Dedicated to Dawn, the newest midwife in Texas!Read More
Over the many years I taught childbirth classes in my home, I acquired a large amount of yoga mats. There are currently 8 sitting in my guest room closet. Although I've used a mat here or there, the majority of them have just been sitting. But not anymore! It's time to put the mats to good use!...Read More
Thank you to all of the sweet mamas who have sent cards and letters this year. I absolutely LOVE reading your highlights from the year and seeing the photos of your beautiful, growing families.
2016 was an exciting year with a lot of big things. In addition to starting a home birth practice and witnessing over 30 amazingly beautiful births, we moved out of our tiny home, renovated a pop-up camper, explored New England with its beautiful fall leaves, assisted a midwife in Dallas for 4 weeks, and worked (and vacationed!) in Belize. I am so thankful for the many lessons learned and memories shared with dear friends and family this year.
Here are my birth statistics from this past year:
- Total Births Attended: 34
- Primary Births: 25
- Furthest Distance Traveled for a Birth: Belize (1054 miles)
- Fastest Birth: 1 minute after arrival
- Intrapartum (During Labor) – 0
- Postpartum (After the Birth) – 1
- Boys: 13
- Girls: 21
- Most Popular Birth Day: Monday & Thursday
To My Clients,
It has been such an honor to be a part of your births this year. I carry with me special moments and memories from each and every birth. Thank you for allowing me the blessing of caring for you and your precious babies. I pray your families experience great health, abundant laughter, and God's richest blessings in 2017.
It's the first day of Autumn, my favorite season of the year. With cooler temperatures (yes, I consider this week's lows of 73 degrees cool), spending time outdoors is a bit more bearable. My husband purchased some step counters for us several months ago. We didn't want any more electronics buzzing Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs) and who knows what else through our bodies. Not to mention, I just couldn't wear a fitbit with all of the hand washing and work I do near large pools and tubs of water. We just wanted to count our steps. And that is what this little gadget does. It simply counts steps.
My goal was to track 10,000 steps daily. I started counting and tracking my steps with my pedometer. For a while I worked in a busy office. I saw clients and was on my feet all day (and sometimes all night!). I figured I was walking thousands of steps because my feet were tired and so was I! But as it turns out, on those days I only averaged about 1,600-2,000 steps. On other days filled with errands and activities, I averaged around 5,000-8,000 steps. In order to reach my 10,000 step goal, I actually had to get out and walk...as in exercise. And that is HARD when you live in hot, humid Houston! But now, as we enter into this beautiful season of fall, the temperatures are getting cooler, the mosquitos are no longer coming in plagues, and God's creation SHINES with beauty. I encourage you to get out with me and walk! Do not wait for the end of "holiday season" to commit to a New Year's resolution. Set a goal today, and go for it!
If you do walk, I'd love to hear from you! Where is your favorite place to walk? How many steps (or miles) is it? If you would like to walk WITH me, I would LOVE to have your company! I am facilitating group walks for moms on Wednesday mornings. Email me for location and meet times.
Happy Fall, Y'all!
Did you know that the placenta can be dried, encapsulated, and consumed by the mother after her pregnancy? The act of consuming the placenta is called placentophagy. A few benefits of placentophagy include:
- Reduced postpartum bleeding
- Replenished maternal iron stores
- Balanced hormones
- Quicker recovery
- Increased energy
- Less postpartum blues
- Increased milk production
- Increased rate of newborn growth (if breastfed)
Contact your local Placenta Encapsulation Specialist for more information!
The ring of my phone stirs me out of my slumber. Sleepily, I try to determine reality from a dream. I reach for my phone, and read the name on the caller ID. I clear my throat and sit up. “Hello?”, I say. The voice on the other end is excited and hurried. “She's ready for you,” he says. After our conversation and all my questions are answered, I ask to speak with the mother. I listen to her sounds as she works through a contraction. Stepping out of bed, I respond, “It's time,” and we end our call.
Taking in the conversation and still waking up, I wonder. What time is it? What time did I fall asleep? Did I get enough rest? Do I have time to make a cup of coffee? I trust that God will provide what I lack and I pull on my scrubs.
The house is quiet as I hurry to pack a lunch and get ready. I tiptoe in and out of rooms, kissing sleeping faces. I double and triple check that my phone is in my pocket before locking the door behind me. Outside, the stars wave their soft light. The moon illuminates the path to my car. It's late and no one accompanies me, but I am not alone.
The GPS is set and I begin my journey to the laboring mother, whose journey began long before the call. Excitement races through my blood. I feel creation rejoicing with me. I try to quiet my busy mind and pray. I pray for wisdom, eyes of a hawk, skilled hands, and the heart of a lion. I pray that God will enable me to be everything the mother needs me to be. I thank God for calling me to this work and for the privilege of serving families in this way.
As I pull up to the house, I see the soft glow of lights inside. I reach for my equipment and walk towards the door, excited for what is waiting on the other side. The door opens and I'm greeted by the expectant father. I inhale the sweet smell of simmering herbs and essential oils. We pass the living room where I see her purple birth ball, a heating pad, and the leftovers of a smoothie. He leads me to her room where she labors peacefully in the birth pool. The candles in the room dance, casting shadows on the ceiling. Her deep breathing and gentle moans are heard above the quiet music. The water ripples as she sways her hips side to side. She is strong, capable, relaxed, safe, surrendered to the process. I set my things down quietly and move close to her. I whisper softly to her as I reach to hold her hand, “I'm here.”
If you haven't read the Part 1 of the Birth Plan Series: What is a Birth Plan? You can find that here.
Tips for Writing a Birth Plan
1. Keep it short and sweet.
Your birth plan should not be more than one page. When it is longer than a page, people don't want to read it and it can appear as though you're very needy. Use headers and bullets to get your point across without repeating the same phrase over and over.
2. Use positive phrasing. Be clear and assertive.
Instead of saying, “I don't want this, I don't want that, and Don't do this.” Consider phrasing your request, “I am planning” or “I would like.” Or start by saying, “I wish to avoid ____ (insert your bulleted list here!)” or, “It is important to us to have ____”.
Avoid using words or phrases such as “minimal”, “necessary”, “as few as possible”. These words are subjective. What one person thinks is minimal or necessary may differ from the next. Instead, be specific and use phrases or exact numbers. An example would be, “After admission, I prefer to have vaginal examinations no less than every four hours or per my request.” And, “I wish to avoid all interventions that are not medically indicated.”
3. Read other birth plans.
Consider asking friends to read their birth plans or find some online. However, DO NOT simply copy and paste a birth plan that sounds good. Make sure you know exactly what you're asking for!
4. Discuss your birth plan with your care provider ahead of time.
Work to find compromises where necessary. Provide a space at the bottom for your provider to sign the copy and request for it to be kept in your chart. This will hopefully eliminate surprises and conflict on the day of birth so you can labor without added stress.
5. Bring extra copies AND gifts for the nurses and birth team.
Chances are pretty good that if you have a basket of snacks or goodies sitting out next to your birth plan, everyone who comes into your room will stop and take a look. If you're planning to birth in the hospital, individually wrapped snacks or candies are great for a nurse to slip into their pocket to enjoy later. Some ideas I've seen are gum, granola bars, Via (instant Starbucks), cookies, lip balm, and gift cards. Butter them up! Show them that you care and appreciate them as they work hard to care for you. This is a great way to start off on a positive note.
So you've done your research and determined your priorities and goals. What happens if your labor doesn't go as you had planned? Click here for Part 3 of the Birth Plan Series: What to Do When Labor and Birth Don't Go As “Planned”.