• M and M hired me in the first trimester of their second pregnancy.  M had a birth center birth with her first baby, and was looking forward to a home birth with this little one. The morning of January 5th, two days after M’s “estimated due date”, contractions began.  They woke her around midnight, and […]

  • “I found Shannon down-to-earth, funny, knowledgeable, and very professional in her care of us, from our first appointment, through our homebirth after Caesarean (HBAC). She coached us on baby positioning, and I felt confident of her ability to help us through any difficulties in labor.  She gave advice on everything from foods to eat, to […]

  • A and D started care with me in the first trimester of their first pregnancy.  A was super excited about having a home birth with her first baby. A’s pregnancy progressed along normally.  The morning of New Years Day, A sent me a text that she was irregularly leaking some kind of fluid and baby […]

  • Since we have been living a Whole 30/Paleo lifestyle for 19 months, I often get asked questions about how we shop and how we eat.  On a recent trip to Costco, I took photos of on plan foods to give others an idea of how to shop at Costco when doing a Whole 30.  There […]

  • M and G started care with me in the first trimester of their second pregnancy.  M’s previous birth journey was a lengthy labor that ended in a surgical birth at 42 weeks.  She was planning a different birthing experience for this little one’s journey. Three days before M’s estimated due date, she woke to stronger […]

M and M hired me in the first trimester of their second pregnancy.  M had a birth center birth with her first baby, and was looking forward to a home birth with this little one.

The morning of January 5th, two days after M’s “estimated due date”, contractions began.  They woke her around midnight, and intermittently interrupted her sleep through out the night.  M sent me a text around 530am letting me know labor was on its way, and she couldn’t sleep.

M stated she remembered “moaning like a moose” a lot with her last birth and was using that as a guide.  When I would check in to see how she was doing, at one point M said “I am not moaning like a moose so that’s interesting!”

All morning things continued to pick up.  Around 10am, M decided she would like to come over a check and see where things were at since her contractions weren’t getting longer or stronger like she was expecting.

M and M arrived at 1120am to my office.  Contractions were coming every 4-5 minutes, 45 seconds long.  Vitals were good.  We were all surprised to find that M was already 7cm dilated, 100% effaced, and baby was at a -1 station!  I could feel a nice, bulgy bag of water in front of the head.

I told M and M to head home, and to go ahead and get the birth pool aired up.  I called my apprentice and assistant and had them start heading that way.

I arrived at M’s house at 1230, finding her sitting on her birth ball.  Contractions were much closer and stronger now, coming every 2-3 minutes, lasting 75 seconds.

Baby sounded great when we listened to heart tones.  Since baby was still liking M’s right side, I suggested doing a set of ten lift and tucks with the rebozo to help baby rotate and descend more into the pelvis.  M agreed, so I helped her through a set of ten while the birth pool finished filling.

The lift and tucks seemed to do the trick as waves of nausea came over M.  We finished the ten lift and tucks in less than 20 minutes.  M was ready for the birth pool, and eagerly got into the warm water just a few minutes after 1pm.

The intensity picked up.  M began alternating her position with every couple contraction waves, intuitively listening to her body and doing what felt right.

M asked M to get into the birth pool with her at 1:11 to squeeze her hips while she labored on her knees.  The intensity kept increasing, and eventually M was laboring on her hands and knees, requesting M to give her counter pressure on her back during contractions.

M told me at 132pm that she was feeling some pressure with the last couple contractions.  I reminded her to let that pressure build until she couldn’t hold it back anymore.

As 2pm neared, M felt like she had a lot of tension in her upper body and moved into a kneeling position, leaning on M for support as she labored.  This changed the way the contractions felt, and M began to spontaneously push at the peaks of contractions.

I did an exam at 211pm and found M to have an anterior lip remaining and baby at a +1 station.  M decided she would like me to hold back the lip while she pushed.  The lip was agreeable, and easily reduced after two contractions.

M continued to push well with each wave.  At 231pm, she moved into semi reclining, leaning against M, due to having several leg cramps.

M’s water broke spontaneously at 234pm.  The head was visible with the next contraction.  The head was crowning at 238pm, birthed at 239pm.  This little guy didn’t want to make it easy on his mama though.  He was coming out with a hand beside his head and wrapped twice in his cord, once around his neck and once around his body.  M eased him out, and I unwrapped him before bringing him out of the water and to M’s waiting arms.  He was here!

Welcome to the world Saavn, born earthside on January 5, 2017 at 240pm, weighing in at 8lbs 4ozs, 19.75 in long!  His big sister O was so very excited to see her little brother!  This sweet mama did an amazing job through her second natural birth, making labor and birth seem so easy!  It was such a privilege to work with this family!

#sacredjourneymidwifery

Testimonial #49

“I found Shannon down-to-earth, funny, knowledgeable, and very professional in her care of us, from our first appointment, through our homebirth after Caesarean (HBAC). She coached us on baby positioning, and I felt confident of her ability to help us through any difficulties in labor.  She gave advice on everything from foods to eat, to how best to sit, and which exercises would help me be as prepared as possible. I recommend her without hesitation or qualm. She’s fabulous!”  Melody, Magnolia, mother of Peter born on December 19, 2016

A and D started care with me in the first trimester of their first pregnancy.  A was super excited about having a home birth with her first baby.

A’s pregnancy progressed along normally.  The morning of New Years Day, A sent me a text that she was irregularly leaking some kind of fluid and baby wasn’t moving normal.  I recommended they come to see me.  The baby sounded great on the doppler, with good accelerations heard.  The swab was negative for amniotic fluid, and A was dilated 1cm, 70% effaced and baby was at a -1 station.  They were relieved that all was well with their baby, and planned to see me in two days for their regular scheduled appointment.

However, the following early morning brought a pretty significant storm to the area.  A sent me a text at 745am on January 2nd stating her water had for sure broken at 6am.  Fluid was clear and baby was moving well.  I recommended A eat a good breakfast, and then come see me for an assessment and some herbs to get contractions moving along.  A was GBS positive, which meant we needed to get things moving along sooner than later.

A and D arrived at 11am.  She said she was having infrequent, mild contractions.  All vitals were normal.  A was definitely ruptured.  Baby was in a ROT position.  I made A an herbal tea mix to help get contractions going.  I talked to them about trying lift and tucks when they got home to help baby’s position.  I sent them home with homeopathy, and discussed starting it around 2 if contractions weren’t regular or strong.

It didn’t take long and A’s body started getting the memo.  Around 230pm, I was asked to go ahead and come as contractions were 3 minutes apart and A was moaning through them.

I arrived a little before 4pm and found A laboring in her bed, leaning against D.  The waves seemed intense, as A was moaning and in the zone.  I began to check vitals and prepare for an exam.  I found A to be 3cm dilated, 100% effaced and baby at a -1 station.  Baby was still in a ROT position.  I told A what great progress she had made.  I suggested A get up to empty her bladder soon, and then I would like to try some different positions to get baby to rotate and move down.

I will say from the beginning that A was such a trooper through her labor.  Things were intense, but she did every position I recommended without a complaint.  She was determined to get her little guy out!

A labored on the toilet for a few contractions.  The position change brought on the unfortunate nausea and vomiting the labor brings for some.  We got her an emesis bag put together with some peppermint oil in it to give some relief.

Around 420pm, A was ready for me to do a round of ten lift and tuck with the rebozo.  They hadn’t done them when they got home earlier, and I was certain it would help immensely with baby’s position.  I did the lift and tuck while D provided support to A through the contractions.  The contractions were coming every 2-3 minutes, lasting 45-50 seconds long at this point.

After the lift and tuck, A walked around the room for a few minutes before trying a new position.  I got A positioned in the open knee chest position and talked with her about staying in it for 40 minutes.  Contractions changed during this time, coming every 4 minutes, lasting 60 seconds long.  At 530 when I got A out of the position, she stated she felt like that really helped and her contractions were now much stronger.

A was feeling a little tired, so we helped get her into an exaggerated runners position on her left side.  D got in bed beside her.  I showed her friend who was a new doula had to provide counter pressure, and stopped out of the room to give them some quiet time.

A rested in between contractions for about 50 minutes before being ready to change position again.  D stepped out to eat some dinner.  I suggested A try sitting on the birth ball for a few contractions. I got on my knees and let A give me her weight while her sister in law gave her counter pressure.  In between contractions, someone fed A some bites of fruit.  A had been doing so well hydrating through out the entire labor.

A little after 7pm, A said she wanted to try laying in her bed again.  I helped position her in exaggerated runners on her right side this time.  We could tell baby’s position must have changed, because 15 minutes later, A was on her knees leaning on her birth ball.  She said it was too uncomfortable to lay on the bed any longer.

A was beginning to feel some rectal pressure.  I had my birth assistant start to fill the tub so that A could labor and birth in there if she wished.  It wasn’t long and A was spontaneously grunting at the peaks.  Contractions were coming every 3 minutes, lasting 75 seconds at this point.

I did an exam at 743pm and found A to be 9cm dilated, 100% effaced and baby at a +1 station.  I recommended A blow through contractions until she can’t blow anymore.

She got into her bath tub at 745pm, laboring on her hands and knees.  A began to spontaneously push at 751pm, as the urge was beyond her control.  Right at 8pm, I found A to be 10cm dilated, baby at a +2/3 station.

Then the fun began!  It didn’t take but a few pushes for A to bring the babies head to her perineum.  Baby was starting to have some decels, so we encouraged A to take some cleansing breaths.

I began to play tug of war with A with the rebozo to see if it would help her birth the baby.  At 820pm, we started giving A a homeopathic to help her with oxygenation.  It did wonders, and after a few minutes, baby’s heart rate was normalizing.

A now had the baby’s head crowning, but he couldn’t seem to make it passed the perineum.  We tried squatting, we tried standing.  I tried to vigorously massage and stretch while A pushed to see if the head would come.  At 835pm, I discussed with A and D that I felt an episiotomy may be necessary at this point and I would like to move to the bed to be in a better position to help.

A and D agreed.  D helped A out of the tub.  She spontaneously squatted at the side of the tub through a contraction, before slowly making her way to her bed, her sweet boy’s head bulging out her perineum.

A got into semi reclining in the bed at 842pm.  I discussed the procedure with A and D before beginning to numb with a topical medication at 850pm.  The episiotomy was complete at 855pm, and A began to do tug of war with my birth assistant to help finish getting this guy out!  It did the trick, and at 857pm, Ozzy was here!

Welcome to the world Ozzy, born earthside on January 2nd, 2017 at 857pm, weighing in at 7lbs 8ozs, 21″ long.

I told A she has quite the “perineum of steel” as even with doing the repair for the episiotomy had its own struggles.  Her perineum was so strong the needle struggled getting through the tissue!

It was such a joy to get to be part of this sweet family’s journey into becoming a family of three.  <3

#sacredjourneymidwifery

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Since we have been living a Whole 30/Paleo lifestyle for 19 months, I often get asked questions about how we shop and how we eat.  On a recent trip to Costco, I took photos of on plan foods to give others an idea of how to shop at Costco when doing a Whole 30.  There is also a few paleo items mentioned as well.

Disclaimer:  Each Costco is different and items vary, so I am sure I don’t have every item pictured and listed, but this should be a good starting place to help as you venture in your clean eating journey.

Whole 2Macadamia Nuts:  Nuts are a great source of healthy fats and protein and can be good to keep around when in a pinch.  Coscto carries all kinds of on plan nuts.  Just remember that peanuts are not part of the “nut family” as they are actually a legume and can cause an inflammatory reaction.  I, unfortunately, had to learn out its powerful effects a couple months ago.Whole 3

Organic Meat:  Costco carries organic ground beef and different forms of organic chicken at a much better price than the average store.  Whole 4It can be a good option if you are wanting a better quality meat but can’t afford to purchase high quality meat from a local farmer.Whole 6

Sausages:  Costco has three awesome kinds of sausage that we have enjoyed purchasing at a good price.  Whole 7The Teton Waters Grass Fed Polish Sausages are super tasty and a recent find at our local Costco.  The Aidells sausage is compliant and a great addition to a meal.  Whole 8We often make a stir fry with it with potatoes and green beans, which is a favorite meal in our house.  The Organic Sugarhouse Maple Chicken Sausages aren’t Whole 30, Whole 5but they would be a good addition to breakfast when eating Paleo.  We like them with chunked sweet potatoes that are fried in the skillet.

Hard Boiled Eggs: I normally prefer pasture raised eggs, but these are great in a pinch.  I have enjoyed taking these for a protein snack at births.Whole 9

Kale Salad Mix:  This is actually a cesar salad mix,  but we just use the kale salad blend and sunflower seeds.  It is such a tasty mix.Whole 11

Organic Vegetables:  Costco has many organic vegetable options in both the fresh and frozen sections.  Costco’s salad mix is $4 for a huge box.  Whole 12It is a great deal when you need a lot of lettuce.  We also like to purchase the fresh organic broccoli and use it for snacks and to saute and steam for meals. Whole 13 When we need organic onions and potatoes, we always purchase from Costco.  The 15# bag of organic yellow potatoes is around $6-7! Whole 30 The prices are so good!  Our Costco has also started to carry recently fresh organic french cut green beans.  Whole 15My husband likes to sautee them in the skillet with olive oil, bacon, and seasonings.  Costco also carries organic carrots in a 5# bag.  When we need carrots, that is our go to!  There are any frozen vegetable options as well.  We just generally prefer fresh as much as possible.Whole 10

Organic Fruit:  Costco also has several fresh and frozen organic fruit options.  One of my boys loves that Costco often has organic raspberries.  It is double the standard size for a great price.  Whole 14We also grab bananas while at Costco whenever we go.  In the past, we also have purchased organic apples and their organic frozen strawberries.

Whole 18Almond Butter:  Costco often carries almond butter, and sometimes they have some other nut butter options.  This is great to dip apple slices in to up the protein content, or for a quick spoonful to give some fuel!Whole 19

Apple Cider Vinegar:  This is a new item at our local Costco.  I find that we use more ACV now than we did prior to our clean eating journey.  I am sure you will find yourself using it more as well.  Whole 21

Avocado Oil: This is the avocado oil to buy!  It is such a good price and works so well in many recipes.  This is the oil we use in our homemade mayo recipe.  I also like to fry my eggs in this oil.Whole 22

Ghee:  I don’t do ghee as I experience a reaction with it, but many people enjoy ghee when starting their clean eating journey as a butter replacement.  This is a big container of ghee for a good process.  Whole 24

Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil:  We buy 2-3 of these at a time when we go to Costco.  This is one of our favorite oils to use in things.  I have come to enjoy my baked potatoes sprinkled with EVOO instead of butter.  This is priced so well at Costco!Whole 23

Coconut Oil:  Coconut oil is priced very well at Costco.  This is considered a staple healthy fat in clean eating.  This goes excellently in whole 30 bulletproof coffee.  some people enjoy frying eggs with this oil or using it as a general substitute.Whole 25

Chicken Broth:  Costco carries two different kinds of organic chicken broth.  They are sold in a set of 6 and are priced around $11.  The ingredients are exactly what you expect in chicken broth and are Whole 30 approved!Whole 26

Apple Sauce:  Costco generally carries some form of organic apple sauce that contains just apples and no extra sweeteners.  My boys love this with a little cinnamon mixed in.  Whole 27

Tomato Sauce/Canned Tomatoes:  Costco carries organic tomato sauce, tomato paste, and whole tomatoes in their canned food aisle.  Whole 28We use these items regularly for different soups, Whole 30 ketchup, etc.

Whole 29Salsa:  This is hands down my favorite salsa.  There is no sugar added to this amazing salsa.  This massive jar is around $5 at Costco, and a significantly smaller jar is $4 at Sprouts.  I love this on my eggs, baked potatoes, and anything else I can think to use this tasty salsa on.Whole 31

Almond Flour:  This is the best price on almond flour, which is important during the holidays when it is baking season.  I use this a lot on my favorite chicken nugget recipe and when making meatballs.  This is definitely a staple to keep in the house.

There are also several finds at Costco that are great if you are eating paleo.  This are NOT on plan if you are doing a Whole 30.Whole 1

Caveman Bars: I was so excited when I found Costco was carrying these delicious bars.  They are great when you want a sweet treat.Whole 16

Maple Syrup:  Costco carries a large bottle of organic grade A maple syrup.  Now that I can’t find any grade B to purchase, I use this maple syrup and have been well pleased with its flavor and the price!Whole 17

Honey:  We generally buy local honey from sources we trust.  If we are in a pinch, we do like this raw honey that Costco carries.

Whole 20Coconut Sugar:  This is a great brand of coconut sugar that we have used in some of our paleo baking.  We also have this in our sugar jar for guests who desire a sweetener for their coffee or tea (we do not keep refined sugar in the house).

I hope this post has been a help in navigating Costco when starting a Whole 30 or Paleo lifestyle.  Clean eating has been such a huge lifestyle change for our family.  It has helped many health issues, given us so much more energy, and my husband and I have lost over 160 pounds so far on this journey.  If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me!

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M and G started care with me in the first trimester of their second pregnancy.  M’s previous birth journey was a lengthy labor that ended in a surgical birth at 42 weeks.  She was planning a different birthing experience for this little one’s journey.

Birth Team PhotoThree days before M’s estimated due date, she woke to stronger contractions.  Contractions continued through out the day, the spacing between varying.  I finished up at another delivery, and M sent a text letting me know that she had lost her mucus plug and with that brought contractions 5 minutes apart, and much stronger in intensity.

My birth assistant and I arrived at 945pm on December 18.  I found M to be sitting on her couch, breathing through a contraction.  M and G’s toddler was not agreeable to sleep so G was driving her around in an attempt to make her sleepy.  I did M’s vitals and found her and baby to be well.  M agreed to an exam at 1025pm.  Her cervix was 3-4cm dilated, 100% effaced, and baby at a -1 station.  I felt scar tissue on the cervix and talked to M about massaging the scar tissue through a contraction.  M agreed that it sounded like the best plan, and asked for a few minutes to have the time to refocus.

I massaged the scar tissue through a contraction at 1045pm.  M handled the procedure so well.  The scar tissue broke under my fingers, and I felt good that things were going to progress well from here.  I talked with M over her fears for this birthing journey.  After we finished talking, M asked to be left alone for awhile so she could refocus her breathing and energy.  M labored on her left side of the bed, working on getting centered.

Meanwhile, we hurried to set up the birth pool and get it filled with water.  I anticipated it wouldn’t be a very long time and M would be desiring the comfort of the birthing pool.

M came out of the room at 1119pm and sat on the couch.  She said the contractions were so much stronger since the massage.  As midnight neared, M found the start of contractions to be intense, but could get her focus on them for the rest.

M got into the birth pool a little after midnight.  She sat in the pool, leaning against the seat.  Contractions were coming every 3 minutes, lasting 90 seconds.  M stated she was starting to feel some rectal pressure at the peaks of the contractions.

Things intensified in the 1am hour.  M alternated between laboring on her hands and knees and semi reclining.  I encouraged her as she worked so well listening to her body, allowing the journey to happen.  I could see bloody show on the floor of the birth pool near 2am.  M was beginning to get primal at the peaks of the contractions.  I could tell it wouldn’t be long and we would be meeting this sweet boy.

M exclaimed, “It burns!” at 218am, and began to spontaneously bear down with contractions.  She asked me to check, and she was 10cm dilated with baby at a +3 station.

M did beautifully at bringing her baby closer and closer with each contraction.  In between contractions, M would laugh and joke with everyone.

He is Here!I could see the head on the perineum at 239am.  I encouraged M as she eased the head further on the perineum, allowing things to stretch for the baby.  The head was crowning at 250am, followed by the baby at 251am.  I unlooped the nuchal cord from around the baby’s neck as G caught his sweet son and brought him to M’s chest.

Welcome to the world Peter, born earthside on December 19, 2016 at 251am, weighing in at 9.0 pounds, 21.5 inches long.  This woman did all the things she could to get her healing HBAC, and she did it!  It was such a privilege to serve this couple through their journey.

#sacredjourneymidwifery