How I turned my positive Group B Strep diagnosis into a negative

Wednesday, May 31

 I had no idea what Group B Strep was until I was about 37 weeks pregnant and being tested for it. As I'm a very healthy eater and healthy person in general, I didn't think much of it, and assumed I would be negative. Wrong! My next appointment, as the nurse brought me into the room, she casually mentioned I tested positive. WHAT?!?! I hadn't even sat down yet when she broke the news, and I wanted to burst into tears (and immediately go on google and figure out what the heck Group B Strep was, ha!).

According to the American Pregnancy Association "Group B streptococcus (GBS) is a type of bacterial infection that can be found in a pregnant woman’s vagina or rectum. Women who test positive for GBS are said to be colonized. A mother can pass GBS to her baby during delivery."

The doctor told me it was no big deal and that I would need to be put on antibiotics during labor, and those antibiotics would also enter the baby's blood stream. Now, as someone who doesn't have the greatest track record with antibiotics (I had to take them for years for a different health issue, and they pretty much stripped me of all my good gut flora, which led to other complications), I wasn't too excited about me or the baby being on them.

So...I stared researching to see if there was a way I could rid myself of GBS naturally. Turns out there are lots of great resources on the internet of women who have followed a protocol, and have reversed the positive diagnosis. I thought "it's worth a try, right?".

Long story short, after 2 weeks of following the protocol to a T, I was retested. And when I got the results back, I was negative! Hooray! I was so excited:) Both my doctor and nurse were pretty surprised, and my doctor allowed me to labor with no antibiotics!

What did I have to do for this protocol? Well, I actually followed the protocol that I found on the Wellness Mama blog. You can read her post regarding GBS here.  (Thanks Katie!) Essentially, here is what she recommends:

- 2,000 mg of Vitamin C in divided doses each day
- Consume 2 cloves of raw garlic each day by finely mincing them and drinking them down with water
- Consume at least 2 Tablespoons of coconut oil daily for its antibacterial/antiviral properties
- Use a diluted apple cider vinegar rinse vaginally each day
- Take 6+ probiotic capsules a day
- Consume large amounts of fermented foods and drinks (I bought fermented pickles and fermented cabbage at my local natural food store!)
- You ready for this one? It was definitely the most weird, but anecdotal evidence supports that this is very effective.  Insert a garlic clove vaginally at night. (The Wellness Mama said she just did it once, but I did it every single night of those 2 weeks!)

I also ate SUPER healthy, and didn't eat ANY sugar. Sugar can just help bacteria grow, so I eliminated that bad boy from my diet. 

I can't say it was wasn't. I dreamed of ice cream and my favorite tea latte with tons of steamed honey...just ask Kevin. About 5 times a day I reminded him of the foods I wanted to eat after Avonlea was born, haha! 

But...I can say it was totally worth it! Not only did eating super healthy and following this protocol kill the GBS, but it also gave Avonlea some really good nutrients while in the womb! (I kinda wonder if she'll love or hate garlic, we'll see...haha!). 

I don't share this to stir up controversy. If you are GBS positive and feel comfortable taking the antibiotics, then go for it. This post is to encourage those of you who don't feel comfortable with it to know that there are ways to get rid of it and avoid the antibiotics! I'm not a doctor, so this isn't medical advice, just encouragement of something that really helped me! 

I hope this is helpful. Have any of you tried this?? 

In other news, Avonlea has been the biggest blessing in my life. I just love this girl. She's 8 weeks now, which blows my mind! I live for those sweet smiles:) Hopefully i'll share more pictures soon!! Have a great week! xoxo 

Avonlea's Nursery Tour

Tuesday, May 16

Avonlea's nursery was an absolute joy to put together. As I began to dream about how to fill the empty space, the words that came to mind for her room were simple, sweet, airy and joyful. I envisioned this space being a place where God was glorified through the every day tasks of caring and loving and changing diapers:) 

Being on a total eucalyptus kick this past year, I knew for certain I wanted a huge eucalyptus wreath over her crib. That's what I started with. And then little by little things fell in place. I felt drawn to raw wood, eucalyptus, baskets, and a touch of pink:) 

As the eucalyptus green color was incorporated into the room, I really wanted a vintage green chalkboard. I scoured the internet and just couldn't find one that worked. So I decided to make my own. I got hardboard at Home Depot and painted it (clary sage is the color). I found some scrap wood and Kev and I nailed it together to make a frame. It was easier than I imagined. I really wanted a quote that magnified the Lord, and found this one…a line from the Common Book of prayer, or what we know as the  Gloria in excelsis Deo. I got chills the first time I read it, how awesome our Lord is! I want Avonlea to grow up knowing how loved she is by God, and how she can worship him in awe and wonder.  

Avonlea's middle name is Grace. As I was praying over what encouraging words I wanted hung in her room, the Lord gave me this verse in John 1:6… "for from his fullness we have all received grace upon grace". My talented friend Melody kindly penned this verse and it encourages me each time I glance at it.

Avonlea's name comes from Anne of Green Gables, and of course the following book Anne of Avonlea. In Anne of Avonlea, Anne befriends a woman who is very difficult to love (as she's had a very hard childhood which has made her bitter). Anne looks past her mean exterior and invites her home to Green Gables where she is welcomed with open arms by Marilla and Rachel. I'm always touched by this scene, and pray that our sweet Avonlea would invite people into an environment of gentleness and grace. 

I adore Rifle paper company, and wanted to incorporate some of their prints into Avonlea's nursery. My  lovely mother sewed this adorable quilt for Avonlea using 4 different Rifle fabrics. As a child my own Nonnie made me a blanket and I had it until after college when it was so loved it shred into tatters and had to be thrown away. I know Avonlea will cherish this blanket from her Nonnie:) I also used the Rifle letters above to spell out JOY. Doesn't it just evoke a smile? 

My mother is a very talented sewer, so besides stitching the beautiful quilt, she also made these doily buntings for the windows. I think it adds the perfect whimsical touch:) 

One of my favorite parts of the room is the shiplap wall! Being cheap, its not real shiplap but instead its plywood from Home Depot that we had stripped. Our dear friends came over one day in January and helped put it up. I loved how it turned out!!

If you're curious where I acquired certain items in the nursery, I've tried to make a list below! 

- Crib: Ikea Snigler Crib (this one is non-toxic and got GREAT reviews!) 
- Glider Chair: This is actually the Jenny Lund chair from Ikea (we found it on craiglist for super cheap, 
                       and then just bought a new cover for it). We followed this tutorial to make it into a glider. 
                       We took off the feet, bought a glider on amazon, and then Kevin attached the glider to 
                       the chair and Voila! It was perfect. 
- Rug: Braided Wool Rug from Rugs USA. I love this online store. This is the second rug i've bought 
           from them and i've been really impressed. They have amazing coupons (so get on their mailing 
           list). I got this during one of their crazy sales, and it was a fraction of what it costs normally!   
         Wool is evidently supposed to be a healthier option as it's a natural fiber, as opposed to synthetic. 
- Large Eucalyptus Wreath: Made by my cousin who is an incredible florist! 
- Small Eucalyptus Wreath: A gift from my sisters from a local boutique here in town 
- Blanket Ladder: I made this using a very easy diy tutorial (found here). If I could make it, so can you! 
- Dresser: Ikea Hemnes Dresser. I made it look a little more unique by adding hanging brass knobs to it. 
               I found them on amazon for super cheap here. 
- Bunting: We found lace doilies at yard sales and my mom sewed them into a bunting. 
- Chalkboard: I made it with hardboard and painted it Clary Sage, then framed it in raw wood. Lauren  
                   lettered the quote onto the board. You can see her lovely shop here. 
- "Fullness of Grace" Print and "Avonlea Grace" Print: Both done by my beautiful friend Melody. 
- Side table, lamp, stool, and bookcase: Yards Sales and Craiglist!! Gotta love good deals, right? 
- Non-toxic organic Crib Mattress: Naturepedics  It was really important for me to have a non-toxic crib 
                                                    mattress, as my baby's face will be on this for long stretches of time  
                                                    over the next few years. I splurged and think it's worth it! 
- Non-toxic organic crib sheets: Magnolia Oh MY GOODNESS these crib sheets are amazing. So soft 
                                               and a great fit on the mattress, plus organic and GOTS certified!! 
- Non-toxic changing pad: Oeuf 
- Organic changing pad cover: Burts Bees 
- Frames: Aaron Brother's (They always have a 50% off coupon online, so make sure you print that!) 
- Book Shelves: These are actually spice racks from Ikea haha! 
- Lace Curtains: IKEA 

Did I forget anything? Hope this was helpful!! Thanks for letting me share with you:) 

A father and a daughter

Monday, May 1

A loving father is a gift. I look back on my childhood and have the warmest memories with my dad. His faith and how he walked that out, with patience and grace and good humor and tenderness, stole my heart in a special way. I know God's love in a deeper way because of my dad.

So of course when I watch Kevin with Avonlea it feels my heart so deep with gratitude that our girl will walk through life with a man who will love her and guide her and teach her in the best ways possible this side of heaven. Right now as I write this, Avonlea is laying on Kevin's chest as they both lay sound asleep on the couch. It makes me smile. There is a tenderness and a sweet security about this scene.

These moments I snapped were totally candid, as Kevin previously gave her a bath and then was soothing her from that traumatic experience, haha. She hates being cold (just like her mama), so Kevin was working on warming her up after the bath. I helped with the bath, and then had to jump to grab my camera as the warm fuzzes were all over the place with this dad and daughter! I wanted to capture the moments:)

I hope you all have a beautiful week. I put a little sneak peak of Avonlea's room at the end, and hope to share pics of that either later this week or next. I'm really excited to show you, as it was a labor of love! Hope your week is off to a great start. My sweet Emmy Lou is driving into town to visit me today (and snuggle Avie), and I can't wait for her visit. Happy day friends!
 *The yellow peplum top is from here, and the tribal embroidered jacket is from here*