Monday, April 30, 2012

Putting the Pain Into Perspective ~Guest Post

I've read about painless births in my pregnancy books, but that's a rare thing for women who birth naturally and something I don't think this mother is destined to experience!

Four of my six deliveries have been natural, and it's definitely the way I love to give birth. And why on earth would a woman love to do something that involves pain? It's a good question, and maybe I can help give you some perspective if you're hoping for a natural birth next time around.

First of all, it might come as a surprise but the pains of birth actually serve many purposes. Pain gives you a clue about far along you are in labor. I can easily push a broom or mop around during early labor but find it difficult to even talk when I'm having a contraction at the end of active labor. Your pain level is a pretty good indicator that it's “time to go” if you're having the baby somewhere besides home. It can tell you when you've gone from active labor to transition.

Here's a great story to illustrate this point. A friend of mine was having some extremely painful contractions but they were 30 minutes, and sometimes as much as an hour, apart. When she gave this information to the hospital they advised her to come when the contractions were more regular and closer together. She hung up the phone and waited again. A contraction came that brought her to her knees. Disregarding the hospital's advice she told her husband “Let's get in the car NOW.” Sure enough, the baby came very soon after their arrival. Pain, and not timing, was the key factor. And that's not an isolated case, because I have yet another friend who only had 3 very painful contractions in the course of one day before it was time to start pushing! Her midwife wisely judged the situation by how painful that very first contraction was, even though two hours had gone by before the next one came.

Labor pains can also alert you when something is wrong. With my third child I labored for quite some time on my hands and knees; due to my back pain it seemed like a good position to be in. But the pain was overwhelming and unusually “sharp” and I wasn't making any progress. This was a different kind of pain and I knew something wasn't right. It didn't take long for my midwife and me to figure out my little girl was not descending like she should. We decided to try something different. I proceeded to stand up right next to the bed. And thanks to good and reliable gravity, my baby descended within seconds. She was born just 10 minutes later. I often look back and wonder how I would have picked up on those “distress signals” had I been totally numb.

The sensations of natural childbirth also let you know how and when to push. I love that my midwife always asks for feedback from me, rather than relying on data from a TV screen. She'll ask “are you feeling pushy, Anne?” She knows it's one of feelings that, when it comes, can't be overlooked and won't be ignored. And pushing effectively is completely different when you don't have an epidural to mask the sensations. There's not just the pain to consider. There's the question of how and where you push. Although my second labor was a VBAC, I begged for an epidural 20 hours into labor because I couldn't take the pain anymore. My first had been a c-section and so transition was a totally new experience that I was not at all prepared for.

It was strange to be coached through pushing while everyone watched the peaks and valleys of my contractions on a monitor. I couldn't feel anything, so I just obediently did what I was told. I balled up my fists, shut my eyes and pushed like Sisyphus on steroids. I pushed until I was blue in the face, and eventually I pushed that little girl out. But since I had been pushing blind, I paid dearly for that the next day with broken blood vessels all over my face, a throbbing and swollen perineum and aching abdominal muscles.

In contrast, when I birth naturally I don't push any harder than I have to. I push much more effectively and I can take action on my midwife's cues like “push from your bottom, not your abdomen.” If you are completely numb, that directive is impossible to follow yet it very well could make the difference between minutes versus hours of pushing.

That's why it doesn't surprise me at all when I read statistics about how epidurals tend to make labor longer, and they greatly increase a mother's need for more interventions. 

There's yet another reason that natural childbirth can be such a blessing. Experiencing that pain draws a clear line of demarcation for the woman. There's something incredibly amazing about going from intense pain to intense peace as your hold your newborn. Just minutes ago you were in agony and feeling as if it would never end; now just minutes later you are quietly going about the business of being a mother – putting on that first diaper, giving the first taste of milk, putting tiny socks on those little feet. Without the pain, the climax isn't so earth-shattering. Any athlete can tell you that. A runner might sometimes collapse right after crossing the finish line, but when he hoists the trophy high it feels that much more special because of how his body suffered physically and mentally to reach that goal.

A warm stove feels better when you've just come in from the freezing cold. Water tastes better if you drink when you're parched and dry. A hot meal is heavenly when you're ravenously hungry. The peace and tranquility that follows labor and delivery is that much more satisfying when you've just coming out of that valley of pain.

And last of all, with this being the Easter season, I couldn't leave the most important thing unsaid regarding the pain of childbirth. When labor begins my thoughts often turn to the One who suffered so much for me on Calvary. I know that although my pain will be intense and perhaps even overwhelming, it will never compare to His. He sweated blood at that thought of what awaited Him and His human support system collapsed. They slept as He suffered. And here I am faced with pain, but with the promise of a beautiful newborn and with a team of helping hands to bear me up.

I am humbled by this thought. And that, more than anything, helps put the pain in perspective. 

Anne Sweden is a cloth diapering, home schooling, hobby farming and just all-around busy mother to 5 wonderful children here on Earth and 1 little girl who went to Heaven in 2007. She is the creator of the Zephyr Hill blog ( and works from home as a professional naming consultant through her business, Discovery Naming Service (

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Making Babies DVD Series review and giveaway

Great selection of bulk herbs, books, and remedies. Articles, Research Aids and much more.

The Bulk Herb Store is a fabulous place to go to purchase all your herbal needs! :-) It's also a fun site with lots of information on any questions you might have concerning herbs or nutrition! And I get to introduce you to Shoshanna Easling's new Making Babies DVD series! :-) 

Making Babies Description:
         Making Babies Book and DVD series follows Shoshanna through her pregnancy, birth, and 6 months postpartum as she stays healthy and strong and builds a baby! The DVD series is packed with over 7 hours of delicious recipes, herbal remedies, pregnancy tips, Shoshanna’s birth experience and interviews with professionals: Dr. Johan Dinkelmann DC, Dr. Nancy Armetta MD, Elaine Wakeland CNM, and Dr. Jay Gordon MD, FAAP. Making Babies Book covers information that is in the Making Babies DVDs volumes 1, 2, and 3, and includes many deliciously healthy recipes, wonderful gluten-free recipes, grandma’s remedies, herbal concoctions, need-to-know facts, and a baby diary to learn and journal about your baby experience. Packed with 480 beautiful pages of research about fertility, conception, morning sickness, pregnancy, birth, nursing, postpartum issues, losing weight, and more! The Making Babies Book and DVDs series is a must-have for new, expecting and experienced mothers alike!

From the Author:
          I got my inspiration for the Making Babies series from the pregnancy and birth of my first child. I loved every stage of my pregnancy and birth! I enjoyed learning and researching when I had morning sickness and when I got indigestion. Every time I was faced with another bridge, I would research, study, learn, apply, and rise to new heights of excitement. I knew everything I did, and did not do, would make a difference with me and my growing baby. It is not always easy finding good food to eat, knowing what exercises to do, and asking the right questions to the right people, but I researched it step by step and enjoyed a healthy pregnancy and birth.
          I grew up in an Amish community. Talk about making babies--whoa, they make a lot! No, I am not Amish, but I am a blood-bought child of God. Twenty-five years ago my parents were artists living in Memphis, Tennessee. They wanted to raise us five children in the country so we could learn the dying art of homemaking and the skills of country living. Hard work, herbal remedies, nutritional health, home births, and common sense were all part of the lifestyle in the Amish community. In November 2004, my husband James and I found out we were pregnant with our first child. I knew I wanted to have my baby in the soothing warmth of my own home, so I went to talk to a midwife. I had assisted in two births before I got married, and knew I wanted my children's births to be better. With good food, the right exercises, and relaxation, the birth of Jeremiah James was WONDERFUL! The midwife that attended had been to over 350 births and said it was the best she had ever attended. Since my firstborn, I never stopped researching the wonderful world of making babies.
          I have been asked many questions about healthy foods, recipes, exercises, and herbal remedies from family, friends, and customers at Bulk Herb Store. In November 2009, we got pregnant with our second child. I was so excited about my pregnancy journey. I was going to have another baby! I thought about all the horrible births I had heard about, and wanted to show women across the world how beautiful pregnancy and birth can be, so I started the Making Babies series.
         Making Babies is a fresh, organic look at the simplistic beauty of pregnancy and birth. From delectable recipes, superb remedies, must-have tips, birthing exercises, and resources, to relaxing techniques, this is a fun, energetic video and book series. Follow me through my pregnancy and the birth of Penelope Jane Easling.

-Shoshanna Easling
    Author Bio:
          Shoshanna Easling is a fun and energetic mother of two. She is the owner of Bulk Herb Store and creator of Making Herbs Simple Volumes 1 and 2, and the Making Babies Series. She is also the author of many articles published world-wide. Her energy is contagious as she inspires you to go beyond what you know, research and take charge of your own nutrition. She is a fountain of information that keeps you laughing and learning.

I've really been enjoying watching the Making Babies DVD series! The first DVD is about fertility, conception, and the first trimester. Shoshanna adds tons of delicious recipes and herbal remedies for increasing your fertility and starting out your pregnancy in as healthy a way as possible. At one point in this video she explains how you can increase your chances of having a boy or a girl. So if you are wanting a boy she explains a little about how you can increase your chances of achieving getting pregnant with a boy. And same for a girl. I found it very fascinating! :-)

The second DVD is all about the Second and Third Trimesters! In it she includes more fabulous recipes and herbal concoctions as well as some exercises to do to get yourself ready for labor and delivery! She also has remedies for preventing stretch marks and a way to help you get rid of cellulite fat! Now doesn't every mama need to know those things? ;-)

And the third DVD is about taking care of Mama and Baby afterwards! She includes in this one recipes for a sitz bath, baby oil, gluten free food, and so many more fabulous recipes that make me want to just get busy making all sorts of things!

Throughout her DVDs she gives you lots of helpful tips as well for staying in shape, staying energized, and staying healthy!

I've already made so many recipes from her videos that I love and there are so many more that I want to try! Some of my favorites include things like granola, a liver cleanse, salad dressing, easy turkey recipes, belly butter, healthy chocolate shake and SO many more! :-)

Shoshanna is so energetic and encouraging! She makes these videos so much fun! These educational DVDs are very entertaining as well as educational! :-)

Buy it: Would you like to purchase your own set of these fabulous DVDs? Visit The Bulk Herb Store!

Win it: The Bulk Herb Store has graciously offered to giveaway a Making Babies DVD set to one of Sew Sweet Baby's readers!!! :-) Enter through the rafflecopter form below for your chance to win! :D

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Honest Company Giveaway

I’m so excited to bring you a “Super Events” Giveaway! This giveaway is hosted by Full Price? Never! with contributing blogger CuzinLogic.
Just in time for EARTH DAY! This week we are happy to introduce you to The Honest Co.!

Meet The Honest Co: Launched in January 2012, The Honest Company offers an eco-friendly line of family essentials (diapers and wipes, bath and body care, and household cleaners) through a monthly subscription service at
Created by parents for parents, The Honest Company is committed to making safer products more convenient, beautiful, and affordable and to providing exceptional family support that promotes health, happiness and community. Learn more about the The Honest Co: Website, Facebook, Twitter


  Personal Review: Heather from Full Price? Never! had the pleasure of trying the first months collection of items, pictured below. Here are her thoughts ”I was immediately intrigued by The Honest Company as soon as a friend told me about them. As a parent I try to make as many healthy choices for my children as possible but I still take into account price and convenience and how well the products work. These reasons are what made The Honest Co so tempting to me. I love the idea of buying safe products, delivered right to my door automatically for a great price. When you receive your shipment from The Honest Co. it feels like you just experienced something fun... not that you just bought some household necessities. The package is adorable, {there I said it} and the shipping material is too! The products themselves are created so that you want to have them up on the counter in your kitchen or laundry room. You don't want them hiding in a closet... they are pretty and functional. I used all of the products below and found them all to be of high quality and they delivered the results promised... which is why you buy them in the first place! Two of my daughters have very sensitive skin, but we still need to have clean clothes so I was interested to see how effective on both sides {gentle and clean well} the laundry soap would be... and it was a winner! Although I didn't try the diapers, I really want to. I love that they are "plant based, ultra absorbant and fashionable" and maybe that they would ship me a whole month at a time right to my door automatically so I never run out {not that I'm saying that's ever happened}. I love the way Jessica Alba explains in this video how important it is that we know what is in the products we use on our kids and make responsible choices.”


Here’s the great part! The Honest Co. is providing this awesome prize for one lucky reader: A 3-month subscription of The Honest Company Family Essentials The first month's bundle will include the following five products: Honest Shampoo, Body Lotion, Hand Soap, Healing Balm and Laundry Detergent. But for the other two months, you can choose any five products you like from the entire 14-product body care and cleaning line including Auto Dish Detergent, Hand Sanitizer, Sunscreen, Bubble Bath and Surface Cleaner. All products are non-toxic and made in the USA using all-natural and organic ingredients. Retail value approximately $110

This giveaway starts at 12:01am April 16th and ends at 11:59pm April 22nd {est}! Must be aged 18 or older and live in the contiguous US to be eligible to win. Enter on the Rafflecopter Form Below!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Free Blogger Event Sign-ups

Mom to Bed by 8 is excited to present the Housewarming Dyson Event from June 1 to June 15. This is a free blogger event and accepting signups now.

Join the Housewarming Dyson Giveaway event today, grow your readership and offer one fantastic cleaning tool giveaway!

If you sign up let them know that Sew Sweet Baby sent you! ;-) 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Operation Smile

Have you ever heard of a cleft lip or a cleft palate? Have you ever seen pictures of the sad children or even adults with cleft lip? Have you heard the stories? If your anything like me it's probably something you haven't paid to much attention to or that your even familliar with. Did you know that some of these children are considered outcasts or cursed? Some of them are even malnourished. And more then likely they are all made fun of. Can you imagine going through life like that? I agree with the people of Operation Smile that 'every child deserves a smile'. How sad to go through life without a smile. Childhood should be full of laughter, fun, and smiles galore! 

So I've partnered with Campus Book Rentals to let you, my readers, know a way you can help these children get a smile! 

"We're ecstatic to announce our 2011 Making a Difference Program. We have officially teamed up with Operation Smile, an out of this world, awesome organization, that performs life changing cleft lip surgeries on children whose families could not otherwise afford it. The long term Improvement in quality of life for the children that receive these surgeries is almost incomprehensible. We have committed to donating enough to cover a minimum of 1,000 life changing surgeries. We hope To beat that number, but it's a significant commitment.

So for EVERY book rented starting now, we will donate a portion of those proceeds to Operation Smile with our sights set on meeting and exceeding our goal of 1,000 lives changed. So add that extra book to your cart, and consider this goal as you go back to school this year. Thank you for your support?"

So if you go to collage consider renting your books from Campus Book Rental this year or tell your friends who go to collage about Campus Book Rental and let them know how they can help give a child his smile! 

*This post is sponsored by Campus Book Rentals. However all opinions expressed in this post are my own.

Romancing while Expecting

Here are some fun romancing ideas... to hopefully encourage even myself. For as most of us mothers know when you get to the end of your pregnancy it's hard to think of romancing when mostly what's on our mind is having the baby. So here are just a few ideas for romancing while pregnant! ;-)

~Put the littles to bed (or find a grandparent who will watch them ;-) ) and have a nice dinner with just your husband! Include all the extras... Candles, sparkling cider (or some other nice drink), pretty flowers on the table, a fun desert, music... you know what I mean! ;-) Sometimes even just some sort of everyday meal can be romantic when you add all the romantic extras!

~Play a game! Playing a simple board or card game after the littles go to bed can encourage conversation and laughter among you as a couple!

~Go on a walk together! This can even be fun with the littles! You can hold hands, have fun conversations, and enjoy each others company all while getting good exercise for you, the baby, the littles, and your husband! ;-)

~Probably my favorite thing to do, if I can go on a date with my husband, is simply to go on a picnic! I LOVE picnics! Especially ones by water (the ocean, a river, or a lake)! They don't usually cost a thing (as long as you make the food in advance), and you can just sit on a blanket, eat, and hang out! Maybe even go on a walk or take a swim together! Super enjoyable!

~Go driving in the country! My husband and I love to do this and it's another one of my favorite things to do with my man! Again this is one that is fun with the littles as well! Riding along in the car and seeing all the beauty pass by can create lots of conversations and laughter! :-) Again you get to hold hands and you can stop at some romantic looking spot (a river or such) and again take a walk! ;-)

What are your favorite things to do with your man?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

$200 Paypal Cash giveaway!

You have literally HUNDREDS of chances to win $200 Paypal cash from and The Ultimate Baby Shower! is the newest and the hottest way to save because now, you can combine coupon savings with discounted gift cards for the same stores, plus sell all those unused gift cards and redeem whats yours, all in one place!!!   The Ultimate Baby Shower will offer MONTHLY diaper giveaways, as well as a seasonal NURSERY giveaway! That’s right- you can win the entire nursery, furniture, bedding, and all the baby gear you could need!

Would you like to win $200 Paypal cash?? Fill out the Rafflecopter form below to be entered!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Glow Bug Cloth Diaper Review and Giveaway

From Glow Bug Cloth Diapers Website:

"Glow Bugs are unique and different than other cloth diapers for many reasons:
  • Our diapers are sold in packages of 12 in stylish Girl’s prints, Boy’s prints and vibrant Spectrum colours
  • Each diaper includes 2 absorbent snap-in inserts
  • Made with NEW SlimDry™ fabric for the trimmest fit
  • Each set of 12 diapers are packaged in a free wet bag!!!
  • Our packages are affordable at only $150 for 12 diapers, 24 inserts and a free coordinating wet bag!
Our Design Features:
  • Two sets of cross-over snaps through the waist band for a perfect fit around newborn tummies
  • Double rows of snaps with square tabs for a trim fit through the hip
  • Four size settings fitting babies from birth through potty training (7lbs-35lbs)
  • Coordinating coloured snaps for every print
  • Waterproof flaps in the front and the back of each diaper to prevent leaks
  • Double gusset through the leg for an extra barrier of protection
  • NEW SlimDry™ fabric keeps baby’s skin dry without the bulk
  • Two openings in the pocket makes it easier to get the absorbent inset in and out
  • Snap-in inserts to keep it in place while baby’s on the move"

My Opinion: 
Glow Bug Cloth Diapers sent me the Cow Print diaper that is just as darling as it can be! :-) In fact they have tons of darling fabrics in their selections! As for their diapers I simply love the snap in insert on this diaper and the way that it is so easy to stuff! The snap in insert helps keep the insert in place making far less wet clothes on the active baby. I found with a few of my other diapers as the baby starts to crawl and walk the inserts got out of place causing lots more dirty laundry... very annoying. These diapers however hold everything in! Not just the wet, but because of the fabulous leg gussets the solids stayed in nicely as well. I even loved using this diaper as a nighttime diaper for my 18 month old! :-) The only problem I find with these diapers is you can't buy them separately. You have to purchase the whole 12 diapers. However if you have the money to purchase your whole stash at once then they are very affordable and in my opinion would be worth it! :-) 

Buy it: 
Visit Glow Bug Cloth Diapers to purchase your stash now! 

Win it:
If you would like your chance to win a Glow Bug Cloth Diaper in your choice of Girl, Boy, or Neutral enter through the easy rafflecopter form below:


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