen and grounded, like you can handle anything, and others you can’t seem to keep up. That’s ok! Creating a plan and knowing what keeps you in your flow is half the battle.

Here are 5 suggestions to help keep you grounded:

  1. Delegate, Delegate, Delegate! I know, you want to be able to do it all. But let’s be honest, there are some tasks that just suck your soul. It’s ok to ask for help, it’s ok to delegate, you have a lot on your plate! Focus on what you do best. Articulate to your partner and family members what it is you need from them.  They can’t help with what they don’t know. After all, not everybody is a mind reader 😉Why is this important? When we start to delegate out tasks that are not our strong suit, it frees up more energy and brain space for you to be the Rockstar that you are!
  2. Morning routine – This is something I have been focused on personally. I have been setting my alarm just a tiny bit earlier and getting out of bed to do a 5 minute mediation. Just 5 minutes! And I feel so much better throughout the rest of my day. I want you to experience this as well! Why is this important?  Having a calming and grounding morning routine undoubtedly sets the tone for the day. Life will still be busy and unexpected events will always occur, but your ability to handle them and keep your stress hormones in check will be more efficient if you start your day on a positive note.
  3. Don’t check your social media right before bed. Set some limits, just like you would with your kids. The end of the day is when we should be engaging in relaxing activities, letting the stress hormones of the day dissipate so we can get a restful sleep.Why is this important? Research shows that the light from our screens actually cause our bodies to release cortisol, our stress hormone, making us more stimulated than relaxed. Further to that, content is emotionally engaging and you often tend to get caught up in the content, delaying your bedtime.
  4. Exercise – I feel like a broken record with this one, but I can’t stress the health benefits enough. It truly does make you feel better! Why is this important? Exercise helps our bodies release feel good chemicals which help to keep our stress response in balance. It overall increases our mood, confidence and resistance to anxiety. All of this equals an unshakable you!
  5. Spend some time in nature everyday, in every weather. I know my Canadian friends might laugh at this but hey, even playing in a snow bank (while properly dressed in a full body snow suit) can be grounding 😉Why is this important? Studies are telling us that getting your daily dose of mother nature has an uplifting effect on mood, and memory and can help ease feelings of anxiety.

So there you have it my friends! 5 tips, 5 ways to keep you more balanced. Spend some time thinking about which of these you can implement in your life. Leave me a comment below and let me know how positively grounded you feel!

Meet Dr. Lisa Knapper

Dr. Lisa Knapper, Naturopathic Doctor

When I’m asked about how I found Naturopathic Medicine, my answer is “It found me!” I had no idea that such a wonderful system of medicine existed until sometime during my undergrad studies at the University of Regina. The topic came up in my psychology class and I immediately had to know more. I went home that very day and started my quest to find out what Naturopathic Medicine was all about, and how to practice it. My research lead me to the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. I knew this was the place for me. It was an instant “ah-ha!” moment. After I finished my pre-med studies, I packed up my whole life into two suitcases and hopped on a flight to Toronto. I haven’t looked back!

Over several years of practice, I have shifted my focus to helping people beat stress and anxiety, correcting digestive disturbances, regulating period and hormonal issues, and helping women stay healthy and strong during pregnancy and labour. No matter what your concern is, I will always take the time and get to know you and your story, working to provide the best solutions for your health and wellness concerns. Besides being obsessed with Naturopathic Medicine, I am a mamma to an energetic daughter who keeps me on my toes. I love forests and music festivals equally. I get my workouts in (almost) every morning, and I love cooking meals for my family and friends.

 The 101 on Meal Planning 

10/17

September 2017 by Tina Gravalos, Holistic Nutritionist 

M E A L P L A N N I N G. Those two dreaded words that have been all the hype lately, for good reason that is. When I mention meal planning to my clients, I often get a blank stare, as if they are hearing the words in slow motion. Let’s be honest here, meal planning can be intimidating and make you want to run for the hills. The never-ending grocery list, the never-ending ingredient list with things you’ve never heard of and prepping a zillion different meals for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. What if I told you that it can be EASY? Would you give it a shot? 

With the Fall here, it’s the PERFECT time to get into the habit of meal planning. Think of those warm, home cooked, mom and dad comfort meals you grew up on. You can do it too! I’m going to break it down for you using three of my favourite meal planning words; PREP, BATCH and REPURPOSE. You’ll see how easy it can be! 

PREP 

Prep, prep, and more prep. Honestly, this is the KEY to successful meal planning and changing your lifestyle. I’m saying lifestyle instead of diet because let’s be real here, diet is so 1990’s. Prepping will allow you to have meals/snacks readily available for you to grab and go instead of opening and closing the fridge several times before you actually choose something to shovel in your mouth. Chop up a bunch of your favourite fruits and veggies and store them in the fridge so you can easily grab them to chomp on by themselves or to dip them in something like hummus. BOOM. Easy peasy right? 

If you’ve picked some recipes that call for ground turkey/chicken/beef, cook up a pound of each and divide them up into servings and freeze them. They defrost in no time. I like to use ground turkey in tomato sauce, tacos, in a quinoa salad – the possibilities are endless. 

Saturday’s are a good day to get stuff organized. Plan what you want to have for the week and hit up the grocery store with your list. You can start to prep when you get home or get to preppin’ + cooking on Sunday. Another great tip for prepping is choosing several recipes that have similar ingredients so that your grocery list stays short and sweet. 

BATCH

Batch cooking is my jam. If you see a recipe that only makes 2-3 servings you can easily double, triple, quadruple (you get the picture) that recipe to make more. Some awesome choices are hearty chili’s, soups, muffins (yes, muffins can be healthy) and dips. You can eat all of these throughout the week. Batch cooking takes the stress off BIG time. Another great batch cooking perk is that you can freeze portioned meals and just grab and heat it up. 

REPURPOSE 

Repurpose and batch sort of go hand in hand but what I love about repurposing is that the same food/ingredient can totally up your meal. What I mean by this is that I will make a big batch of things like quinoa, lentils and roasted chickpeas and I will use them in different recipes. One night I might have a side of quinoa with my grilled chicken and then the next day I’ll add some into my salad for lunch. You can even use quinoa as a repurposing item when you are batch cooking soups and chili’s if you’re looking to add some more carbs to your meal. 

Meal Planning Tools 

As a nutritionist, I use a variety of tools to get the best meal plans to my clients. I get my inspiration from so many cookbooks but here are some of my favourites: 

Joyous Health + Joyous Detox by Joy McCarthy 

Meals that Heal Inflammation by Julie Daniluk 

The UnDiet Cookbook by Meghan Telpner 

Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo 

I also use meal planning tools like Meal Garden and That Clean Life. Through these platforms, you can search through thousands of healthy recipes and design meal plans right in the platform. They also have meal plans already done for you! Check them out! 

Getting creative in the kitchen is my favourite thing to do. While it gives you a chance to really get to know what you’re putting into your body, it also makes you feel like you are in complete control. Planning ahead gives you that sense of accomplishment and once you feel that, you’ll be a pro at meal planning and you’ll never look back! 


Photo credits: The lovely Jennifer Barr from The Planted One (Instagram: @theplantedone). Check her out for more meal planning inspiration!

Meet Tina Gravalos

Constantina (Tina) Gravalos is a Certified Nutritional Practitioner (CNP) and a Registered Nutritional Consulting Practitioner (RNCP), who graduated with honours from the Institute of Holistic Nutrition. Tina started Tina Gravalos Holistic Wellness where she sees clients for one-on-one consultations and meal planning, with a special interest in pediatric, digestive and preventative wellness. Tina also practices in Oakville at The Poppy Clinic, where she and Dr. Michelle work together to combine their skills,  expertise and their passion for helping others, to provide their clients with optimal holistic care. In addition, Tina is the in-house nutritionist for Meal Garden, an online meal planning tool and recipe database. Most recently, Tina has become a wellness contributor for Well TO Do, an online wellness and fitness guide, where she will be contributing wellness articles on a variety of topics. Her overall goal is to make a positive impact on people’s lives by encouraging and supporting them to make healthy choices to lead the healthiest life possible! Here’s how you can find more about Tina! www.tinagravalos.com | Facebook |Instagram 

Tina’s hours: Thursday 10am-7pm 

Online booking here

In vibrant health, 

DIY immune boosting gummies & gelatin benefits

08/28

Written by Samantha Peris

My friends, meet one of my new fave food/supplements out there, grass fed gelatin. I could go on and on about this stuff, but I’ll try and keep it short and sweet.

Gelatin comes from the skin, bones and connective tissues from animals. Yes, your first thought may be “gross” and I get it…but bear with me for a minute and learn about all the amazing things gelatin can do for you before you write it off.

Gelatin can help in all of the following areas:

  • bone health
  • gut health (optimal digestion, absorption, and elimination – allergies and sensitivities!!)
  • joint pain
  • dental health
  • skin health
  • weight loss
  • fragile hair and nails
  • wrinkles, cellulite and stretch marks (yes mamas!)
  • need I go on?…

I’m a huge fan of Wellness Mama, and continue to use her as inspiration and a resource in this area. Check out her article on 12 Uses for Gelatin here. It also lists some additional benefits.

There are SO many uses for gelatin and one of the best ways to incorporate it into your diet is by making homemade bone broths for soup. Just make sure you are getting your bones from grassfed, organic sources, this part is OH SO IMPORTANT! This is also why I only use the Great Lakes gelatin for all my gelatin creations, it’s the only brand recommended by many of the health and wellness community people I admire, so I trust it.

My son’s favorite use of gelatin so far are these homemade vitamin, immune boosting gummies, which you can make it all sorts of fun shapes by buying silicon molds either online, I’ve used amazon, or I’ve also found some great ones at Michaels craft stores.

DIY immune boosting gummies - Sam Peris Nutrition

DIY Immune Boosting Gummies
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup organic 100% juice (my fave is concord grape juice)
  2. 2 tbsp maple syrup (or honey)
  3. 2 tbsp grass fed gelatin powder (I’ve only used Great Lakes brand, orange label – the green label is for different purposes)
  4. Supplements of your choice (probiotics, vitamin/mineral complexes, herbal tinctures *see notes*)
Instructions
  1. Add the gelatine to cool juice and stir. Wait and allow gelatin to bloom, then turn on the heat to med low to allow the mixture to liquefy again. Then remove from heat and add the maple syrup or honey and desired supplements.
  2. Mix well and pour into silicon molds. Place the molds into the freezer for 10 minutes then they should firm up enough to serve. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Notes
  1. *If you are feeding these to children it is important to dose supplements appropriately. My son will eat a batch in about 3 days, so I use 3 days worth of supplement doses per batch. For example I will put 3 scoops of his probiotic powder, 3 drops of his vitamin D supplement, 3 day dose of vitamin C powder, 3 days worth of an immune boosting liquid vitamin supplement and a few drops of an immune boosting herbal tincture (you can find all of these for kids, or adults, at health foods stores).*
Michelle Peris ND http://www.oakvillenaturopathicdoctor.ca/

 

Holistic Nutrition- what’s it all about?

07/18
Written by: Samantha Peris (http://nu-roots.com)
 

What is holistic nutrition anyway?

 
Perhaps you’ve heard of or ‘met’ a few of us online, but aren’t quite sure what we’re all about. Who are these crazy holistic nutritionists and what can they do for me?
 

First off I will introduce myself, my name is Samantha Peris and I’m a (proud) holistic nutritionist–not a nutritionalist (these don’t exist), or a registered dietician. Before you build an image of a hippie witch doctor waving around a magic carrot, please, let me explain.

Let’s break it down:
 

Holistic

  •  Characterized by comprehension of the parts of something as intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole.
  • Characterized by the treatment of the whole person, taking into account mental and social factors, rather than just the physical.

Nutritionist

  • A person who studies or is an expert in nutrition.
 
I’m a nutrition savvy, passionate natural health advocate who loves to share my knowledge in this field, hoping to improve the lives of others. My medicine of choice: food. Healthy, whole, nutrient dense food that comes from the earth that has been minimally interfered with by man.
 
I literally stumbled across this career path as a result of my own food allergies. In 2007 I discovered gluten (the main protein in wheat) and I just aren’t meant to get along. During this discovery my health sky rocketed from a tired, bloated, stimulant (coffee and sugar) abuser, to an energetic, life loving, superfoodie who needed to share my new findings with the world.
 

What can we do for you?

 
First off, we start by listening. Listening to you, listen to your own body. It literally talks, sometimes screams at you, the trick is figuring out what it’s trying to say. So often I hear (and used to tell myself), well that is “normal for me”. But is it “normal” (for lack of a better word) to be constipated, bloated, uncomfortable, overweight, tired….etc. We can help you determine if what you are experiencing are symptoms of an underlying problem related to diet, digestion, elimination, detoxification, nutrient deficiencies, or hormonal imbalances, just by listening to you talk about your own body. You, as a whole person – physically, mentally, socially, spiritually.
 
After listening, we work with you in pursuit of the ever so desirable “optimal health”. We do this by strengthening the digestive system, teaching you which foods would be best suited for you and your personal goals, manage portions, and emphasize the importance of the quality of foods you choose to chew.
 
We can provide you with personalized meal plans, take you on a tour of the grocery, or health foods store, raid your kitchen, tear up the pantry and teach you how to restock it, teach cooking classes, recommend nutritional supplements and work with you one-on-one until you feel confident you have the tools you need to continue on your journey.
 

But I have an ND, do I need a holistic nutritionist?

 
Perhaps! Holistic nutritionists and naturopathic doctors are a dynamite combo. We both have our specialties and our limitations. For example your ND may have you do an IgG Food Sensitivity test, when you receive your results, a Holistic Nutritionist can use these to build a nutrition plan and teach you to use foods specific to your unique needs and restrictions. Often times this includes ancient whole grains and superfoods many people are unaware of, or haven’t used in their kitchens before.
 
Personally, I have an ND as a sister  and we often use each other as a resource for our clients and patients. It is our dream to eventually combine forces and tackle the natural health world as a duo. In our experience, clients and patients who work with both an ND and holistic nutritionist begin to see results at an accelerated pace.

Hopefully you now understand what it is we mean by “holistic nutritionist” and are intrigued to give us a try! We’ll be waiting for your call, magic carrots in hand ;)

 

A note from Dr. Michelle: 

Dr. Michelle Peris & Associates (soon to have a new name 😉 ) will have a team available to support you in your nutrition goals.

More on that in our next newsletter, but you may be hearing a lot more from this incredible nutritionist in the near future! 😉 

Watermelon Strawberry Refresher

07/18

By Tina Gravalos www.tinagravalos.com

 

Watermelon Strawberry Refresher
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Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
7 min
Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
7 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup watermelon chunks
  2. 1/2 cup strawberries (I had frozen pieces that I quartered)
  3. Juice of 1 lime
  4. 1/4 cup of unsweetened plain coconut yogurt
  5. 1 cup almond milk
  6. 2 scoops of collagen peptides (I used Vital Proteins) - can substitute with protein powder of choice
  7. 2 tbsp. chia seeds
Instructions
  1. Add a couple of drops of stevia if you would like a hint more of sweetness. Blend and enjoy!
Michelle Peris ND http://www.oakvillenaturopathicdoctor.ca/

 

 

 
 
 

**IV Therapy Changes**

06/04

Hello! 

Due to recent changes with board regulations, the new clinic needs inspection and board approval before being able to offer IV services.  This process can take up to six months to get an inspection committee to the site, however, all paperwork has been submitted to get this process moving as quickly as possible. 

Temporary IV Therapy Site Location:

Oakville Naturopathic Wellness Centre

#22-2172 Wyecroft Road

Phone #: 905-825-9996

Email: info@onwc.ca

IV hours:

Mondays 12:30pm-4pm 

  • If this time does not work for you, I will do by best to accommodate an alternate time.  Although not the most convenient situation I will do my best to ensure there is continuity of care for the time being. I know this is not the most convenient situation, but we will do our best to make this a very easy transition.  We all know the importance of getting our IV vitamins! 😉  
  • In the meantime we think you will love the comfort and ambiance of ONWC

To book an appointment:

call 289-815-1322

email: admin@myoakvillend.ca

online booking: www.MyOakvilleND.ca or here

An email reminder will be sent out to remind you of the location until IV therapy is offered at the new clinic.

Thank you so much for your patience and understanding. 

Many thanks,

 

**Big Announcement** New Naturopathic Clinic + IV Lounge + Community Space

06/04

Happy Spring!

I hope this letter finds you well!

This note is being sent to you to share my exciting news.I would like to announce that I will be opening my own naturopathic clinic. I have been at OMWC for seven and a half years and I am tremendously grateful for my time there. I have been able to build a wonderful practice along side many practitioners whom I admire immensely. And as grateful as I am, the opportunity to grow the community and have many options for people to engage with naturopathic health care is exciting. A brief insight on the new space, it is a naturopathic clinic + IV lounge + community space. So not only will you be able to continue one-on-one health visits with myself there will also be a number of community talks and group services available to empower you on all aspects of health. My purpose is to educate the masses about easy accessible ways to live your best life now and that is exactly what we are going to do together in this new space.

It is important to note that I am not selling my practice, so therefore I remain the legal custodian of your medical file. Your medical records will be coming with me to the new space. Should you want to continue your naturopathic services with the new ND at OMWC please sign a release of records and I will happily transfer your file to them when the time comes. Otherwise, you will be receiving further and continued information (via newsletter) from me regarding all other details needed for booking appointments, billing and etc.

If you have an appointment scheduled with me June 15th and beyond, your appointment will be automatically added to the new online schedule, unless otherwise specified.  You will be contacted to ensure you are fully informed of all changes occurring. 

As of June 15th, 2017, my practice will reside;

Dr. Michelle Peris

Naturopathic Doctor and Associates

481 North Service Road West, unit A4

Oakville, Ontario

(in the same complex as SupperWorks and Oakville Parent Child Centre)

Phone number: 289-815-1322

Fax number: 289-715-2141

Email: admin@MyOakvilleND.ca

Website: www.MyOakvilleND.ca

Online booking available on the website

On June 15th, 2017, all services will be seamlessly transferred to the new clinic. Please do not hesitate to call during this transition. We are accepting appointments as usual.

I am so excited, can you feel it?

My Birth Story <3

05/07

My son turns six tomorrow and today like all other eve’s of his birthday I recall all the events of my labour.  Does any other mother do this?  I love reminiscing about my labour it makes me feel happy to recall all the events leading up to meeting the little man who was forever going to change my life.  

I loved my labour and I want to write about it for two reasons.  One, I want to remember it forever, so while the events are still fairly fresh in my mind I want to write them down.  Two, I am extremely committed to changing the script about labour.  I want woman to trust their bodies- just as I did.  I want women to feel transformed into the warrior that they are, just as I did.  I want women to see it as a right of passage into motherhood, because it is and it is so beautiful.  It should be shared as wisdom for all those who labour after us so that they too can be empowered by this wonderful experience called labour.  

Should you want to read, please feel free, I hope you love reading my story as much as I loved writing it.  

I was 40 weeks + 3 days, my sister had come from Alberta to be a labour partner along side my husband.  She read so many more books about labour then husband so I was really thrilled to have her there; plus she was an excellent cook, so I was excited to be fed by her as well.  I had done all the natural labour induction possible- acupuncture, drank the herbal tinctures, was doing my daily squats (okay probably not as many as I should have been doing) and I felt a whole lot of nothing… How was I going to know labour was starting?

Then on May 6th 2011 I was awoken at 5am by what I though was me wetting the bed, I thought ‘how the hell did that happen?’.  When I reached forward to see if what I had just felt was in fact real, I realized there was nothing there… I quickly realized what was happening, my water broke.  It was the coolest sensation (much like when I felt the flutters of my son moving inside of me the first time), it felt like a tiny needle piercing a ballon and then there was an immediate gushing.  I abruptly sat up and just like that went into full panic mode, my whole body started shaking (those who know me, know how quickly my excitement can turn into anxiety).  I shook my husband, I was so excited and yet so terrified about what I was going to feel next, it was all so new, how the hell was I to know what would happened next.  I ran to wake my sister, she was equally excited, it was why she was in Ontario… It was about time! 

She quickly got up to make me blueberry pancakes, which I highly recommend for everyone about to start childbirth! 😉  All I knew is that I wanted to feel nourished this labour, so that I felt strong enough to get through.  

So like any first time mom, I quickly called my midwife- you know cause I sure I was in active labour ;P (ah so naive my first labour).  I was also instructed to call them as I was GBS+ (much to my disappointment).  I would need IV antibiotics especially since I now had ruptured membranes.  The clock was ticking in terms of how long they would let me labour on my own, before needing an induction, it all felt so urgent.  I am very resistant to external pressure, this did not please me so.  It also should be known that I am stubborn and I desperately wanted to go into labour naturally. Of all the priorities I had, when it came to childbirth this was the highest.  I did not want to be induced (to me, pitocin was a gateway drug, perhaps leading me down the intervention path I did not want to go down).  I wanted my natural pain killers to have enough time to elevate to support me in my natural labour, in my mind, it was going to be very difficult to do this if I was induced.  

The other desire I had was to labour at home.  Childbirth to me was a natural process, not needing medical intervention unless absolutely required.  I would not hesitate if that is what I needed, but I really did want to be left at home if at all possible.  It is where I felt safest.  And where you feel safe is where you will labour best.  

From 5am and beyond not much happened.  Except the incredible amount of ‘water’ that came from me, I had no idea how that was possible.  We put towels everywhere, I paced the halls, sent work emails, danced to aqua and every 4 hours my midwives came and checked up on me and gave me my IV drip.  At the 12 hour mark, urgency set in, I did not like that very much, but my labour was not intensifying in the least bit.  We got the call, it was time to go to the hospital, we needed to talk induction.  We had a little talk at home and I agreed to try castor oil (**this is absolutely not recommend for others unless medically supervised, there may be appropriate use for it in labour, however, it can also cause other complications if not used properly, do not try this unless you are working with a professional**).  My team made me two coconut water, frozen fruit and castor oil drinks.  I drank them and off to the hospital we went. 

On route we took bumpy roads (on purpose, ha!) and we listened to Joel Osteen, my husband new that going to the hospital for me was less then ideal, his number one priority was to keep me positive and to help keep my mind flexible.  On our way there, our midwife called, all the beds at the hospital were full, we got to go back home and they would meet us there to check on me.  

When I got home, I understood the urgency of the situation so we turned up the labour induction techniques.  I sat on the toilet and put on the breast pump (one of my most shining moments for sure, my modesty, although not much to begin with, began to fad away)… Luckily by 8pm I was in active labour and we were going to labour at home.  It was intense and I needed whatever resources we had to keep me strong.  I turned on my iPod with my hypo birthing, grabbed my birthing ball and faced a corner.  I don’t know why, but I didn’t really want to engage with anyone.  I was uncomfortable, not that happy and I just wanted to tune inwards.  I listened to that for hours, in hindsight it was supremely helpful, although in the moment I questioned its benefits.  I certainly did not look like those ladies on the UTube videos who’s labour looked like a peaceful sleep.  Oh no, I laboured in the corner, thinking angry thoughts about anyone who tried to help, while my sister fed me frozen grapes in between contractions.  To which, I spit out on my bedroom floor when the next contraction started.  The thought of this still makes me giggle.  

My midwife hung out in the other room and I thought, why isn’t she helping me?  I came to understand that this is not her role in labour, she needed to preserve her energy and chart while I laboured.  This is when I really had wished I had gotten a doula, I really needed a doula.  Even though my sister & husband were incredible, they really were, it is so helpful to have an expert in the room.  Because labour will take you to your breaking point, likely several times in the process.  

We became number obsessed, my support team wrote everything down, I was checked on occasion and every time I heard the numbers I felt greatly disappointed, why wasn’t my body/ cervix progressing the way I demanded it to.  It felt intense, but for some reason the numbers of dilation never seemed to match the intensity of my discomfort.  Now I was really getting angry. 

My midwife suggested I move from the wall (haha) and try and different position to get things moving.  We went into the shower, but standing felt awful for me, they gave me the stool, but I couldn’t bare the heat.  I needed out.  I paced the bathroom, I made noises with every contraction, I think I had one ear bud in for my hypnobirthing, I was hoping for a miracle.  My midwife came over for one contraction, she squeezed my hips and it felt AMAZING.  That was the pain relief I was craving.  But she couldn’t continue that and no one could do it as well as her (hmmm a doula would have been really good about now…).  I remember at this point I was staring at the mirror, I was not very happy, I was uncomfortable, my hair was a mess- standing every which way.  My husband being the cheeky man that he is offered to fix my hair, he in no pain, thought this was a good idea.  To which, I responded with biting his fist.  He got the point.  I was in no mood to care about my hair.  

It was midnight, I felt very nauseous and was on all fours in our bedroom.  I got sick, smoothies- everywhere! But this was a very good sign, perhaps I was in transition, I was so hopeful, it all felt so intense, I was done really.  My midwife checked me, I could hear everyone talking, I cannot recall how dilated she said I was, but I do recall her saying ‘we will check her again in four hours’.  FOUR HOURS!?!?!? She must be mistaken, you see, I am DONE, I am having this baby now (insert the need for a doula again here).  My sister recalls me giving the midwife a mean girl glare, which I believe, I am completely capable of doing such a thing (I loved my midwife, I did not love what she was saying).  

Shortly after I felt the urge to push, I was making all the right noises so my midwife let me go with it.  I began to push on all fours, my husband being the curious man that he is went to watch what was happening.  I could hear him asking a question, I could hear that my midwife was investigating something.  I promptly heard everyone telling me to stop pushing. Excuse me?!?!?! Are you kidding me? You want me to stop the only thing that feels good right now (I use this term ‘good’ lightly, more accurately, it felt like the right thing to be doing in that moment).  

I felt the urgency again, I could hear the hustle around me, still listening to the hypnobirthing in one ear, I checked in and out as needed.  But now I needed to pay attention.  I learned that I was being immediately transferred to the hospital, my cervix had prolapsed and I now needed to be in a hospital to birth this baby.  I understood, I was at peace with the decision and I also knew that risk involved me and not my baby- he was stable and happy.  The risk of haemorrhage was high and I needed to be somewhere safe should I need much important medical intervention.   I had no problem with this intervention, I had laboured at home, which is what I wanted.

I did however, really hate not being allowed to push during contractions.  It was an awful feeling that felt fundamentally wrong.  They tried to change my breathing to assist in pushing prevention, but it was near impossible.  I did my best. In the contractions I began to yell “I’m pushing, I’m pushing, I’m sorry…” It still makes me laugh to this day.  Which at the time, did help with not pushing during contractions.  

The ambulance came.  I walked out, they put me on the stretcher, which felt awful, I liked being on all fours, and literally my son was so close to being born it felt like I was sitting on his head.  Yet he was unphased and stable the entire time. The paramedics were not too kind to my midwife, like she had anything to do with my wanting a home birth.  They were kind to me.  I also understood their stance, I would bet their only experience with home birth had to do with emergent transfers to the hospital.  Why would they think it was safe? I understood where they were coming from. 

What I did not appreciate was the speed at which they were travelling, it felt like they were crawling.  And I resented every time my midwife placed the sonogram on my abdomen, I understood why she was doing it (to make sure my son was stable), but it caused a contraction every. single. time.  Had I not been strapped down I probably would have ninja kicked her (refer to anger issues I was experiencing listed above).  

In true labour story form, my husband and sister, in the car behind us, got pulled over for running a red light.  They were not ticketed and were told to follow safely.  

We got to the hospital, there was barely a room, it was still very busy.  We got situated and I was told to still not push because the OB was not ready for me.  Excuse me? I was pushing this baby out now! They found a resident and we were ready to get this show on the road.  She checked me, moved my cervix out of the way and gave the green light to push this baby out.

What an awesome feeling, until it wasn’t. Ha! It was intense and against my ideal situation, I had to labour this baby in lithotomy position (on my back).  My incredible team held my legs as I did my best to push.  Like all first time labourers I pushed for a while.  I remember cracking jokes about a burning ring of fire, because that is what it felt like.  The intensity was insane and yet it was the best feeling ever because the end was near and I was ready to have this over with.  

Moments later, at 3:26am my son was born and placed on my abdomen.  We didn’t find out his gender beforehand, yet I knew he was a boy all along.  He looked huge on my now puffy abdomen.  We begged the team to delay the cord clamping for as long as possible, but because of my risk of hemorrhage my time was limited.  We think we held them off for about 5 minutes, at least until it stopped pulsing.  I felt so overwhelmed, I was a mom and that felt so foreign.  Not uncomfortable, it felt so right, however, I was in total shock about it.  I had developed a strong bond with this bump that grew over 9 months, but when I met the baby inside it felt so new, almost uncomfortable.  That feeling ceased quickly. 

I had no tearing (thank you Epi- No).

I did not hemorrhage, I had a very successful natural labour.  I understood the whole process and was absolutely fine with how my birth went.  We laughed as we recalled the moments.  Instantaneously I forgot the discomfort (mostly) and felt positive about my experience.  We all thought biting my husband was hilarious.  

We were transferred to a recovery room and all three of us passed out.  Carter was sleepy too, he quietly rested skin-to-skin.  The nurse came to check on us and told us since we were under the care of a midwife and because I was stable, I was free to go after 3 hours.  So we counted down the minutes till discharge, my husband got the car and we went home.  

My labour was challenging, pushing me to my very brink, but I never once considered an epidural (that is the honest truth).  And as much as I didn’t love the discomfort of labour, I trusted my body and really the only major pain I had is when I had to go against my body’s urge to push.  

I felt fond feelings about my labour and all those who supported me even minutes after I was done.  Despite my secret dislike for them while I laboured in my corner alone.  

I felt my labour was beautiful.  It was an experience that I was privileged enough to go through with the end result of meeting the love of my life.  This little man made me a mother, the day before Mother’s Day no less.  He made us a family and that felt so good and so profoundly right.  And as much as I can look back and critique the experience, I wouldn’t have changed any of it.  I love my story, I loved my passion for natural labour and I loved how it all worked out perfectly the way it was meant to unfold.  I didn’t get my home birth but I was completely fine with that. 

That is my birth story.  

And if you have made it this far, I commend you and I thank you.  

Labour is awesome, trusting your body is a wonderful thing. I trusted my body, I rose above any challenge that was thrown my way.  I was a warrior and I was going to handle the challenges that were to come in the next few weeks, months, years in a similar fashion.  This primed me to become the strong mother that I am today.  I feel blessed to have had the experience that I did. 

And that is all I have to say.

Happy Birthday Carter, and happy BIRTH-day to me! 😉 <3 

 

Bright and Fresh Guacamole

09/06

I’m surprised this one lasted long enough to take a picture! We love avacados in our house, not only because they taste delicious, but because they are an excellent source of fibre, potassium and vitamins B6, C, K and folate. They are so versatile and can be easily added to salads, wraps and smoothies, made into a sauce or dip or eaten on their own.

When I have a few kicking around and we’re looking for a healthy snack, I’ll often make a quick batch of guacamole. I thought I’d share my latest recipe with you. This one is super fresh, easy and most importantly, kid approved!

How do you make your guacamole?

Brighten up your Guac!
Serves 4
Sit and savour or pack it up and take along!
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. You’ll need;
  2. 2 ripe avocados
  3. 1 large mango
  4. 1 lime
  5. 1-2 cloves garlic
  6. 1-2 tomatoes (I used yellow tomatoes in this batch)
  7. 1-2 teaspoons dried chili flakes
Instructions
  1. Peel and scoop avocados into medium sized bowl, mash with fork or potato masher. Peel and chop the mango, I like to chop a bit finer so that my guac is a little smoother, add to bowl. If adding tomatoes, chop and add to bowl. Juice the lime and then add the peeled and minced garlic and chili flakes. Mix all together. That’s it!
  2. Don’t be hung up on the order that you add the ingredients to the bowl, just make sure if you decide to take a break (or a little one distracts you) add the lime juice to prevent the avocados from going brown.
Notes
  1. *optional, if you like a kick you can also add fresh jalapeno
Michelle Peris ND http://www.oakvillenaturopathicdoctor.ca/
Enjoy and share!