Apr 16 2014

Encapsulating Placenta: A DIY Guide and Benefits

Capsules for Placenta

I frequent a few parenting forums on the internet and nothing seems to get people talking, these days, like when someone says, “I ate my placenta.” It’s accurate to say that, yet, at the same time, it isn’t. What they really mean is they swallowed it in a pill form. Encapsulating placenta DIY (as in do it yourself at home capsules of baby's placenta) is the “in” thing to do in the crunchy new mom community. I was slightly skeptical because, well, it sounds a little (or a lot to many people) gross. Did it really help enough to be worth getting over the ick factor? What exactly does it HELP anyway? Is this something I, as a doula, want to offer my clients? I decided a little research was in order...  read more »

Apr 01 2014

My Beautiful Surrogate Baby Birth Story

35 weeks pregnant with surrogate baby

I had a scheduled c-section, so it's not an exciting story with any lead up! But, it’s my surrogate baby birth story (and the parents, but I’m sure their perspective is quite different!), and I want to tell it! We arrived at the hospital at 5:30 am...  read more »

Jan 06 2014

Surrogate Pregnancy: A Nerve-racking Experience!

Belly ShotMy last blood test fell when my in-laws were at our house preparing to help us move. My husband had been an associate priest at a church since graduation in 2011. He was recently offered a position at a church a few hours from where we had been living. So in the middle of all of the stress and “being careful”, we had to pack up the house and four kids and move. It was nice to have the help, especially since David had two mission trips planned within a month before we moved. But it meant our house was even more full and active than usual! The phone call about the results came later than usual, which worried me. Each time, even though the numbers had been great (138, 621, 3686), I was still a ball of nerves on “beta days”. I had read that a lot of Res will stop once you hit 10,000, so I was really hoping for that number. My cue that all was well was that my intended mother would call me. If the doctor called, it was bad news. When I saw her name pop on my caller id, I felt my whole body relax. She had “forgotten” to call and check! Is this the same person who had me call every place in an hour radius to see who could get the test results the fastest just a week earlier? The long awaited number was 10,114! We had made it over 10,000! The ultrasound to check viability was the next week...  read more »

Oct 07 2013

Becoming a Surrogate: Try, Try Again

Home Pregnancy Test ResultsWhere did we leave off in this journey? I had completed my first transfer in May and we were hopeful for a quick, painless success. My intended parents have been through so, so much that I so badly wanted this to be easy for them. I hadn’t had ever had a problem getting pregnant in the past (3 out of 4 babies were surprise blessings!) and I had never had a miscarriage. Failure, honestly, wasn’t on my radar at all. I think my intended parents had a healthier view that (or maybe somewhere in between is healthier?). They were hopeful, but realistic. IVF is tricky...  read more »

Jul 12 2013

Doula Training: My First Birth

Pregnant Woman on Yoga BallMy title may be a little misleading. The birth I am referring to wasn’t mine at all. In no way was it mine. In no way did I do anything extraordinary. I didn’t feel any pain. I didn’t hold a baby in my arms seconds after birth. I really just stood there and uttered some words (to mom, dad, doctors and nurses), rubbed a back, suggested new positions, wet a wash cloth and shed a few tears when that sweet little girl entered the earth. This was my first birth I attended as a doula and a key milestone in my doula training. And, it was amazing! The rush I felt was second only to the birth of my own children. I’ll start from the beginning…  read more »

Jun 23 2013

Gestational Surrogate

Plan B Surrogate PregnancyI saw a movie years and years ago about gestational surrogacy. As with most movies, it wouldn’t be any good if it wasn’t full of drama (well, according to producers anyway. After all, even “reality tv” has added drama. Life is typically, well, boring). The movie didn’t end well. But, it planted a little seed in my heart and mind. I was probably 10 or 12 (I just looked it up. I was 10.) with no idea of what it would all entail or even if it would be possible for me, but it intrigued me. The little seed stayed a seed for many, many years. I wanted my own children first and I wanted to be 100% sure I was done having my own children before I even really looked into how all of it worked...  read more »

Apr 24 2013

Life's Lessons Learned as a Mom

Respect is a BIG deal

Ten Year Old Boy Outside in TreesRespect yourself, respect your family, respect your friends, respect your world... I can remember times when I’ve been angry at my children and I HAVE lost it with them. I will not claim that I am perfect in that regard (or even close). But, over the years I have learned that if I want them to respect and do things for me, I have to first respect them and lead by example...  read more »

Apr 03 2013

Public School vs. Homeschool

Let’s Give This Homeschooling Thing a Shot

Boy with Head in Sharks Mouth at MuseumOnce David graduated and found a job, I would be able to be at home with the kids for awhile. It was a deal we had made when he went back to school. I worked my buns off in a job that I didn’t really like (loved the people, thank goodness!) for him to go to school. I had earned some time off! Plus, I was pregnant (surprise!) with baby number 4 and I love to be home with my babies if possible. 

So, for the first time, homeschooling instead of public school was an option for us...  read more »

Mar 22 2013

Homeschool vs. Public School

Child Praciticing Alphabet in HomeschoolWhen my husband David and I met, I learned early on that he was homeschooled. He was smart, outgoing, socially aware. Everything I had heard homeschoolers were NOT! I knew one homeschooler that I met in high school and, while she was nice, she was certainly the picture of socially awkward. Also, shortly after we married, I went with David’s family to a homeschool convention in Richmond, Virginia. While it wasn’t as out there as I thought it would be, the kids all seemed so different to what I was used to. I was 19 years old at the time. At 19, different is, well, weird. Surely, my husband was an exception, right? He was the only “normal” (that's using that term loosely with him!) homeschooler I knew (I didn’t know his sisters too well at that point and his brothers were too young to tell just yet). As a result, I was very hesitant to embrace the idea...  read more »

Feb 20 2013

Baby Carrier Reviews

Mei Tai Baby CarrierI am pretty sure I have owned almost every baby wearing device (Baby wearing is strapping your baby into a carrier on your body rather than carrying them in your arms.  It leaves your hands free while still keeping your baby close and secure.) out there from an old fashioned Snugli, to a trendy Baby Bjorn, to a homemade sling.  I’ve tried them all and had minimal luck getting any of them to either fit right OR for my babies to actually like them enough to stay in them more than 5 minutes.  I think that someone who baby wears successfully needs to offer a class to teach those of us who just can’t seem to get it right to do it correctly!  FINALLY, with Isaac (my youngest), I have found a few that have worked well.  However, as soon as I find something that works, his development changes and he decides he wants something different.  Then I’m on the hunt again!  There are so many out there that it’s overwhelming and confusing, so I decided I am going to try to review the ones I have used and give my honest opinions based on fit, ease of use and, the most important aspect, how much my baby liked it!  read more »