Birthday Road Trip

We are in Redding, CA tonight. We have covered 750 miles since leaving Las Vegas Sunday morning. (Will now have Sheryl Crow singing Leaving Las Vegas in my head for the rest of the night.) Anyway, we hope to make it to Portland sometime tomorrow night.

Trip has been going well – the kids are doing awesome. No car trouble, which I’m grateful for. My mom has been doing most of the driving, upon her insistence. I have holed up in the passenger seat with my laptop trying to get the myriad of last-minute details finished up. I’ve stopped looking up much, since the view of taillights one inch from my front bummer is frankly terrifying. When I mention that we may want to give the BMW sports car in front of us a bit more space, my 62-year-old mother just deadpans “I’m a good driver”. I nod and shut up, until I’m thrown around in the front seat as the car swerves violently at 70mph. I look over and discover my mom is reaching into the backseat to throw away a bit of trash, because she “didn’t want to disturb me”. I’m disturbed! Then Rhia pipes up from the peanut gallery; “Mama, my neck hurts. Does yours?” “Yes it does, honey.”

Rhiannon, my oldest daughter, turned 5 today. It bothers me that we’re on the road for her birthday, but I really tried to make it as fun as possible. She was so jazzed to have it be her special day that I don’t think she minded at all. We went out for lunch at a decent restaurant, where they gave her a sundae and sang Happy Birthday. We found a nice park and took a long break so they could enjoy the beautiful day by a river. We stopped early tonight, and I found a salon where we both got our hair done – this is a treat for us, since I’m one of those moms who insists I can cut bangs with my kitchen scissors just as well as someone at a salon. My hair is usually in a ponytail anyway, so I just go an embarrassingly long time between trims. In any case, the mother/daughter salon session was quite the event. She looked adorable in the chair – really grown up, yet so small.

Rhiannon started me down the whole natural path. When I knew I wanted to get pregnant, a full 18 months before it actually happened, I started reading every book I could get my hands on about pregnancy and birth. By the time I was pregnant, I knew I could not give birth in a hospital. I also discovered I had married a fairly mainstream guy, so I had to have all the statistics, facts and figures down solid in order to present my case for an out-of-hospital birth experience. Since we were living in Oregon at the time, I found an awesome birth center and wonderful midwives. They gave a fabulous introduction to proper nutrition, and I was highly motivated to actually nourish and care for my body, for the first time. Rhiannon’s pregnancy and birth opened me up to a great deal of healing.

Rhiannon has been my inspiration to live my life to a higher standard, and become the person I want to be. I want to give her a role model she can respect, someone worthy of emulating. It’s a tall order, and not easy, and I’m not sure I’m even successful at it, but I am trying. She is worth the effort. Every day.

Happy Birthday, Rhiannon. You’re an amazing person, and I’m so glad I get to be your mother.

Love,
Mama

September 24, 2007 at 10:00 pm 1 comment

Birth Day

My beautiful daughter, whose birth was the impetus for everything I am doing now, turned 2 years old today, 9.21.07.

RayneyMy pregnancy with Rayne was fabulous, and completely natural. I had an amazing natural waterbirth at home, and I wanted to have a natural postpartum experience as well. But I was worried how I would cope with a new baby, and still be the mama my (then) 3-year-old daughter expected.

During my pregnancy I began the research into the benefits of placenta. It seemed like it could really help me, and once I discovered I could make it into capsules, I was excited to give it a try. It couldn’t hurt, and it just might help. So I encapsulated her placenta after the birth, and I felt fabulous. It was almost eerie, how good I felt. I had energy, I felt happy, I was patient with my older daughter, my physical recovery was much faster than with my first…. I kept waiting for the blues to hit, and it never happened. With my history of depression, I was amazed.

I wanted other women to have the same experience, so I started talking about the benefits of placenta, and encapsulating placentas for other women. After months of similarly amazing stories from them, I felt I needed to take the message beyond the Las Vegas area. I put PlacentaBenefits.info online in July 2006, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Thank you, Rayney, for being your wonderful little self, and for bringing such a magnitude of blessings into our lives. Happy Birthday.

Love,
Mama

September 21, 2007 at 11:24 pm 1 comment

Gentle Birth Congress Featuring PBi in Press Release

I have to share this. I got a call from the PR person for the Gentle Birth World Congress last night. They want to highlight unique exhibits that will be at the Baby Expo, and PBi certainly qualifies! Read the press release they are sending out 9.21.07. [Update: They decided to wait until Monday, 9.24.07 to release it to the wire, since it will get more coverage then.]

I am really looking forward to this conference. I’ve been working hard to get the website polished up for its grand debut. There are still a lot of things I hope to add, although I have the feeling the website will always be a perpetual work in progress. I have found some interesting new research articles that I’d like to get up there very soon. Additional awesome features such as the shopping cart, forum, and new articles will likely have to wait until after the conference.

I leave Sunday to head toward Portland. I’ve shipped most of my materials to my incredibly accommodating brother, since he still lives up there. My little Saturn Ion will still be packed to the max with myself, my two girls, my mom, the remaining materials, and all of our luggage. Stay tuned to hear how I manifest an extra 6 feet of space in my trunk!

Speaking of staying tuned, I plan to blog on the trip and during the conference. It shall be a grand adventure!

September 20, 2007 at 11:45 pm Leave a comment

September’s Kiva Mama

I really love the concept of micro-lending. It allows me to help a fellow entrepreneur support her business and her family at a level that matches my ability to give. My first loan was to Teresa Quispe in Bolivia in August. It was so easy, thanks to Kiva.org, that I intend to make it a monthly habit.

So, September’s loan is to Haidarova Hosiat in Gafurov, Khujand in Tajikistan. She is a widow and a mother of 5 children. Here she is at her booth, where she sells clothes and shoes. She asked for a loan to purchase a new selection of winter clothes for the changing season.

You can view more details about the loans I’ve made on my Kiva profile.

Do good, feel good!

September 12, 2007 at 8:33 pm Leave a comment

Nurse-Out at Applebee’s – Update

I was so pleased to see a good number of breastfeeding supporters willing to stand out in the Las Vegas heat on Saturday, 9.8.07, in support of the harassed mother in Kentucky.

Apparently there were around 200 supporters at the main rally in Kentucky, and 100 supporters in Phoenix, AZ. Thirty cities participated nationwide. Awesome!

Read more details and see pictures from our Las Vegas Nurse-Out.

Thanks for helping bring awareness to a mother’s right, under the law, to feed her baby in a family restaurant.

September 10, 2007 at 12:25 pm Leave a comment

Nurse-Out at Applebee’s

September 8
1-3 pm
Boulevard Mall Applebee’s
3340 S Maryland Pkwy
Las Vegas, NV 89169

Come show your support for a mother’s right to nurse her baby in a “family restaurant”.
View details, map and press release on PBi’s Activism page

September 7, 2007 at 6:40 pm Leave a comment

FDA Regulation

In April, Sunrise Hospital reported me to the Southern Nevada Health District the same day that they told Anne Swanson she could not have her baby’s placenta without a court order. SNHD, in turn, reported me to the FDA.

I had been on the phone with various departments within the FDA back in January, trying to find out what sort of regulation placenta encapsulation would fall under. I basically hit a brick wall, as I was passed from one department to another, then finally the person I was supposed to talk with next just never responded to my inquiries. I went down to the SNHD main office a short while later to speak with health officials there, and to get my Safe Food Handlers card required by anyone preparing food for others in Southern Nevada. I explained what I was doing, namely providing encapsulation services for women who did not want to prepare their own placenta. While they had their concerns, they were just not sure which department or agency would oversee my activities.

So I had already tried to get squared away with these agencies when Anne Swanson delivered her baby at Sunrise and started the firestorm of publicity and sudden interest in what exactly it was that I was doing with women’s placentas.

Since a state agency contacted the FDA, they were suddenly willing to speak with me about this. I spoke with a very nice woman who was apparently designated to be in charge of my case, and she said that since I am working with human tissue, that my activities would have to be regulated by the FDA. She was very interested in the research I had gathered, the history of encapsulation, and the fact that this is more common in countries other than the US. She asked to see my Standard Operating Procedures, which describe everything I do in explicit detail, as well as the scientific research. I was happy to comply with her request, and sent everything off to her in early July.

As of this writing, I have not heard back from them. Other than the quote in the USA Today article referencing my website, PlacentaBenefits.info: “Spokeswoman Kris Mejia says the FDA considers that some statements on the website are making medical claims and will be looking more carefully into the matter.” Interesting. I have tried to make the site as informational as possible, sharing the personal experiences of women who have taken the capsules. I am not sure how that constitutes medical claims, but then, I am not a lawyer nor a government entity. My only hope is that they will point out any issues they have and give me the chance to make changes before… doing whatever it is that they do.

Until I hear otherwise, I continue to provide my encapsulation services to interested women as a personal service in their home. It is something that has been done for women, by women, for generations. I am not the first, and I will most certainly not be the last.

August 29, 2007 at 10:14 pm Leave a comment

Thanks for a successful event!

The Whole Family Faire, sponsored by Vegas Natural Families and Placenta Benefits.info (among others!), was a brilliant success. My daughters loved the Green Magician, and I had a wonderful time discussing the magic of placenta. I love doing these events, because I get to have interesting conversations with incredible women. I met so many wonderful people there, both vendors and attendees. Our natural living community truly is a wonderful oasis amidst all the neon, sand and heat.

Thanks for all the wonderful connections, and I look forward to the next time…

August 20, 2007 at 9:27 am Leave a comment

PBi Sponsors Natural Family Living Event

Vegas Natural Families presents the Whole Family Faire

I am pleased to be a co-founder of Vegas Natural Families, and to have PBi as a sponsor for this debut event. I would love to see you there on Saturday!
— Jodi Selander

Event Location:
Inside Out Chiropractic
2300 N Rainbow Blvd #122
Las Vegas, NV 89108
View Map

Workshop Schedule:

11:15am – Prevent Postpartum Blues
Jodi Selander, PlacentaBenefits.info
Nature provides an amazing resource for your babymoon. Learn about the theories and research that support modern-day placenta ingestion.

11:45am – Prevent and Heal Earaches
Dr. Charlotte Morgan, ND
Discover natural ways of treating your children’s earaches. Using Chinese herbs and holistic healing methods , Dr. Morgan will help guide your family to wellness.

12:15 pm – Healthy Eating: Easy as 1, 2, 3!
Christie Wilson RN, BSN, CHHC
Take charge of your family’s eating habits! Learn 3 easy techniques to help parents and children eat healthier without shocking the taste buds.

12:45pm – Chiropractic Care for Kids
Dr. Shadia Koury, DC

Learn how gentle techniques can make a positive impact on your children. Discover how chiropractic care sets the stage for a lifetime of good health.

1:15pm – Yoga for All Ages
Heather Bruton, Yogi
Yoga for all ages. Learn how to relax, look within and breathe! Try a meditation technique today to feel refreshed.

Sponsored By:

Inside Out Chiropractic
Barefoot Books
Placenta Benefits.info
Naturopathy Specialists, lc.
Glow Diva candles
& Featuring Performances by The Green Magician

Full Details available online at VegasNaturalFamilies.com



Placenta Benefits Ltd.
3053 W. Craig Road
Suite E, #195
North Las Vegas, NV 89032
702.947.0879
www.PlacentaBenefits.info

August 17, 2007 at 5:55 pm Leave a comment

Kiva.org

Teresa Quispe - BoliviaI wanted to let you all know about a cool non-profit that is doing great things: Kiva.org

Kiva.org is a non-profit that allows you to make a small 0% loan to low income entrepreneurs in the developing world (microfinance). Individuals like you can help provide affordable working capital for the poor — money to buy a sewing machine, livestock, etc. — and empower them to earn their way out of poverty.

My first loan is to Teresa Quispe in Bolivia. She needs the money for wool so she can continue to make her sweaters and support her children and grandchildren.

Thanks for reading, and feel free to spread the word!

August 14, 2007 at 11:10 am 2 comments

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