Thoughts & Tips for Natural Birth: Part One



Natural Birth.

Kind of an oxymoron if you really think about it.

The most natural act in all of nature, after sex/procreation, is childbirth.

And yet, we are raised nowadays with a new way of thinking.

A way of thinking in which a natural birth {vaginal & unmedicated} is optional & is the exception, rather than the norm.

Because of modern medicine & technology, both of which are wonderful & serve an important purpose in our world, we have been made to believe that birth is more of a medical process than a natural one.

We've accepted, usually without even realizing, that we will need the assistance of medical professionals &/or multiple interventions when the time comes.

I myself assumed this for years, after watching movies & hearing lots of stories.

The plot in each was usually the about the same.

Women got pregnant.
Their husbands were clueless & frantic.
The expectant mothers are screaming & cursing in pain.
And they are portrayed to ultimately need doctors, medicines & machines or devices to help birth their babies

Am I right?

Through early adulthood, after a few careless years of "living it up", I've begun to live more & more conscientiously.

I truly believe in caring for our bodies.
Doing so in a natural way - simply helping it thrive.

Because we have been fearfully & wonderfully created.
We are but stewards of AMAZING, strong, capable, intelligent bodies that we've been entrusted with.

Fast forward to getting pregnant the first time.
(read more about my pregnancies & journey through miscarriage HERE)
I started thinking..

"I know I was made to do this.. but..
I wonder why some women CHOOSE natural births vs births with some sort of medical interventions.. does it matter? And what do I want."

I did some.. er, LOTS of.. googling.
I consulted some trustworthy friends.
I ordered a few books.

I knew that I was interested in the pursuit of natural living - this adventure would be a continuation.

The more I read..
The more epiphanies I had.
The more I understood my body.
The more confidence I developed in myself.
The more excited I got to "train" over the next 9 months.
The more I questioned the widespread fear amongst my peers.

Was I missing something?

I mean.. we are the ONLY mammals that don't birth our babies like it's our J-O-B.

Our culture, compared to others around the world who have been less influenced by media or who have had less access to modern medicine, is the one that has taken this mindset & embraced it as normal.

Why are we fearful of something so innately natural?
Something so beautiful?
Something we were chosen to do as women?

A multitude of thoughts continually flooded my mind..

Then, it hit me.

I'm only half of this picture.

Oh gosh..

I have to talk to Nate.

And what will he think!?

The first time I brought it up to him, he was a little defensive & had some concerns.

"But women do it this way all the time."
"What if something happens."
"There's nothing wrong with medicine or doctors - shouldn't you trust the professionals?"
"You don't want one of those home water births, do you?" 

You know.. all the things you'd probably expect - he felt & shared.

I told him I understood where he was coming from.
But I asked if he would do something for me.
I asked him to watch "The Business of Being Born" together.
So we did.

It empowered me further.
And it OPENED his eyes in a big way.

It was what we both needed to decide if we would keep having this discussion.

After we watched it, his mantra became "if this is what you want, I totally understand & completely support you." He even began to embrace the idea himself!

But hang on a second..

Why did it take the internet & documentaries for both of us though to alter our mindset?

Nate & I are both God-fearing, bible believing Christians.

Didn't we know that this is what women were LITERALLY created by God to do?

Yep.
And still.
Nope.

Our culture, y'all..
Gosh, it's powerful.
How we are raised & nurtured really truly shapes us.

Simply said..
Influence is power.

And because of that influence over time.
The numbers in our country are staggering.

Our c-section rate..
often times forced on women who are TIRED & simply trusting the experts in a time of EXHAUSTION.
The number of birth related mortalities..
comparatively to other countries.
Heck, the fact that so many women, well before their due dates, schedule an induction around their own personal schedules..

I'm not trying to judge or belittle anyone - but think about how much this deviates from our natural process.

Listen to me.

I am NOT knocking situations in which things happen that are out of our control in which intervention is absolutely needed.
I'm extremely grateful it's available in case I had needed any of it when Raegan was born.

But I am saying that we seem to have forgotten how amazing our bodies are & what they are capable of - with little to no prompting or assistance.

Why doesn't this light a FIRE within us!?

I believe it all starts in the mind.
With understanding, appreciation & the removal of fear.

I spent my entire pregnancy strengthening my body & most importantly - rewiring my mind.
Continually LEARNING & working my confidence muscles.

"Natural birth" is fairly simple, in reality.
And YES, it's hard as HECK.
But it's amazing.. & so so doable.

Here's the deal though.

You've gotta WANT to do it for some other reason than "just because."
And while our bodies don't necessarily need lots of fancy prep-work, our minds DO.
So be willing to put in some time to prepare.

My experience was one I'll never forget.
I'm SO grateful to have had the opportunity..

To get pregnant.
To carry a baby to term.
To birth her without any serious complications.
To remember it.
To have experienced it so fully.
To have had a newborn so ALERT.

It was NOTHING short of amazing.
(to read my birth story, click HERE)

I've been asked from my own reading & experience to share a bit with my readers.
But before I did that, I needed to share my heart & mind with you.
You needed to know my WHY & where I was coming from.

So stay tuned TOMORROW for part two of this post - some tips, in no particular order, that I'd like to share with other mommas who are in a season of preparation.

You can do this, momma.
Believe in yourself & your body.





#MotivationMonday : My 9 Week Postpartum Progress



#MotivationMonday

It's time for a progress update & a healthy little self shout out!

Here I am, two & a half weeks into my current program, and I'm celebrating FEELING more like myself..

I'm feeling stronger, less fluffy & a bit more confident in my skin.

Here's the deal 
👇🏻
I'm not doing anything fancy or grueling.

I'm simply sticking to my commitment, doing my best & using tools that work when I do.

Would you believe I've only lost 1 pound & 2 inches between these two photos??

.. the transformation that's happening in my body now is fat loss + muscle gain.

To heck with numbers dictating our progress.

As far as I'm concerned, THIS is progress I'm proud of ðŸ™ŒðŸ»ðŸ™ŒðŸ»

((Current customers >> SEE why I tell you to snap progress photos!?))

So what's my routine?

1. I do a 25 minute program that requires no equipment, minimal space & can be streamed anywhere.

2. I eat balanced. I don't throw in the towel on the weekends. I FILL myself up with legit, tasty food. No calorie counting. No food skimping.

3. I drink something called shakeology every.single.day. It improves my gut health, decreases cravings & is a super convenient//healthy meal

4. I use an app that allows me to track my physical progress & log my daily activity.. it even reminds me when I haven't posted my workout or shake!

That's all.
It's challenging, yet super simple.

I modify often.
I treat myself occasionally.
I have accountability.
I'm getting results the healthy way ðŸ’ƒðŸ»

I might be flexing my core in that second photo on the right, BUT I'm SO encouraged to see definition coming in & muscle mass building.. yall. I HAVE a core to flex again ðŸ’ªðŸ»ðŸ™ŒðŸ»ðŸ˜­

#PostpartumMiracles

Want to know more about how you can get started too?
Email me at lindseykollar@yahoo.com or apply HERE for more info!


Zucchini Lasagna Boat Recipe


I saw a recipe recently, well it was actually just a photo with the recipe title on pinterest, for "Spaghetti Squash Lasagna" & thought I HAD to try it!

But when I went to the store to grab the ingredients, they were out of spaghetti squash. That's where the idea to roll with zucchini came from!

So I never actually read the original recipe...

Often times, I'll see a photo of something & just guess on how I can recreate it.
OR I'll read part of the recipe & decide how to make my own version.
You could say that even a quick parooze on pinterest might just inspire my entire weekly meal plan.

(I'm pretty sure I get that food-creativity from my momma!! She taught me while I was growing up to use what you've got & improvise when you can! She also taught me how to look for great sales & stretch your meals.. super valuable lessons!)

That's actually EXACTLY what happened last week.

I pulled up pinterest - saw photos of the spaghetti squash, stuffed peppers, greek salad & a kale, sweet potato, chicken crock pot recipe - jotted down a rough list & ran to the store within an hour!

Okay, so back to the "recipe."
Since I didn't measure anything, we all have to get a bit creative.

Let's all just agree up front to use our imaginations a bit so you can cater this to your taste/what's in your fridge + be willing to go with your gut to decide when it looks about "right."

Deal?

Zucchini Lasagna Boats

Ingredients:

Zucchini
(grab the largest or widest pieces you can find)
Cottage Cheese
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
Egg
Seasonings
(I used Himalayan Salt, Pepper, Red Pepper Flakes & Dried Parsley)
A marinara or sauce of your choice

So how many veggies do you buy..

I would say to plan for at least one zucchini for each person.
We each had a half when we were eating it as a "side" with some grilled chicken, but could have eaten more & definitely would have if it was our primary entree.

When I made this "recipe," I was only cooking for the two of us. So keep in mind that my LOOSE directions are for two zucchinis/people.

Directions:

1. Wash the zucchini, cut in half (long ways) & scoop out the middle part to create your "boats"


When I scooped out the seeds, it still wasn't quite wide enough. So I used my knife to widen it up a bit, then followed with a spoon to clean it up.

Not going to lie, it about killed me not to have a purpose for the scooped-out pieces. If you're a SUPER creative person, maybe you can come up with some ideas. Maybe buy a little more zucchini & use the left over parts with it for zucchini bread?? I don't know.. but if you're a #FrugalFelicia too, let me know what you decide to try!

Then, I seasoned my veggies with some himalayan salt + pepper & placed in a dish.
(I sprayed my dish with a little coconut oil)

2. Create your FILLING

This is where you're going to have to eye-ball//go with your gut.

Because I'm totally spit-balling here as I estimate what I used.



First, I grabbed my cottage cheese. Let's say I used a cup & a half to two cups for the two of us. However, I had some extra filling I ended up scooping on top.

Next, I cracked one egg into the cottage cheese.

Then, I sprinkled a palm full of shredded mozzarella in.. I saved a a little for the tops too!

Finally, I seasoned the mixture with himalayan salt, pepper & dried parsley.

Stir this until it's completely mixed together.

3. Fill your boats!


Like I said, I ended up being PRETTY generous with how much I put in mine!! I definitely could have stretched it to share with a third zucchini.

4. Top with a marinara or sauce of your choice & sprinkle with a little more shredded mozzarella cheese


I personally used a DELICIOUS mushroom marina that I got one sale (BOGO at publix!). You could use anything though, depending on your tastes. Something plain, spicy, with meat, etc!

5. Bake at 350 degrees covered for 30 minutes.
Then, for uncovered for another 30 minutes OR until zucchini is fork tender & the top is golden brown!


Seriously, it's THAT easy!!
And gosh - it tastes great, is inexpensive to make, is healthy & can be tailored to your tastes!

You could totally prep several of these for extra meals during the week OR this would be an easy meal to prepare if you have several guests coming over!

I already have a few variations in mind to try with this "recipe" in the future:

1. I'd love to add some sautéed spinach and/or mushrooms to the cottage cheese mixture!
2. I'd love to try mixing in either a browned meat (turkey or grass-fed beef) OR some chopped veggies (like onion, grape tomatoes or mushrooms) into the marinara on top!

I have no doubt that this SAME concussion could easily fill yellow squash, large tomatoes, spaghetti squash, portobello mushrooms OR be a tasty topping with egg plant! You could even slice any of those veggies in a way that would allow you to make more of a traditional, layered veggie lasagna!

Be sure to let me know if you try any variations of this recipe that turn out extra tasty.

Bon Appetite!
{be sure to SHARE this recipe with your friends!}



Motherhood is straight Gangster


When I took this photo & wrote this post, I was four weeks into postpartum life with a newborn.. I hope it speaks to someone who is in this season! You're not alone, sweet momma!!

"Attempt #5 this week at my to-do list ðŸ–ðŸ»

Please continue to be patient and give me grace y'all as I learn to balance life with my business + social media ðŸ’•

Okay...now I'm going to be super honest for a minute.

You know I can't help but keep it real and I feel like I owe it to all my friends who are soon to be moms or those who have recently had babes not to hold back in parenting.

I'm pretty new in this mom world, so I'm NOT going to try to act like I have it all figured out or that I understand all of the pains of motherhood.
While this is the most >>incredible<< love that I could have ever ever imagined, this is by far the hardest season of my life.

So many pieces of being a mother are natural -- because I really believe God created us to do this. 
That's the whole reason I was so passionate about a healthy pregnancy, natural delivery & breastfeeding. I KNOW God made me for this.

But sooooo much of it is also learned through failure, frustration, endless googling & countless tears.

Before Raegan Grace was born..
I anticipated a challenge.
I anticipated some tears.
I anticipated having to eventually ask for help.
And I anticipated life adjusting for this sweet baby.


I honestly wasn't prepared though for exactly how hard, draining and lonely even this can be.

People unfortunately don't share all of the dark and dirty corners of raising a newborn.

Part of that is probably because everyone's story and journey is different, but I wonder if another part of it comes from a place of feeling *guilty* to admit their feelings. Especially when you have a "difficult" baby.

There have been so many moments I've had to put this sweet girl down and walk away with my face in my hands feeling so frustrated.. having to let her scream in her crib.

These moments are followed about 30 seconds to 5 minutes later with me walking back to her with open arms & in tears, feeling absolutely terrible for how I could get upset with this precious bundle.

Then it's back to endless kisses, stares & snuggles.

What a WHIRLWIND!

How could I be SO frustrated & so in love and HAPPY at all once!?

Am I a bad mom?
Is something wrong with me??


I'm going to go out on a limb here and say no.

I've told many friends this before, but taking your own advice is hard sometimes right!?

So are things going to change.
Eh, I'm guessing no.


I see this journey evolving into a different version of THESE feelings as RG grows & goes through different stages of life - and therefore, different hardships//learning curves.

That could be hopeless if we let it be. But heres what I'm holding onto..

I think.. no, I KNOW I'll learn how to lean on the Lord more. How to continually find joy. Learning I let things go. When to give myself grace. How to exercise patience. Keeping myself a priority for my family. And knowing when I need to fill back up each day.

Motherhood is straight gangster.
But I'd choose it over & over again.


Sweet girl.
How about we give each other grace.
And keep learning together.
You are more precious to me than gold.
I love you to the moon & back, RaeRae!!!"