Saturday, February 4, 2012

Patchouli & Whale Sounds

     One of my docs always teases me, "Gonna get the baby out with some ocean music and patchouli?"  All my staff knows I love using aromatherapy, pressure points, music & good ol' fashioned touch to chill out my freaking labor moms.  Yesterday, a day I had myself surrounded my desk with essential oils, Beatles and soft lighting when I got the phone call I had been fearing.  Etienne and Zeke's principal had left me a voice mail while I was seeing a patient.  I called back and listened as Etienne's teacher, in tears, told me that the staff feels that E needs to move out of his present class room.  She also said, yes, he had been saying inappropriate things about his mom (but they sided with me).
     I arrived home and E wouldn't acknowledge me and I couldn't talk to him either.  I was sad and fearful.  Ryan and I mumbled through a conversation about school (it's hard to tell a kid anything when you know they aren't hearing you anyway).Then my other half announced he was taking the other kids to get ingredients for sundaes, looked at me and said, "You can do it. Fake it."  Then they left us.  
     So we forced ourselves to bake brownies and I let him lick the spoon.  We filled the sink with big, calming lavender bubbles and played as we washed dishes.  I decided to use calming & soothing scents like lavender (sorry, Wob, no patchouli) and filled the kid bathroom with everything midwife.  Etienne soaked in the tub and I gave him a foot massage.  We listened to Exodus and rocked.  Hummed music and prayed.  He appeared to despise it but I found myself calmer and my heart softened to this boy again.  It took him 3 hours to fall asleep and he wasn't having labor pains.  
     It was worth a try.  Trial and error.  The tools of my trade served me well and now I know that Etienne could care less, but I do think he liked the foot massage.
Historically, the scent of lavender has been considered valuable for it's calming effects.  Modern studies support this herb too.  Etienne does not.


  1. I was telling my husband (and 8 year old son) about your previous post the other day. We are hoping to bring our almost 3 year old boy home from Rwanda soon so I appreciate how you share your struggles with Etienne. Apparently my son was listening well to our discussion because during his bedtime prayers he began praying for you and for Etienne. He prayed that Etienne wouldn't say untrue things about his mom and that his mom would trust God to take care of everything. Please take care. Thank you so much for sharing your struggles and triumphs. We are praying for you!