Jun 16th, 2022 by Happy Homebirth
You’ve been sold the idea that if you know the states of labor and the hormonal interplay and if you practice your relaxation techniques that you’ll be all set for an empowering birth experience. BUT...
We need more than science; we need wisdom.
We need more than head knowledge; we need heart knowledge.
We need the right container so that we can appropriately integrate our experience.
Listen in to hear how we’re cultivating this inside of The Homebirth Collective.
Jun 13th, 2022 by Happy Homebirth
Birth serves a purpose, yes, but can it be more than just bring a baby from within to the outside? Could it actually be... intimate?
This week we're speaking with Annalee Ford who is a a civil engineer/makeup artist in Denver, CO who, as she says, spends way too much time on Tiktok. Annalee and her husband actually work together (on the engineering side, not makeup!) and have been together for 10 blissful years. Together they have two beautiful daughters (Elliott and Collins), three crazy dogs, and love spending lots of time together as a family.
And this family-love is what we'll be exploring inside of this episode. The way that we can take birth from being a medical event to a familial affair.
- I want to reiterate the fact that postpartum rage is a thing that many mothers experience. Sometimes completely alone, and other times intermingled with anxiety and depression. I experienced this quite strongly after the birth of my first daughter, and I felt totally alone and embarrassed that I was experiencing these emotions. Do not make the same mistake as me. If you're experiencing this, reach out to someone. Look into the emotional freedom technique- you can find all kinds of videos online for free, and that's amazing, but I do feel like finding someone to work with one on one can help you uncover a lot more roots a lot quicker. I'm going to put some of my favorite resources in the show notes
- Let's talk about interventions. Often times I speak on the down sides to interventions, but here's the truth. They can be super helpful sometimes. Annalee chose to have cervical exams and membrane sweeps, and the world didn't fall apart because of it-- in fact, they seemed to truly help her as she progressed throughout her labor experience. Here's the deal. When you have informed consent-- when you truly know the pros and cons to each practice and you confidently choose, that's beautiful and amazing! Interventions are not automatically BAD things... they can serve a purpose... but having informed consent is absolutely key.
- Next, one more time-- how COOL was it to hear how Annalee's subconscious really seemed to pick up on the impending transport and emergent feelings right at the end of her labor. And what did it do? It cause a STRONG physical reaction. Her baby went from high to ON the perineum in no time flat, all thanks to a well-timed pukefest. I am constantly in awe of the Divine nature in which we were created. And yes, I'm talking about vomit and our divine creation in the same breath.
- And finally, let's end where we began. Birth does not have to be some big medical to-do. How much more connecting and strengthening is it when we prepare with our spouse, work together as a team, and experience birth as an intimate family event. This is the glue that binds us and can build us up. It was so beautiful to hear how Annalee and Ethan did this together, fortifying and strengthening their connection through the experience.
Jun 6th, 2022 by Happy Homebirth
Do you desire to involve your children in your pregnancy, birthing and immediate postpartum experience, but feel a bit uncertain as to how to prepare them?
This episode is full of wonderful, easily attainable ways to discuss birth and midwifery care with your children, no matter what age. Kelly will be giving us such wonderful examples of how to involve your children and bolster their self-confidence.
- One of the very best things we can do for our children is involve them in daily life- both the little and small events. From the daily routines like folding the laundry and washing the dishes to the extraordinary moments of pregnancy and childbirth, to the sweet and intimate moments like feeding our babies. Allowing our children to be a part of our lives facilitates confidence and creates young ones who feel at home in our world.
- When answering our young children's questions, we don't have to give them a full college essay in response, but it is important to feel out what it is that they're truly wanting to know, and to do our best to give a response that is at their level when possible. I love Kelly's example from Corrie Ten Boom about not asking children to carry more than they can hold-- but on the other end, as parents, we are their safe place to ask questions and learn. Creating a relationship and an atomosphere that lets our children know it's okay to ask questions and to know that their parents are going to do their best to involve and include them goes such a long way when it comes to security.
- And finally, we can make birth preparation fun and enjoyable for our children. By involving them in the actual appointments, talking openly and often with them, and reading beautiful books like The Midwife's Visit , we let our children take part in this incredible, transformative event-- giving trust to the process now, and allowing that trust to grow over a lifetime so that they too will be excited for their own birthing experiences. This is how we change the perspective of birth in our culture-- by teaching our children the truth.
May 30th, 2022 by Happy Homebirth
What if you had the know-how to help your newborn baby relax and release all of the tension accumulated from growing in utero and from his or her birth experience? What if YOU were able to help regulate your baby's nervous system? Wouldn't it be incredible?
Over the last year, I've heard more and more people discussing the Gillespie Approach and sharing how working with a trained practitioner truly changed their lives, as well as the lives of their little ones. I began looking into the program myself, as the though of being able to help my family release tension and feel better certainly intrigued me.
Now, after learning more about the approach, we're hosting two trainings in my hometown, Greenville South Carolina March 9-14th of 2023. I can't wait for this event, and If you're excited to learn more after hearing this episode, be sure to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
to have your information added to the interest list.
HappyHomebirth Academy is going to be closing to the public for the foreseeable future as of June 14th. We have more exciting program with Homebirth Collective soon!
You're the expert on your family. We talk about this in relation to birth, but it certainly doesn't stop there. You are allowed to take radical responsibility, and you are allowed to acquire the skills it takes to help your family heal. Motherhood is powerful, and you are not "just" a mom. You are the expert.
May 23rd, 2022 by Happy Homebirth
Is it too much to ask for a change of expectations when you’re pregnant with your seventh baby? I mean, is that even possible to shift the paradigm and take birth on from a new perspective?
This week we’re speaking with Becky Zale of Approaching Home. Becky is a converted homebirther. It’s something she said she’d never do. But things have a way of changing and not only did she experience her first homebirth with her 7th baby but she also experienced her first free birth. It is now the highlight of her life. She is a stay at home, homeschooling mom of 7 children-5 boys and 2 girls.
- Let’s start with talking about the transformation that Becky has made as a mother over her 7 births. From walking into the hospital ready for her epidural with her first to having a homebirth…. Without her midwife with her last. What a journey. I want to remind you that just because you’ve chosen to give birth in other ways in the past, that does not mean that you can’t try something new. Becky learned and grew with each experience, and they all finally led her to a birth so inspiring and powerful.
- Next, boy– pitocin makes a difference, doesn’t it? All of the moms who have labored with and without it are most certainly nodding their heads in agreement. I mean, look at this. Becky was so used to the intensity of pitocin contractions that she didn’t even recognize the fact that she was DEEP into labor. Our bodies have a hormonal cocktail that just WORKS. It works with us and for us, and it’s not too much because it IS us. When medications get involved, we don’t always have that same experience because now we’ve got outside interference. This was a great reminder to me that, gosh, you just can’t outdo nature.
- And finally, I have to touch on Becky’s willingness to pray- and to pray specifically. Each time she did, she was given support, comfort, and peace. I know that I was deeply comforted by her story, and I hope that you were, too.
May 16th, 2022 by Happy Homebirth
When you have a child with special needs, does that mean you’re automatically risked out of homebirth care for your future pregnancies?
Today we’ll be speaking with Bekah, a 30 years old mom of 3 living in upstate SC. Bekah is a licensed cosmetologist turned stay at home mom, whose oldest child was diagnosed with Rett Syndrome when she was 2.5. This has played a huge part in she and her husband’s journey as parents. Bekah lives for birth stories and she’s incredibly excited to be able to share my 3 home birth experiences.
- You can’t judge a book, or a laboring mother, by the cover. And this goes both ways. A mother may be presenting as totally zen, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t truly having to reach down deep within herself to work through her birthing experience. And likewise, we certainly cannot assume that a loud, vocal mother is feeling out of control. Heck, it can be so cathartic to ROAR a baby out, and sometimes that’s just the noise our body chooses to make– it having nothing to do with how perfectly calm we’re feeling on the inside.
- Next, I want to remind you that giving birth at home is not for a small handful of mothers. Bekah knew that she wanted to give birth at home not only with her first, but continuing on. Despite Alice’s genetic condition, Bekah recognized that had no bearing on her ability to give birth at home, and it didn’t make her feel uncomfortable in the slightest.
- And finally, I’m just so humbled by birth and by motherhood. Just like birth, we can prepare spectacularly, yet no outcome can be guaranteed. It’s the same with motherhood, and every aspect of life. Bekah did not expect for her daughter and her family to be faced with the hurdle of Rett disease, but that is the reality that they face as a family together. This life- our expectations- we must constantly remind ourselves to hold it all with an open hand, as we realize that so much is outside of our control. And just like with labor, we can fight against it, or we can release into it and find the beauty. It’s one of the things that I love about Bekah– the way that she is finding beauty even in the midst of difficulty. I’m so grateful to know and learn from her.
May 9th, 2022 by Happy Homebirth
Have you heard horror stories about The Ring of Fire?
So what is "the ring of fire?" More accurately, it's the sensation of crowning: when the pressure of your baby's head, or crown, is applied fully to your perineum as his head begins to actually exit your body.
Take a few minutes to work through concerns related to the ring of fire and
Give you a few practical tips, and ready ourselves with a more open and excited mindset.
May 1st, 2022 by Happy Homebirth
How do we go about decision-making in pregnancy and parenthood? Do we float along on the wave of current culture, or is there possibly another way?
This week we’re speaking with Caitlyn Doerksen, a wife of almost seven years, a mom of 3 kids, who is passionate about all things surrounding the home. Home schooling, home birth, and a dream to one day soon home stead. She has such a beautiful way of looking at and interacting with her family, and I know you’re going to gain so much insight from this incredible episode.
- It’s okay to do things differently from other families and to focus on works in your family’s culture. Just because your aunt or mother in law or neighbor did things one way doesn’t mean you have to follow suit. It’s not disrespectful to choose your own path. I’m sure many of you resonate with that already– I mean, we’ve probably all had the experience of a little backlash to our birthing decisions, am I right?
- Next, I loved the way Caitlyn truly tuned into her intuition. She didn’t push the voice away, she leaned in and listened harder. She had her husband pray over her and encourage her, and together they worked on honing in on their God-given parental intuitions. We were designed to disciple our babies, and when we tune out the noise and tune into what is working for our family, I think we often times do know how to do that so beautifully well.
- And finally, let’s discuss the beautiful balance of Caitlyn’s births. What did we learn? Well, we learned that birth CAN be exactly what you want, pray for, ask for, envision, meditate upon… It can be. There is so much power and excitement and thrill in that! It happened for Caitlyn three times, despite difficult external circumstances with her most recent birth. And now… on to the flip side. Not everyone is going to experience this, and if your mind is SET on having a very specific experience that does not pan out that way, it can sometimes lead to disappointment or a fear that maybe you didn’t do something right, or you didn’t deserve a good birth or, or, or. And just like Caitlyn so beautifully affirmed, that is straight up false. I like to remind myself that every birth has a lesson for us. Sometimes those lessons go down easy like a spoonful of honey, and others feel a bit more abrasive. But, no matter the specific events our birth holds, please remember… we are the one who chooses how we get to integrate the experience. We can choose what our birth means to us, and we can choose to approach birth with the knowledge that however it unfolds, there is beauty in it. I hope that makes sense. Every mother, every baby, every labor are different. But whatever our labor brings us, we can take those lessons and apply them to our lives, to our motherhood, to grow and stretch us in the most beautiful ways.
Apr 25th, 2022 by Happy Homebirth
When you’re unable to have a homebirth in your area, what happens? Are you totally out of luck…. Or are there other ways to get creative?
This week we’re speaking with my friend Shanies Pearcey- a stay at home mother to 8 children and minister’s wife in Northwest NJ. Shanise enjoys cooking, sewing, and spending time with her precious kids, and I can tell you right now you are going to gain SO MUCH from this interview, as we unpack her journey to a homebirth… across the country from her own home. Get ready for a beautiful, uplifting story.
- Question everything, unfortunately. Shanise was told with her twins that her hips were “too small” for a 5 pound baby– and yet, she was able to give birth to an 8 pound baby just fine later on. Another example of this could be seen when her OB told her that if she wanted to give birth without an epidural, they should totally break her water. It’s so unfortunate when we hear these examples of care providers looking out for themselves and not for their patients.
- If you find yourself in a situation that seems unfavorable, like Shanise did with her 8th pregnancy and upcoming labor, keep your mind open to other ideas. It could have been so easy for Shanise and her husband to dismiss the idea of traveling to Texas for a homebirth, but look at what they would have missed if they’d ignored the idea– and consider the hostility that so many women were facing in hospitals in that area at the time. What a beautiful experience Shanise’s family had– all because they were open to ideas outside of the norm.
- And finally, how incredible are our bodies. The way that Shanise’s body gave her an opportunity to process her fears and anxieties by stopping labor– that was so beautiful to me. She was able to reach out to a friend, who, by the way owns a beautiful merino wool shop called Truly Charis, for all of the cloth diapering mamas out there, be sure to look her up– and process the feelings and emotions that were welling up inside of her. And once she did that– her body knew that it was now safe to give birth. What a blessing that entire experience was. As we wrap up this amazing episode, I can’t help but share Philippians 4: 4-9
Apr 18th, 2022 by Happy Homebirth
When you’re pregnant and not feeling well, what’s your first line of defense? Have you ever felt the need to turn to pharmaceutical medications quickly, feeling like there aren’t any other good options?
This week, we’re speaking with Jenna Dodge. Jenna Dodge is a Mother of four children ages 3-11. She lives in Bozeman, Montana with her children, husband, and two dogs. She owns a homeopathy practice serving clients anywhere in the world via Telehealth (www.ProjectHomeopathy.com) and teaches Homeopathy online courses at www.jennadodge.com. When she's not working with clients or teaching homeopathy, you can find her spending time with her family, lifting weights in her home gym, baking sourdough bread, or playing the piano.
Jenna is actually my homeopath, and I was so excited to find out that she was a homebirth mother herself. So today we’ll be taking our time going through her birth stories, as well as a thorough rundown of homeopathy and how you can use it as an empowering tool for your family.
- It just hit me as I was speaking to Jenna about the way that… when we tense our body up during labor by putting pressure on ourselves to look a certain way, or to not gain a certain amount of weight, or whatever the case may be… it’s just like the action of tensing and tightening during contractions. No, pregnancy isn’t an excuse to overindulge, but it’s a perfectly good reason to relax and release the preconceived notions of what your body SHOULD be like and SHOULD do. Relax into this process and be gentle and graceful with yourself.
- And lastly, I just want to encourage you to look into homeopathy. It’s been a huge blessing to my family over the years, but especially now that I’m actually working with a certified homeopath. Jenna’s been able to help me unwind so much disease and distress that’s been going on in my body for years, so I highly recommend checking out all of her information, which is linked below in the show notes. Alright, my friends, I hope you’re feeling excited and empowered! That’s all I’ve got for you for today. I’ll see you back here next week!