After much thought, I think I’ve decided that in addition to sharing my postpartum journey with you, I’d like to use this outlet as a way to share my postpartum journey with essential oils.
I have already shared how I got here; the stories about my relationship, getting pregnant, my anxiety, depression and postpartum psychosis. But what I didn’t share is an amazing tool I’ve been using to support me in all of this craziness, Young Living Essential Oils. Oh, the oily goodness.
My favorite inspirational word has always been BELIEVE. I’m pretty sure I inherited a love for it from my mama, as she has always had the word plastered in every area of our home. My dear friend who passed away also loved it, which only validated my appreciation for it, of course. But belief is tricky for me, as I don’t have a religious affiliation. I believe in a lot of things, though. I believe in my son, I believe in my family, I believe in the universe and it’s many forces and most importantly, I believe in myself.
Just over a year ago, my sister, Megan, hosted an essential oil party. I went to support her, of course. I got there late, listened, but didn’t hear. I wasn’t particularly inspired by any of the stories or information I heard and after I left I didn’t give them a second thought. My mom felt the same way, but instead of just poo-pooing them, she decided to order a Premium Starter Kit.
Now, you should know that my mom suffers from two autoimmune diseases. She has been highly medicated for years and still has lived with a very poor quality of life as a result of her illnesses. She was NOT convinced that these oils could do anything for her that her current medications weren’t, but invested in it simply to support her daughter.
Fast-forward and it wasn’t long before my mom was basically dripping in essential oils. Not only was she a believer, she lived and breathed the damn things. When I slipped and fell and got pregnant, I ended up moving out of my house to live with my mom for the obvious support that only mommies can offer. I was plagued with stress/pregnancy-induced sickness, which entailed daily vomiting, nausea, headaches, exhaustion, etc. You name the pregnancy symptom, and I had it until about my 30th week. The remedy she consistently offered me was, yep, you guessed it, oils! The very smell of them made me want to vomit even more, I didn’t want them to make my hair or skin appear oilier than they already looked, and I didn’t believe that they worked. My mom would rub the oils on me against my will and although I didn’t want to, I had to admit that they did help me. I was a semi-believer then.
Fast-forward again to this moment right now; I am currently dripping in essential oils. I hate to admit when my mom is right, but when it comes to Young Living Essential Oils, she couldn’t have been more right. After experiencing an all-natural homebirth, a postpartum physical recovery, postpartum psychosis and a teething baby all while using oils, I can confidently say that I am a firm believer. And I don’t use that word lightly.
The amazingness of the oils crept up on me, beginning with my labor. Throughout the duration of my 36 hour journey, my mom was applying and diffusing many different oils from Valor on my temples, to Ortho Sport Massage Oil on my lower back to support relief of the back labor I was experiencing. Although I don’t have any “un-oiled” births to compare to, I believe that my labor was definitely more manageable because of the oils. I know for certain that the use of emotional oils at my mentally weakest moments were what gave me a second wind to power through and have the successful home birth I had so desired.
Next, was the physical postpartum recovery. As anyone can imagine, after you have a baby your “lady parts” aren’t feeling exactly peachy-keen. I had heard of a Young Living product called Claraderm, that was supposed to work wonders in the nether regions. I used the spray on my hoo-ha multiple times throughout the day to support healing (rather than the hospital grade sprays), and I healed quicker and more flawlessly than anything I had expected pre-delivery. Not only did it heal everything up nicely, it also relieved the discomfort immediately upon application, WITHOUT BURNING, which as you can imagine was a godsend.
A few months later, here I am with a 4.5-month-old teething baby boy. I had told myself since before Ollie was born, that I would not apply/give him any unnecessary chemicals or medicine. I am trying, basically, to avoid putting anything unnatural in his body until it’s critical to do so. Anyone who has experienced teething, knows that it can create a living hell for not only the poor baby feeling it, but everyone in their wake. So any time he fusses (very clearly) about his teeth, I rub a few drops of Copaiba directly on his gums and holy shit, he stops fussing. After using Copaiba on a few canker sores, I know that it creates a numbing sensation which I’m sure provides incredible relief to the poor babes. This is just one example of the many ways I oil up my little noodle-head each day. I feel so accomplished about making it almost five months without using a single drop of Tylenol or antibiotics on Oliver, and I continue to keep my vow by using essential oils in his daily wellness regimen.
Now, the way these oils have truly and genuinely changed my life…
As most of you know I have struggled with postpartum psychosis since Oliver was born. It has been a long and strenuous journey to find a correct and treatable diagnosis, but I am happy to be on the road to recovery. With that said, I will just say blatantly that essential oils have quite literally kept me from losing my mind, many times.
I have struggled deeply with anxiety and depression and have used oils such as Peace and Calming, Valor, and Stress Away for support, in addition to many others. But most recently, I started having horrible psychotic episodes. Yes, some of these times, I have truly lost my mind and my grasp of reality. But through many of these episodes, when I am teetering on the edge of reality and delusion; I have franticly applied Tranquil blend repeatedly and it seemed to pull me back to reality just before I was about to lose my grasp completely. To help you understand these episodes, it is like I am sitting in the middle of a tornado. It feels like my brain is in complete chaos, like there is debris flying around me, and all I have to hold on to is a small piece of shrapnel. I can feel myself flying away, into a full delusional state, until the Tranquil calms me down, gives me a moment to breath and regroup. It may be temporary, but if I’m diligent enough about reapplying, it stands by my side until the episode passes. I am so grateful for those breaks. I feel as though Tranquil saved me, without it I worry that something truly horrible may have happened.
To say that I believe in Young Living Essential Oils, would be a huge understatement. I believe in these oils, I love these oils, and I need these oils.
From here on out, I’m going to do my best to share my story of motherhood and all it has to offer, with a side of oils. I’m going to show through my story, how incredible and fundamental they should be in everyone’s daily lives. I know how much they have changed my life thus far, and I would be selfish not to share their goodness. Stay tuned.
– (Oily) Honest Mama