My first birth 20 years ago

This past weekend, we celebrated our oldest daughter’s 20th birthday. She’s serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day-Saints teaching the deaf community about Jesus Christ, so we weren’t able to physically be with her, but I loved the opportunity to reflect on her birth and becoming a mother.

Being a mother is a post for another day, but I’m forever grateful for that journey as well. Birth? Oh, how I’ve changed and grown on my journey with birth over the last 20 years.

In the beginning, I knew nothing and put all my trust in the medical professionals.

Then I didn’t trust the medical professionals.

Then I learned that knowledge is power.

Then I learned that even with all the knowledge, you have no guarantee of the outcome.

Then I discovered the transformational power of the process no matter the outcome.

I’m quite sure I’m still not done learning about birth.

These processes of learning touch every aspect of our lives….marriage, parenting, being a human on this Earth.

I’d love to hear something you thought differently about than you do now, 20 years later.

Happy birthday, little one! Thanks for making me a mommy and taking this journey with me.

Expectations vs. Intentions

There is a big difference between these two words.

Expectations are outside of us and outside of our control.

Intentions are about you and are in your control.

Expectations are how I think my kids should act. Intentions are how I am going to show up no matter how my kids act.

Expectations are what I think my birth should look like. Intentions are how I’m going to move forward no matter how my birth plays out.

There is a powerful difference between these two words.

Set an intention for yourself today. Try it out & see how an intention feels much more powerful than an expectation.

I’d love to hear your experience.

Different

Transform means to make a thorough or dramatic change in the form, appearance, or character of.

The process of birth does that. Every time. In every way.

I remember thinking it takes a good 6 months to a year to “get back to normal.” Not the case. You aren’t ‘getting back’ to anything.

This is a new you. A different you. A caterpillar to butterfly type of you.

Don’t see the butterfly part yet? I can.

If you’re ready to spread your wings and fly, I can help. DM me today & share your story. I’d love to hear it!

A Transforming Birth

I got to witness firsthand the power of this coaching I’m so blessed to get to do. I am a doula, but don’t take births very often. But when I do, I’m honored to witness the power & sacredness of the birth experience. Last week, I was able to support a mother & father with the birth of their beautiful daughter.

I coached the mama after her last birth that didn’t go as she’d hoped a couple years ago. Then I coached her again as she approached this birth. It was so fun to work with her work through her fears and concerns. She was ready for this birth.

Did her birth go just as she’d hoped? No, it didn’t. But as she and her husband navigated the twists and turns of the birth labyrinth, they stayed the course, and were able to make the decisions necessary to get their baby into their arms safely. As we sat and talked waiting for the cesarean section, we reflected on the day. This mama told me how she never knew she had that kind of strength. She had birthed powerfully. She had no regrets. She was empowered by her birth experience.

As I watched them wheel that beautiful and exhausted mama out to surgery, she smiled and raised her arm with fist tight as if she were going to finish the battle. And she did. An hour later, she was wheeled back in with a tiny, perfect bundle tucked up in her arms.

She and her husband spoke of how different and healing this birth was. Birth transforms us. It transformed them.

What transformation are you seeking? You are capable. I can help.

Life Lessons from a Labyrinth

What does the word “Labyrinth” mean to you? And I’m not talking about the freaky 80s movie with David Bowie!

A labyrinth is very different from a maze. A maze is meant to disorient and confuse as you move from the entrance to the exit. In a labyrinth, the entrance and exit are the same opening. The twists and turns guide you to the middle. There are no wrong turns, no dead ends, only one path that leads to the center point.

The experience of giving birth is like stepping into a labyrinth. You can read all the books, know all the terminology, but when you step across the threshold of labor, you step onto the path.

You will make it to the center (giving birth) as you stay on the path and keep moving forward. That’s all you have to do. The path will lead you there. You don’t need to think about the entirety of the labyrinth, but trust that the path will get you to the center.

Be intentional about staying present and just keep moving forward one step at a time. As you do, you will arrive at the center and birth your beautiful baby.

If you’re asking, but then I’m in the middle and how do I get back out? We’ll tackle that more in-depth another time. Your journey back out is what I call the 4th Trimester. The same rules apply to getting back out. Keep moving one step at a time knowing you’ll reach the opening out of the labyrinth.

We all experience labyrinths throughout our lives. Birth is just one. What’s a labyrinth you’re navigating currently?

Seeing Birth in a Whole New Way

I’ve birthed 6 babies.

I’ve supported many parents in birth as a doula.

I’ve studied birth.

I’ve coached on birth.

I have loved all things birth for many years.

But recently, I’ve come to see birth in a whole new way. And it’s changing everything.

Birth is transforming.

Every time.

In every way – physically, emotionally, spiritually.

Join me in this journey as I share this new view of birth as it continues to unfold. It’s going to be fun!

Please comment and share something you’ve learned through birth.

Something You Should Probably Know About Me

I am a woman of faith. I love my Heavenly Father and find great comfort in knowing He knows me individually and loves me. Please know that I’m not going to start preaching at you here! And also know that I respect your beliefs in whatever and in whomever they may be. I just felt the desire to share, so you know me a little better. 

My faith and trust in God has gotten me through some pretty tough things. For me, it’s the underlying peace even in the middle of the storm. Right now, there are a lot of ‘storms’ going on in our world. I’ve felt lots of feels during this time. Yet my trust in Him gives me hope that it’s all going to work out no matter what. 

What’s your ‘thought lifeline’ that gives you that underlying peace amidst the storm?

COVID-19 Birth: Awful or Amazing?

I recently read a post on a FB group I’m a part of. The lady posted an article from a mother who recently delivered with all the COVID-19 restrictions. She explained some of the different things that happened and how those ended up allowing her and her husband a most intimate & beautiful birthing experience. It was beautiful, and I was interested to see how it was accepted by the readers, so I clicked on the comments.

The majority of the comments showed gratitude for the offered perspective. In fact, one 38-week pregnant mom (let’s call her Kelly)  said she instantly felt relieved after reading that and felt more excited for her upcoming birth that she had since the whole COVID-19 stuff started.

There was one comment that caught my attention. It was long. She (let’s call her Melissa) was mad and was also due to have a baby in the next few weeks. She judged the mom in the article for everything she allowed to have happen. (wearing a mask during the birth, etc) She went on and on how awful it all was. Her anger was palpable. 

I get it. I wouldn’t want some of those restrictions either. That wasn’t the point. That mom didn’t necessarily want them either, but in the end, she saw the beauty in it all.

Let’s look ahead at these two commenters’ upcoming births. Anyone that’s ever given birth knows that birth is always unknown no matter how much planning we do. They are each so perfectly unique. But I could probably predict a little about how Kelly and Melissa’s experiences are going to go. If Kelly stays on the trajectory she’s on with seeing her COVID birth as uniquely intimate and beautiful, there’s a good chance she’ll find that in her birth regardless of how it plays out. 

As for Melissa, she will still have a uniquely, beautiful birth although she may not see it as beautiful. Chances are that she’ll see herself as a victim, robbed of the birth she was ‘supposed’ to have by COVID and the nurses and staff. For the record, I don’t judge her for that. It’s her story and that’s okay. 

But what do you want your story to be? How do you want your COVID birth, or anytime birth for that matter to be? Your thoughts have everything to do with how you show up for birth. Want help prepping your mind for birth? I’m here. I can help. Email me today to learn how.

Thoughts are Like Shoes

Thoughts are like shoes. You can try them on, see how they fit, see if they’re comfortable. Then you get to decide if you’re going to buy them & take them home or leave them in the store.

Recently, I found myself getting caught up with all the ‘shoes’ that I saw everyone wearing, even some I had purchased, (programs I bought into). I was really slipping into the lie that I had to take advantage of trying on & wearing all of these shoes. I mean, I’d paid for them. I figured once I got through all of the stuff in those programs, that I’d know enough, somehow be enough. Well, the truth is I have enough shoes to match all the outfits I have already. I am enough right now, without all of those programs.

Now this isn’t to say I don’t need or shouldn’t use some of those shoes, but what’s driving me? If I’m coming from lack, searching for something to make me enough, I’ll never find it. There will always be another pair of shoes out there that is even better. If I come from sufficiency, believing I’m enough already, then I’m just accessorizing. I lead from abundance. That’s a confident energy.

You’re already enough, right where you’re at right now. Ponder that. Feel that. Believe that. Settle into that. Then decide what you want to do in the shoes you’re already wearing.

Sometimes I Yell

Sometimes, I yell. I didn’t think I’d be that mom, but sometimes I am. I have lots of other parts of me that aren’t my favorite. You know when I realize those parts? When they drive me nuts in someone else. I see me and my shortcomings written all over them and their actions.

Yesterday, I was sitting in my office in front of my computer hoping for just a few more minutes before I was needed by a little human. I was thinking about me and all those areas that I want to improve. Let’s just say those kinds of thoughts lead to feeling overwhelmed. Then I had another thought.

If life is 50/50 (see this post for an explanation of that), then maybe I’m 50/50, too. Maybe 50% of me is awesome and 50% of me is a work in progress. What if I could accept that and show compassion for the work-in-progress part? Ahh…my shoulders relaxed just a little. 

And if I show compassion for that part, it opens me up to feel compassion for others & their lower 50. Open. Now I feel even more open. This will be something I can practice. Compassion for myself as I navigate this thing called life. You can, too! Bring on those little humans. I’m feeling more ready now.