We almost moved to Utah!

February 18, 2013 in Uncategorized

It has been a busy and exciting few weeks.  With T2 starting competition season with his Musical Theater group we have been traveling for that and that makes everything more exciting.  I am so glad we went skiing over Christmas or we would be on our way home from our ski trip now.  I needed a break.

We had a opportunity that would have brought us to Utah, but it didn’t pan out.  Which in many ways I am grateful for.  It would have meant splitting up the family for a few months as we wouldn’t have taken the boys out of school midyear.  So in the end it is good it didn’t work out.

 

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Essential Oils for Pregnant Moms

January 27, 2013 in Uncategorized

I LOVE essential oils and want to share it with all moms, but dont’ have the time to do it well.  So I was so excited to find this site, Mom Essentials. I have bought and listened to and learned from her teleseminars and am better able to support my doula clients through their pregnancies and births as well as breastfeeding.


Mom Essentials Teleseminars


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Media Free December

December 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

I did this last year and really loved it. I do 4 posts written and scheduled in December, but other than that I will hopefully be enjoying my family for the holiday season.

Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!! See you in 2013. :)

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33% off The Gift of Giving Life – Perfect Holiday Gift

November 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

I am so excited to say that the book I co-authored The Gift of Giving Life is doing great.  We have sold close to 1000 copies in only 8 months.

We really want to get the word out to the world that birth can be a spiritual experience.  So for the holidays we have created a coupon code for 33% off 3 copies or more, so that women can share it with their friends and loved ones.

  • One woman bought 6 copies – 1 for each of her daughters and daughter-in-laws.
  • One woman bought 5 copies – for friends and her mom
  • One woman bought 10 copies to have on hand as baby shower gifts.

Click here to get your coupon code!

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Grateful for Miscarriage Stories in The Gift of Giving Life

November 22, 2012 in Uncategorized

The following are excerpts from my journal Saturday-Sunday – warning loss mentioned.
Here are the previous posts to catch up:

Saturday – Finding comfort in our book

still bleeding pretty steadily. Cramping has gone down. Spent the morning taking T2 to his tryouts and then to our charter school to help clean. I just talked to other moms, no work for me today. Then home to rest.

I am feeling better emotionally too today. I am still unsure of what to do later, but trying not to fixate on that (I tend to do that) but instead just be in the present moment.

  • I am here
  • I am feeling ____
  • I am healing.

Remembering to breathe while feeling these strong feelings. Letting them move through me instead of getting stuck.

I also finally got out The Gift of Giving Life and started reading some loss stories and essays. I am finding them so comforting. I probably read them before, but they didn’t touch my heart like they do now.

I am so glad that we included these stories in our book, it is a part of many women’s life.

I never thought I would have a miscarriage, that those stories would be for ME. But now they are and I am glad they are there. I imagine one day I will be grateful to have had this experience, it will help me as I work with women.

(I found this lovely necklace when searching images for grateful. I LOVE it and want it as a momento from my sweet tiny hope of a baby I lost. The page where I found it on wasn’t where I can buy it. If anyone knows where I can get this, let me know! For some reason it touches my heart. The teardrop shape of the grateful plate, is like the tears I cried and also like the womb I carried my baby in. The tiny heart is like my tiny baby.)

 

Sunday – Why don’t we talk about this?

– went to church. I am telling people I had a miscarriage and it is amazing how many others have had one too. It is strange we don’t talk about this.

It is like a hidden thing, until someone tells you, then you share.

I wish we talked more about it.

Nikki said,

“I knew you were going to try to have a baby. How could you not with your book?!”

She has been reading it and it makes her want another baby. She is one of my birthing heroes. I will have to tell you some of her stories one day.

Are we going to try again?

Rob and I decided not to make any decisions for a few weeks. To let my body and hormones recover. So we will use birth control for a few weeks as we move on and process what happened. We will decide later what to do.

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2 Wonderful Blessingways

November 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

I had read about blessingways in my book The Gift of Giving Life.  I had never been to one, but thought it was such a beautiful idea.

A celebration of the mom as she journeys towards birthing her new baby.

I  had the opportunity to help co-host 2 different blessingways in August for 2 dear friends.  I was in charge of the activities.

I wanted to keep it simple so we did 2 things.

Bead Necklace/Readings


I had each guest bring a meaningful bead to give to the mom along with a writing of some sort to share.  Such as a poem, quote or personal feelings.

After visiting for a bit, once everyone was there, we sat in a circle and each guest presented the mom with her bead, explained why she picked it and then shared her reading.

It was so beautiful to hear the things each person had to share with the Moms.  By the end there were many tears shed.  The feeling of love for the mom was palpable.

Tied together with love

We were all feeling so connected, so it was the perfect time to tie us together.  I took bracelet string and looped it around each persons wrist and then said something along the lines of

We are all connected to Wendy/Angela with love as she makes this journey to mothering this new baby.  We will remember this by keeping this string tied to us until her baby is born.  Then I cut the string between each person and they tied it on.

Most of us had 2 colors, one for Angela and one for Wendy.

Making the Necklace

Then we made the necklace for her.  My mom gave me this cool tool where you can lay out the necklace in the order you want, so I had the mom organize her necklace and then we helped her string it together.

Angela and Wendy at Angela’s Blessingway, you can see she is wearing her necklace.

Other Fun Ideas to Think About Doing

I loved that the things I did were so simple and none were too “out there”.  One of the moms was worried about that because she wasn’t sure how her relatives would react if it was too different.   I think you could even incorporate those activities into a normal baby shower.

  • Henna Painting
  • Washing feet with essential oils
  • Make a Belly Mask

 It was Awesome!

I am so glad to have been a part of both of these blessingways.  To me they were so much more meaningful than a traditional baby shower (which are fun too.)  It was really a chance to share our encouragement to Angela and Wendy as they prepared for birth and welcoming a new baby into their families.  It wasn’t about physical gifts and games (like a more traditional shower) but about spiritual and emotional gifts.

I was at Wendy and Angela’s birth and while they didn’t wear their necklaces, they were close by as they birthed.

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Choice #3: Let your birth start on its own. – Enjoy Birth {day 29}

October 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

It is imperative that you know your care provider’s beliefs about their approach to inductions.  Talk to your care provider EARLY (your very NEXT appointment, even if you are only in your 1st or 2nd trimester) about this.  Their approach may require serious changes to your entire birth plan.

Why is this so important?  On the blog My OB said WHAT?, you can see this lovely comment:

“It’s SO weird that you’re in labor! I haven’t had a mom go into spontaneous labor in over a year!” -OB

What do you think the odds would be of YOU starting your birthing time on your own if you had this OB?

The odds would be pretty low and most likely you wouldn’t know until he was pressuring you to come in for an induction.  It is a challenge to change care providers that late in the game (though it is possible.)

So on your next visit; ask your care provider today these questions:

  • What percentage of moms do you induce?
  • When during a mom’s pregnancy do you like to induce?  (On average first time moms don’t start their birthing time on their own until 41 weeks 1 day!  So if the care provider doesn’t like moms going past 40 weeks and you are a first time mom, this is something to be aware of.)
  • For what reasons do you induce moms?
  • What drugs do you use to soften a cervix?  (If they say cytotec, misoprostol or miso ask if there are other options available, such as cervidil or a foley bulb.  Cytotec is NOT approved for use on pregnant women by the FDA and has been found to cause death in moms and babies.  Yet, it is used daily in hospitals all over the country.  Why?  It cost 10 cents a pill.)

Some people are beginning to ask “Why do OBs like inductions so much?” Why are they ignoring evidence based information and choosing to induce moms even when it isn’t medically indicated?  Indeed, this decision of whether or not to induce can have HUGE repercussions for your birth, and this is why I think you should ask questions about your care provider’s induction routine NOW.

However be aware some care providers do a bait and switch—they’ll say they will do one thing and then suddenly do another.  This happened with Angela, where she was told by one OB she would be able to go to 42 weeks before needing an induction and then was being pressured into an induction at 40 weeks, even though she and the baby were OK.  Click the link to read about Angela changing her care provider at 40 weeks, when he tried to pressure her into an unnecessary induction.

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Stress Solutions for Pregnant Moms – Book Review

September 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

I was sent a copy of Stress Solutions for Pregnant Moms to review.

I was excited to see what this book contained and how helpful it would really be.

It is chock full of information and tools for moms to reduce stress.  It is geared towards pregnant moms, but would certainly benefit any moms!

She starts off by explaining how stress is negative not only for the pregnant mom, but also for the baby.  She gives checklists to help moms determine how much stress they have in their life.  (You get a score and see where you fit)  This was pretty interesting to take.

Then she shares many different ways to lower stress. I love that she gives point amounts. Then you can see how your stress level can literally be lowered by these different activities.  I love that she says it isn’t one size fits all.  So you can pick the ones that work for you!

I was a little sad she didn’t mention hypnosis for pregnancy specifically.  But she does talk about music, belly breathing, affirmations, meditation, power naps to name just a few.  Those that I just mentioned are benefits I feel Hypnobabies
incorporates.   So not only are moms able to lower their stress level, they are preparing for a more comfortable birth too!  :)

I learned some new techniques to lower stress and that was great.  I am going to pass this book onto one of my friends who is having trouble getting pregnant.  Stress can make that more challenging too.  So I am hoping this may help in her quest!

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Doula Shares Her Birth Story!

August 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

Guest Post by M… a doula!

I had my baby on 6/15/11 (38 weeks)
at 6:39 p.m.  At Corona Regional Medical Center.  He was 7 lbs, 5 oz and 19 inches long.  I had such a wonderful experience I wanted to share it all with you.  As many of you that are my Facebook friends know I had preterm labor at 33 weeks I was 3 cm, 50 percent effaced at that time.  Nothing really happened during week 36 once I was off bed rest but during week 37 I had on and off contractions for four days.  The contractions were mild like that of menstrual cramping.  They would start in the evening and then stop when I went to bed at night. This little cramping got me to Four cm. and still 50 percent effaced. I was thinking how lucky I was to have gotten that far with almost no pain.  On the morning of 6/15 at 1:50 a.m. my water broke while I was sleeping.  We got to the hospital at 2:30 a.m. From 2:30 a.m. to approx. 8:30 a.m. my Husband and I just slept as I had a pain level of zero.  So I was literally shocked when the OB came in and checked me and I was a loose 5 and 100 percent effaced.  He left and we continued to sleep.  I still had a zero pain level and the Dr. didn’t come back until around 2:00 p.m. or so and I was 7 cm. 100 percent eff. but the head was still at a -2.  At this point we had about 5 or so hours left before hitting the 18hr, broken bag worried about infection issue so I knew I’d better get this show on the road as I did not want Pit!  I badly wanted this one to be all natural and at this point I had no interventions and I wanted to keep it that way.  So for a few hours we started walking, utilizing the birth ball, nipple stim etc. etc. (all the tricks in the book) and nothing was working.  I started to panic a little and w/teary eyes looked at my Husband and said I may be backed in a corner. This may end up w/Pit and I started to cry as I told him that is the one thing I didn’t want! Next to a c section of course.  He was so there for me and said “what would you tell your clients?” I said I would tell them “it’s not over and we stil have a few hours left. Let’s do all we can and not give up.” He said “then let’s do it!!”  He said there was no pressure and he was beside me no matter what.  He told me to not give in and use every last minute we had. That gave me such a boost to know he was behind me like that there are no words!!  We both prayed and next thing we now the Nurse came in and said she had to change out the little box that gave the Pit dosage as it didn’t seem to be working.  She took it and never came back with a new one.  We were glad and never said anything.  We took that as a sign and kept walking etc.  When the OB came in around 5:00 p.m. he said I was 8 cm and said it seemed like there was a bag in the back and that only the fore bag had broken. With only about 2 hrs left I said “just break it.”  I’d rather try that than Pit. so he did and almost immediatly my contractions started to finally hurt.  My pain level was about an 8.  This was a hard hit after going all day with no pain at all and to just get hit with these hard contractions but I was handling it.  They got harder and harder and were a 10 within 15 minutes and continued at that rate until about 6:00 at that time I felt a little pressure. My OB wanted to check but I said “I’ve been checked enough and I will know when to push” he said that was fine.  I was standing up facing the bed and using the squat bar in a stand up kinda of squat/position.  This position is where my insticts got me and it helped so much because at this point I had that “I can’t go on any longer”  thing going on :)  My Husband, the OB and the Nurse were wonderful telling me I was almost there and I could do it.  Then for some reason I wanted to be checked but refused to get in the bed so I asked him to check me with one foot on the bed in a lunge.  The OB said he had never checked anyone like that before and I said it was ok just do it (haha) and he did.  I was at 9 cm and about 2 minutes later I felt the baby actually rotate and drop and all of a sudden I was yelling that “I have to poop” (you all know what I’m talking about.)  :)  They were running around quick trying to get in ready not expecting it that fast I guess and said politely to quickly get in bed.  I said “no, I’m going to start pushing standing up” My OB said “ok” (he knew I was a Doula and he had promised give me anything I wanted unless my life was in danger as we talked at every one of my  prenatals about what I wanted.  He’s been my OB for 12 years so I guess that helped too) So I started pushing standing up and as the head was starting to crown I actually instinctually  climbed into the bed.  They asked me to put my feet in the stir ups and I shouted “No, my feet need to be right here!!” (which was on the bed.) I used my arms to push up on the arms rails and my feet pressed down on the bed and besides the burn this felt so good.  Two pushes and his head was out.  My OB tried to get me to slow down as he had promised so I could try not to tear but at this point I just wanted the pain to go away so I didn’t listen and said “I don’t care if I tear any more” and two more pushes and the shoulders/baby came out.  I only needed two tiny surtures as I hardly tore at all.  He let my Placenta come out all on it’s own. No tugging or pulling or Pit like he had promised.  He let the cord pulsate for 2 minutes or so like he had promised (he said it’s the first time he’d ever done that too)Then he collected what was left for cord blood banking.  They even got me the only one bed Postpartum Suite there was in the Hospital.  I had forgot to mention that my OB even ok’d a light meal tray once I had been there about 12 hrs! My Husband was my hero doing everything with me and reminding me how strong I am.  He told me how proud of me he was during and after. The next morning the OB came and told me how great I had done but more importantly I was so proud of myself. I did it!!  I still cannot believe what an awesome experience I had and am so Thankful for my beautiful birth there are no words to describe.  Thank You for listening. I wanted to get it all down before I forgot any details.  Hugs to you all.

Melissa Keil, CD, (DONA)
www.littlepapoosebirthdoula.com

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Heart and Hands Essential Midwife Book

July 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

I had the privleged of being asked to review Heart and Hands. I did get a free copy to read.

My Aunt got me a copy of Heart and Hands when I was a teenager and wanted to be a midwife.  I remember pouring over the pages and just being fascinated by what I learned.

I was excited to get a copy of the 5th edition of Heart and Hands to review.  I will say it was much different reading it now.  I am not a midwife, but have been a doula and childbirth educator for 5 years.  So I am immersed in the birthing world, more as an observer/support person than as a care provider.  So to read the amazing details and responsibilities a midwife has, it is awe inspiring.

Having the responsibility of knowing all the things that could possibly go wrong and how to help in that situation,  makes me glad I am not a midwife.  It makes me really appreciate and honor the women who are.

The book covers pretty much everything about preganancy and birth.  It is neat to see how it has been update since my version.  For instance they talk about Group B Strep in the newest edition and  I learned some really great information about Group B Strep  that I will pass along to my doula clients.

I love what she shares about VBAC moms and talks about how some VBAC moms may need hypnosis or other therapy to help overcome their fears from their cesarean birth.  (Depending on the reasons and if it was traumatic, etc)

This is a must have book for any midwife and I think all doulas and childbirth educators will benefit from reading this book as well.  I enjoyed re-reading it 25 years after the first time.  I will say that I prefer my cover of the book though.  Other than that, great book for a birth lover!

 

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