Almost Done!

 

ImageIt is around 1pm Friday afternoon.  I am declaring here and now that I will have my SBD packet 100% complete and emailed to the Powers that be by Sunday evening the latest!  I really want to get this done and have that wonderful feeling of accomplishment!  And… I want to update my website and business cards so I can get them out to my local hospitals, medical practices, and counseling centers.  So I am asking all of you to send all of your positive thoughts and motivation my way to help keep me on track! 

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Amazing Workshop Opportunity

I am squealing with excitement over here!  I am so unbelievably honored to announce that I will be hosting a Bereavement Workshop for Birth Professionals.  Here is a description of the workshop coming in October!

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Birthworkers are entrusted to companion clients during the most intense, wonderful and joyous experience of their lives! But when a pregnancy does not go as expected and ends in miscarriage or stillbirth or a difficult or fatal diagnoses is received, how can we enter into that space in a way that is respectful, empowering, and supportive? What essential knowledge and heart-centered wisdom do we need when assisting a client through a pregnancy loss? In this workshop, filled with practical information and hands-on activities, Angie guides your community birthworkers through the ‘Ten Essential Wisdoms for Pregnancy Loss”. (ICEA accreditation pending).

If you are an aspiring doula, birth doula, postpartum doula, monitrice, midwife or nurse, this workshop is right for you.

Cost is $100 to the first 15 registrants and $150 after. Payments can be made via Eventbrite at:
http://www.eventbrite.com/event/4656596004#

Further information can be found at http://hearthsidematernityservices.com/2013-webinars/

Woot Woot!

Amidst all of the birthday party preparations I managed to squeeze in a prenatal consultation with a Labor Doula client!  I am super excited for this birth since she is a friend of mine and those are my favorite clients!  Oh…and the fact that she will be delivering at a Birthing Center with a Midwife is a huge added plus!  Her EDD is a few weeks after all of our craziness going on here settles down so it is great timing!  I’ll keep everyone posted!

A plea for Birthstories!

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So as you all know I am a Doula and i am obsessed with all things pregnancy and birth related!  I love reading birth stories and would love to read yours and share it with others!  If you haven’t written your birth story or stories yet I highly suggest that you do.  It is a great process for yourself and can be a wonderful gift to your children in the future.  If you would like to share your story with others please email me your story at LaborofLoveCT@gmail.com.

What’s Going On

I love to read other bloggers Currently posts so I thought I would do something similar.  For as organized and high-strung as I can be, I am extremely impulsive, so live in a constant state of being all over the place!  I constantly have too many things on my plate that need to get done and get done well.  I am the Queen of making lists and then having to make a list about my lists!  So I guess this is more of a blog showing my current priority list!

Get It Done Now:

I just finished the second of two books that I am reviewing for the wonderful Kathy Morelli and I have to get my reviews written up and posted.  The books were great and super informative but with my other readings I have to do I feel bad that I am taking so long to get this done.  Start my Community Project and Reflection Guide for my SBD training.  I am in love with everything I am learning and doing so far in this training,  I would like to obtain my certification sooner than later so I NEED to start my Community Project and Reflection Guide!  Get more homeschool organized, Corinne and McKenzie are loving doing “fun things” every day.  I would like to have a few weeks worth of activities and worksheets planned, printed, with their supply list, ready to go!

What I Want To Do:

Get more quotes and artwork on the walls in the girls’ playroom.  I have the frames, and know what I want, it’s JUST a matter of doing it.  Start working out more.  Ok let me be honest, I want to workout!  I am not one to focus on a number or stress over a size.  But I want to be healthy for myself and my family so I need to live a healthy lifestyle.  I would really like to know how others living in New England avoid the winter rut?  It’s hard when you are stuck inside day after day with the kids, I just have little motivation to be active.  It’s freaking cold outside!

What’s Going On:

Corinne is in the homestretch of Dance and Gymnastics classes.  Her dance recital is mid June and gymnastics ends around the same time.  Yes, we will be that crazy family that has like 30 people at her recital.  Hey, it’s her 1st and it’s also less than a week after her birthday so we are combining celebrations.  McKenzie is finding her voice and speaking it loud and clear in this house!  No more laid back and mellow Kenzie Bear!  She’s here and a force to be reckoned with!  My SBD training is amazing!  I am learning so much and it has sparked so much drive and enthusiasm that I need to reign myself in.  I am currently in the 7th of 8 weeks of online training and then there are two projects I need to complete.  I recently started a collection of tap and ballet shoes for Girls Inc which is a non-profit organization that is doing amazing things with young girls.  If you would like to donate some shoes or a Payless gift card please let me know!

What’s Happened:

Last week I had the amazing opportunity to speak on a panel of Birth Gurus!  I honestly was so low on the Todom Pole that I found myself listening to them speak in awe and forgetting that I was a speaker as well! I had some Labor of Love t-shirts made and am rocking them like crazy!  Ha ha!  Let me know if you want one!

What’s Caught My Eye:

Celebrity Apprentice, All Stars has us hooked already!  Omarosa drives me nuts but she makes for good rating so I’m sure she’ll be there for a while.  All my Housewives continue to crack me up and ! wonder what I watched before reality tv!  Nashville is still my current favorite and the soundtrack is amazing!

Well that’s it for me! Lol  What’s new with you?  If you do a Currently or a What’s Going On post, tag me so I can read it!

Whole lotta nothing!

That’s what’s been going on this week!  Nothing out of the ordinary, nothing new to report or show cute pictures of, and nothing I need help with! 

The weather has been mild and thankfully we haven’t had any more snow.  Most of the kids returned to school on Tuesday and lost their scheduled February vacation this week.  I’m sure the unexpected 10 days off was more of a nuisance than well received by most.  What did working parents do for childcare for a whole week?  And all the teachers that had vacations and travel plans booked for this week must be unhappy. 

I am still looking for birthstories to post!  Whether you had a scheduled c-section, an unassisted homebirth, or a natural or medicated hospital delivery.  I want to hear your story and share it with others.  They can be posted anonymously if wanted. 

My bereavement Doula training is going really well so far.  I am in week 3 and enjoying all of the reading and learning material.  I have been doing tons of research about what resources are available in my community and sad to find that there is not enough.  I have found only 2 support groups within a 30 mile radius and they each only meet once a month.  I’m pretty sure that is not a good look for the two major hospitals located in my city.  Maybe that is something I can help improve in the future? 

This Sunday Corinne and I are joining some of our good friends at a Charity event.  The organization is Love146.org and they do an amazing job raising awareness for human trafficking.  The event is a Mommy and Me Tea party!  Corinne is going to wear her “Princess” dress so she is excited to get dressed up and spend some time with her friend Maddie!

Well, that’s my whole lotta nothing!  What about you?  Try and good recipes, make a good craft with the kids, or have date night?  I would love to hear all about it!

 

Winter Makeover

Yeah!  I am so excited to show what has been in the works.  Stacey over at SnapShots Design decided to grace me with a website makeover and I could not be more in love!  The funny part is that I was truly in love with the original site and was not expecting this! 

Stacey has been working with me since day one of starting Labor of Love and I honestly can say that I would not be where I am today without her.  As a new small business owner it has been so nice to have someone that collaborates with me and has taken the time to ensure that my personality shows through her professional work.  I highly recommend SnapShots Design for whatever graphics design work you may need done. 

Go over to the new site and tell me what you think!

http://laboroflovectllc.com/

SOS

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Today is Monday and it is Day 4 of Cabin Fever!  Friday am the snow started and brought us over 30 inches, fast forward to today and it is sleeting and there is ice everywhere so we will be in the house yet another day.  The Governor has again told all nonessential state employees to remain home and at least 80% of our schools remain closed.  I wish I could say that I have some great activities lined up for today but I can’t.  I am over baking, we’ve crafted until our fingers are sore, and if I eat any more junk food my pants will never fit again.  The house is surprisingly very clean and there is no laundry to be done.  Oh!  I forgot to mention that Josh is going to work today and I have been up with McKenzie since 5am!  I have lots of reading to do but that is an impossible task while the girls are awake so I ‘ll get some of that done during naptime. 

I need help!  Please send me something to do!  You know, that one game or activity that is always a hit with your kiddos. 

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Still Birth Day

When I began this blog last spring my goal was to write about my family, how the girls and I spend our days, my Doula work, and whatever other randomness I decided to throw in there.  I have to be honest that I didn’t give much thought to privacy and what boundaries, if any, I would set beforehand.  So far I have shared most of what goes on in our lives, without much censorship.  I hate to disappoint people but there isn’t much going on over here that you don’t know about!  There are some things that have happened in the past that I haven’t blogged about and I may never share in detail.  I have thought about sharing a few times but it has always seemed so inorganic because it didn’t have any relevance to what has been going on in my life.  Until recently.

As of early last week I began the pursuit of a second Doula certification through a wonderful organization Still Birth Day.  This is a phenomenal organization that is healing the hearts of many worldwide.  Still Birth Day is a resource for parents and families that have, or are dealing with a pregnancy loss.  They have resources for all stages and types of pregnancy losses including neonatal deaths.  The certification training that I am attending is to be a Bereavement Doula.  My services will include supporting woman through miscarriages, stillborn deliveries and neonatal losses in a wide range of settings.  Support can be words of encouragement, aid in finding resources, telephone support, being present during the various processes and emotional support during their mourning.   Years back Josh and I dealt with a late pregnancy loss so this all hits very close to home for me.  Our experience is not something that I tend to talk about for a few reasons.  Firstly the emotions are still very fresh for me, although it has been three years it is still not easy to talk about.  Secondly, I do not want to scare others.  It’s not the type of story you tell other woman, especially pregnant, and scare the crap out of them.  Mostly, it is not just my story.  Maybe someday I will share our story in a more public venue but I doubt it.  When I do share our story it is to help others and provide support, not just to tell it.

If you or someone you know has dealt with or is dealing with a pregnancy loss please direct them to the Still Birth Day website.  The resources available are phenomenal, the support they provide both online and and in person is so very important.

Guest Post: Simon’s Birthstory

I am so happy to share yet another beautiful birthstory with you.  Samantha and Simon’s story is one that I’m sure many of you can relate to, learn from and enjoy all at the same time.  Enjoy!

I was fully prepared for the natural birth experience. Throughout my pregnancy I had an extremely supportive midwife, I took the Bradley birth classes, I read the books and I had done my research. It seemed like the more pregnant I looked the more my peers try to scare me. “You’ll change your mind once you start having contractions” or “You’re crazy! Just take the epidural!” were a regular chorus, but I did not care. Pain was never as bad as people made it out to be. Four weeks before my due date things started to change and I was secretly losing confidence. My midwife left the practice suddenly and my new doctors seemed to be seeing problems at every appointment. My blood pressure was on the rise and they were “uncomfortable” with my weight gain. My birth class teacher recommended that I hire a doula (Coretta) to maintain some consistency and take back some control over my pregnancy. The last three weeks I spent trying not to feel panic at my now twice a week appointments. The last week before my due date they ordered an ultrasound. From the results, both of the midwives and the OBGYNs connected to the practice strongly recommended that I be induced the next day. This was not a part of the plan. I cried. I fought. I knew that inductions led to more interventions and were often times more painful.  I felt like they weren’t giving me much choice. Waiting was dangerous, and could result in a C Section. Did I really want to put my baby at risk? They had his best interest at heart after all. The final decision came down to trust. If I didn’t trust them with this decision how could I trust them to deliver my baby? Or what if I wait and they are right and my blood pressure is too high for labor? My baby was healthy now, but with the way things were going it could change at any moment. Being a mom is about tough decisions and things not going exactly as planned.

It was raining the whole day as I waited for my husband to get home from work. An auspicious start indeed. I unpacked and repacked my bag a dozen times. When I got to the hospital I spoke to the doctor who was inducing me and requested that she not give me Pitocin. Instead, she swept my membranes and gave me Cervadil. 6 hours later contractions had started. Just as I suspected, it was painful, but not as bad as everyone made them out to be. Still I needed relief so I stepped into the shower. I could have lived under that hot water. The contractions were getting more intense. It was time to call Coretta and have her come to the hospital before it was too late. I dried off and put my nightgown back on, but something was off. Two minutes after I got dressed I was wet again. Did my water just break? I thought for sure it would be more obvious and dramatic than this.

 I called a nurse who insisted I must have wet myself, but she called my midwife to check anyway. She confirmed that it must have broken in the shower. There was no more denying it. I was in labor! They removed the Cervidil and things seemed to take off from there. The baby seemed to have some negative response to my contractions. His heart rate kept on dipping. This led to the first intervention an internal monitor for the baby. At first I rejected it (as I did with each intervention), but they insisted giving me a variety of reasons of why it was necessary. I allowed them to do it because I was unsure myself. I wanted to get back into the shower, but I couldn’t because of my new internal monitor. (Joy!) The next few hours were a blur. I was really getting into the work of labor, but the concerns of my midwife and nurses were rising. Next was the IV. Then it was the oxygen mask.  Finally, they wanted to do something that I hadn’t even heard of an amniocentesis. It was meant to add water to relieve pressure on the baby. My water broke 5 hours ago and the baby’s heart rate was still dipping. If I fought the induction and the internal monitor I REALLY fought this one. I did not know what it was and they were trying to explain it to me amid contractions that were getting longer and closer together. I was trying to focus in a seemingly impossible situation. I felt like I was losing something. Finally, my midwife said, “I can’t force you to do this, but if you were my sister I would insist that this was done. “  She told me it was my last chance to avoid a C-Section. Something in her voice let me know that there was something going on that they weren’t telling me. An hour later I was 7 cm dilated and it finally came down to it C-Section. I was upset, exhausted, and once again I felt like I wasn’t given any choice. If they didn’t feel like they could deliver this baby then I didn’t want them to. I signed the damned consent form. Everyone seemed so worried now. When they tried to give me a catheter a short time later I was 9.5cm dilated! Everyone was getting ready to cut me open, but my midwife told me to push with the next contraction and that it might open me up the rest of the way.  An OBGYN was on her way from home to perform a C-Section so I essentially had about 5 minutes to get this done. I pushed exactly three times. On the last push I hear real panic “Why is she pushing? Get her into the OR!” Parts of me felt like I was off the hook and this terrible ordeal was over; the rest of me felt like I had failed. A friend’s mother was attending my surgery and held my hand while I waited for my husband.

That was 8:50 am. At 9:01 my baby boy was finally born. It wasn’t the way I wanted nor was it how I expected it to be, but he was here! He needed oxygen, but he was perfectly healthy otherwise. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief. Even with all the pain and fear that went along with my emergency C-Section I had a beautiful baby boy. An hour later I was holding him in my arms. Coretta helped me get started breastfeeding. I knew then that they were all right about the first skin to skin contact and falling in love!  There will be plenty of time to grapple with the decisions made that led to my C-Section (if I didn’t get induced would it have ended up that way?), but in that moment (and many more moments after) it did not even matter.

Samantha