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March 2009

Music to My Ears

Ashley Through the Years   

It breaks my heart when I hear my daughter, Ashley, cry. I was so blessed that she slept through the night as a baby. She had a cheerful disposition and rarely cried. But there is one time that she cried... the first time... that was the happiest sound I have ever heard...

At 9 weeks before Ashley's due date, I spent quite some time in a labor room on magnesium sulfate as they tried to stop the contractions. It was the second time I was hospitalized due to early contractions, and I got to know most all of the staff by name. They were super, even making and signing a really sweet Nicest Patient Ever poster that they hung in my labor room.

My contractions were not subsiding, and they finally had to take me off the magnesium sulfate. Dialated already to 4, they explained that it was likely that Ash would be born that day. Two special care nurses came into my labor room, stood on each side of my bed, taking my hands in theirs, told me what to expect and then caringly told me that there was a 10% chance that my baby may not survive. I had been to the special care unit of the maternity ward previously and could clearly visualize the premature infants hooked up to the respirators and other special care equipment. After the nurses left my bedside and I had a moment of privacy to shed a few tears and emotionally prepare myself, I prayed asking that my baby be given more time to develop... Within the hour, my contractions didn't just slow down, they stopped. Completely. I would later learn that the doctors were completely mystified that the contractions completely stopped. I remained in the hospital for a few more days as I developed pneumonia from having been immobilized for so long. After they quickly got that under control, they started to give me steroid injections to help strengthen Ashley and sent me home with strict instructions, a portable turbuteline IV pump and with a regular visiting nurse and monitoring equipment.

Ash continued to keep trying to make her debut into the world early. A couple weeks later on what would become her birthday, there was no way to stop the contractions. With a crowded delivery room filled with medical care personnel, Ashley greeted the world. It was Good Friday that year...totally appropriate. Things happened so quickly... I delivered Ashley naturally, but I had been on complete bedrest prior to her birth and couldn't attend birthing classes. I didn't know the ideal way to "breath" and didn't know how to "push." Once my doctor saw Ash's head, she told me to push as hard as I could. I did. Surprising my doctor who had to catch her fast, Ash made her complete debut in a matter of seconds... I was suddenly out of pain. I wondered if that meant my baby was born. But it was quiet in the room. My doctor was doing something, but I couldn't tell what. Those seconds of wonder felt like years. Then suddenly, for the first time, I heard my little girl cry. Loud! :) That was music to my ears as it instantly indicated that she could breath on her own. My little preemie was strong, healthy and weighed in at a whopping 5lb. 12 oz. Adorable, fuzzy and a little jaundiced, the jaundice was the only thing of concern.

That was 18 years ago today, March 29, 1991. Ashley was born on Good Friday that year, brought home already two days later on Easter and baptized 6 weeks later on her original due date, which happened to be Mother's Day that year.

I am immensely blessed to have a healthy, beautiful, funny, intelligent and creative daughter who is now an amazing young woman soon to head off to college out of state.

It seems like a lifetime ago that I held my tiny little girl in my arms and had the wonder, excitement and fear of learning how to best take care of her... but at the same time, it feels like just a moment ago. As Ashley graduates from high school in May, I have a newfound excitement and fear for her as she sets off to take on the world and the new challenges that are in store for her.

I have been especially grateful to have essential oils at my disposal during times of transition, stress, insomnia or grief. If you in the midst of your own transitions or major life events, visit the Emotional Well-Being section of AromaWeb's Recipe Box area for a selection of blends and recipes that can help support you.

Aromatherapy During Pregnancy

Back when I was pregnant with Ashley, I had not yet discovered aromatherapy. Pregnant women must be especially cautious when using essential oils, especially for those that have high risk of going into early labor. Some essential oils are known abortifacents, which means that they can stimuate contractions and promote early labor. Gentle oils like lavender and neroli, however, can help keep an anxious, expectant mother relaxed. For more information, see AromaWeb's Aromatherapy During Pregnancy article.

Aromatherapy Room Mists - Simple and Inexpensive to Make

A Selection of Room Mists That I Created for Personal Use
A selection of room mists that I created for personal use.  
With just 2-3 ingredients and a spray bottle, it couldn't be easier to create your own room mist style of air freshener. You can make them at a fraction of the cost of the synthetic and potentially harmful mass-market air fresheners.

Candle diffusers and nebulizers are ideal for creating a long-lasting aroma, but it can take a few minutes to prepare your diffuser and add essential oils each time you use it. And unless you use tealights that are made with 100% vegetable based waxes like soy or beeswax, you will be emitting toxins into the air as you use your candle diffuser. See the below two AromaTalk posts for more information:

Making Natural Organic Beeswax Tealight Candles is Easy
Can I Use My Diffuser Constantly?

Room mists take only a matter of minutes to make. Once made, a few quick sprays is all it takes to enjoy the aroma and therapeutic benefits of the essential oils that you included in your room mist.

Room mists can be kept in each room of your home. They are also a convenient way to include aromatherapy within your travels. When staying in hotels, I pack a cold/flu/germ fighter room mist that I immediately spray within the room and on all bed linens/fabrics. Add a little lemon to it, and it also helps to freshen the room and rid the room of any stale odors.

While I prefer to meditate and pray while using a candle diffuser, I keep a selection of single-note essential oil room mists that I use when I am limited on time or simply want to take a moment to re-focus or ground myself. I will be adding a section about aromatherapy and spirituality to AromaWeb sometime during 2009. I will be elaborating on this topic within that series of articles.

Room Mist Recipe

You can find this easy recipe by checking out AromaWeb's Room Mist Air Freshener Recipe. Afterwards, be sure to visit AromaWeb's Recipe Box for even more aromatherapy recipes.

Find Retailers of Quality Essential Oils and Spray Bottles

AromaTalk is the blog of AromaWeb... Be sure to visit the sites of AromaWeb's banner advertisers and the businesses that advertise within AromaWeb's Global Business Plaza and Local Business Plaza areas. AromaWeb's advertisers support AromaWeb's mission to be an invaluable online informational resource that provides in-depth aromatherapy information. Although AromaWeb, LLC cannot make any endorsement for these companies and there is no implied guarantee of the quality of the products they sell, AromaWeb will never knowingly accept advertising from any company that is suspected of being unethical.

For tips on what to look for when shopping for essential oils, check out AromaWeb's How to Buy Essential Oils article.

AromaWeb Design Enhancements

Recipe BoxI will most likely be posting to AromaWeb less frequently during the next month. I am pleased to have completed the redesign enhancements of the major entry pages on AromaWeb over the past month: The Artice Archive, Recipe Box, Essential Oil Profiles, Carrier Oil Profiles, Book Shelf, AromaGrams, Aromatherapy Polls, Aromatherapy Links, and the Global Business Plaza.

With over 300 individual pages on AromaWeb, updating the layout throughout the site is a time consuming process, but it is one that I am looking forward to completing over the course of the next couple months!