Gardening for a Cure

Linda’s mother was 86 years old when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. The doctors wanted to perform experimental radiation therapy, rather than go in and biopsy and try to take out anything. Because of her age, they were afraid she wouldn’t make it through the experimental surgery. Linda and her sisters told their mother she didn’t have to go through with it.

“Are you kidding?” her mother responded. “Even if it doesn’t do anything for me, I will do this for you, I will do this for your daughters and their daughters.”

After her mother died, Linda wanted to do something to honor her, something concrete. “I wanted to do something to help her, something concrete. Then she had an epiphany that truly changed her life.

Rather than become paralyzed, Linda was able to keep the memory of her mother alive and share her process of healing with others. Visit Personal Sanctuaries blog to find out more about taking a garden tour.

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Garden All Over the World
Love gardens? This all-inclusive tour will take you from Ecuador’s tropical flora to China, where the blossoms grow.

Preserving the Beauty
The Garden Conservancy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving America’s most beautiful historical gardens.

A Breast Cancer Lifeline
Understand symptoms, treatments, research and how to lower your risk. It could just save your life.

Think Pink!
The National Breast Cancer Awareness Month website lends a helping hand to women coping with chemotherapy-induced side effects and shows you how to get involved.

Why Me Wisdom
Blogger Whymommy describes the pleasures and perils of raising two young boys while battling inflammatory breast cancer.

Check Yourself!
The circle, the line, or the wedge? Health Central’s handy instructional video teaches you three ways to give your girls a thorough self-exam.

Save the Ta-tas
Make funding a cure fun and fashionable with sassy t-shirts, skirts and sweat suits designed by Julia Fiske. Save the Ta-tas has used its two greatest assets to donate almost $100,000 to the fight against cancer.

The reality of a natural childbirth

Linda and her husband were beyond excited when they found out they were pregnant. As they got farther along, Linda became deeply aware of what her body was doing and decided in her second trimester that she wanted a natural childbirth.

“Pregnancy was a really wonderful and interesting experience,” she said. “I got very involved with prenatal yoga, and I learned so much about pregnancy and about infancy and motherhood from my yoga experience.”

To prepare for labor, Linda used a yoga technique called Sat Nam. In Sat Nam, you close your eyes and focus on what’s called your third eye point, which is the point between and above your two eyes. With “Sat,” you breathe in, and with “Nam” you breathe out. It’s intended to take your focus off of everything else and in turn help you to not think about the pain.

“By doing the Sat Nam breathing, I realized, ‘Wow, I can do this,’” Linda said. “I took that attitude with me into the delivery room to get through my contractions, and it worked.”

Although friends and family were shocked at their decision to go natural, Linda and her husband were looking forward to it. Their original ob/gyn wasn’t supportive of their decision, so far along in her pregnancy, Linda sought out a new doctor. She looked for one that relied on midwives first and had a hospital at the ready should anything go terribly wrong. Even late in her pregnancy she was able to find the right doctor to accept her as a patient, and that made settling into a natural birth much easier.

Linda’s water broke at four in the morning, and after that, she said things got incredibly intense. She went from being two centimeters dilated to her son, Zachary, being born in two hours.

Linda said the doctors and nurses were astounded at how quickly the delivery was, and Linda was amazed at how alert her newborn baby boy, Zachary, was. When they laid him on her belly, he squirmed his tiny little body right up to her breast, following his instincts that weren’t dulled from medication.

“Being able to have a natural child birth was the most amazing, beautiful, wonderful experience I could have ever imagined,” Linda said. “While it certainly wasn’t easy, it was worth it. I was so aware of what was going on with him and in my body, and he came out healthy and alert. We were able to start bonding immediately. It was incredible.”

If you’re thinking of going the natural route, BabyCenter has answers to all your questions, including the most popular, “How bad will it hurt?” Also, take a look at these helpful resources:

MORE TIPS & TOOLS

Talk It Over
Visit the forums at NaturalChildbirth.org to discuss birth plans, find midwives or doulas, and even learn a few of the yoga moves Linda used in her delivery.

The Bump Project
A hilarious blog about baby bumps, bump fashion and the celebrities who race to lose their baby weight at ungodly speeds.

Making Plans
Baby on the way and no where to turn? Not if you’ve got a Planned Parenthood in your community. Find information, support and prenatal care (even if you’re uninsured) no matter what your decision.

Just a Little Pregnant
Julie talks about infertility, in vitro and proud parenthood in this amusing, inspiring online journal.