Project 365 | RRLT and a Proverb - A Little Bit of my Birth Story

I started drinking red raspberry leaf tea in the 38th or 39th week of my pregnancy with my son, Henry, in July of 2016. It was hot, I was miserably pregnant, and I started researching ways to jump-start my own labor. I didn't see much about this tea, but I saw many other options, such as castor oil, and quickly ended my search after reading the symptoms of drinking that. I did eventually read that labor would start once my body is ready and relaxed. While a glass of wine, massage, and a warm bath were great relaxation suggestions, I will always appreciate the advice of going to see a chiropractor the most. At Community Chiropractic in Avon, Indiana, Vicki and Traci made adjustments for me in the last weeks of my pregnancy that I probably, very honestly, had needed my entire life. Well, because they're totally awesome, Traci gave me a little "Pregnant Client Kit", I'll call it, which came with a list of things I could do to try to get labor going, along with a few red raspberry leaf tea bags. I was excited to get home and try it! After 2 labor inducing massages, weekly and sometimes twice a week adjustments, and going on week 40 of my pregnancy, I just knew I'd go into labor any day now. Possibly that night! To my surprise, I stayed pregnant another 2 weeks. That didn't stop me from drinking my red raspberry leaf tea, though! I drank nearly 2-4 cups per day. After doing a little more research, I did gather that there's not much you can do to start up labor if baby just simply isn't ready - but finding the benefits of drinking this tea also astonished me!!! Many women who drank RRLT in the last trimester of their pregnancy claimed to have shorter, pain-free labors. Apparently, there is an ingredient in red raspberry leaves that essentially strengthens the uterus. Okay, cool. Pain-free? I'll take that!

Well, I can attest to the fast labor part. At 42 weeks, 2 days pregnant, my water finally broke. I already knew I was a good 5cm dilated from my last midwife visit when she stripped my membranes. I made myself some tea, and contractions started up within about 20 minutes. They progressed, and about an hour later, I had made it to 7cm and active labor. Now, here's the bit of a let-down - I was not pain free. I was actually in a lot of pain. I had the intentions of listening to my Hyponobabies tracks and that went out the window. The pain boiled in my ears until I felt the urge to push, 2 hours later. I had imagined pushing slowly, like some mothers do; breathing baby out. Instead, he came flying out!

I honestly never tried to make the connection between my fast labor and RRLT until today when I made me a pitcher to drink, just for old time's sake. I always loved reading the little quotes on the tea bag tags. Out of the eight tags I read of the bags I steeped, this one stuck out to me:

"Plant kindness and gather love." - Proverb

I have missed a few days, but this is the image for January 6, 2017 for my Project 365 portfolio. Not only does this project help me learn and grow as a photographer, I also would like to believe it will help me grow as a person, as I strive to find meaning in my daily images.