• As long as I know, I have been drawn into birth.  As a young child, my Barbie’s had a constant stream of pregnancies because I was fascinated with pregnancy!  When I was 12, I started baby sitting for family, and in that I ended up baby sitting a lot of babies, and found I loved […]

  • G and E started care with me in the first trimester of their fifth pregnancy.  G had used my services and had a beautiful home birth with her previous child, which you can read about here. G’s pregnancy progressed along as beautifully as her previous one.  I did the home visit at 36.6 weeks pregnant, […]

  • S and S hired me in the second trimester of their sixth pregnancy.  S had been unhappy with the treatment she had received in care providers, and was desiring a VBA2C, as her last two deliveries had been via cesarean. S’s pregnancy progressed on beautifully.  She knew she had a potential history of going a […]

  • C and C started care with me in the first trimester of their second pregnancy.  C had a beautiful home birth with her first little guy, and was looking for another great experience with this little one. C had experienced a precipitous delivery with her first baby, and her first midwife did not make her […]

  • M and G started care with me in the first trimester of their third pregnancy.  M had previously used A Sacred Journey Midwifery Services for her previous delivery, and was excited to be planning another home birth.  You can read about her first homebirth here. M’s pregnancy was a bit harder than previous pregnancies between […]

As long as I know, I have been drawn into birth.  As a young child, my Barbie’s had a constant stream of pregnancies because I was fascinated with pregnancy!  When I was 12, I started baby sitting for family, and in that I ended up baby sitting a lot of babies, and found I loved everything involving pregnancy, birth, and babies.

I entered my high school years, I became interested in nursing.  I read about masters programs, and was fascinated that there was a midwifery program, and that midwives still existed.  I knew then that I would have to learn more about this before I had babies, and this began the process of midwifery becoming such a strong focus in my life.

I worked hard and got accepted into the nursing program mid year of my senior year of high school.  However, I became so scared about the concept of having to draw blood, that I dropped out of the program before I ever started.  It is so silly to think now, but that was the reality then.  I often wonder what things would have looked like if I had continued the path then, but I truly believe the journey wasn’t meant to begin yet, and things would look so different today if I had continued in my nursing journey path.

While in college, I volunteered at a pregnancy resource center, which aligned with my continual love of everything with pregnancy and babies!  I also was very involved with baby sitting for friends from church with young children, including being the baby sitter for one of my friends when she delivered her fourth.

Before I was married, I started to hear about this elusive, under ground home birth environment.  I am from Missouri, where home birth and midwifery were illegal when I was this age.  A friend had one of her children at home, and it was this very secretive process to even get a midwife’s phone number.  You had to jump through a number of hurdles to qualify for this process.  I was quite intrigued, and would remember this for years to come!

My husband and I married in 2005.  After a stent working in youth ministry out of state, we took a position as house parents at a maternity home for teens who were being pressured into an abortion and/or kicked out of there homes.  Our time there was insightful.  Two things came from that season.  One, I started my journey to become a doula in 2007 after supporting many teen mamas through their journey.  The second was there was no way on earth I was having a baby in the hospital!

I had my first baby several weeks early at a birthing center in 2008.  Although as a midwife now, I know he should have never been born out of hospital, I am so grateful for that journey.  I had a difficult pregnancy (although does not compare to my last pregnancy by any means) of nausea and crippling fatigue (that I discovered postpartum was an undiagnosed thyroid condition), followed by preterm labor and ultimately a late preterm delivery.  My birth was seamless and without complication.  It was empowering.  After I had my water birth, I knew I had to be a midwife.

My husband was not on board unfortunately.  We had some other things going on life, and he did not feel it was the right season.  I started my doula business, and read and researched continuously on all things birth!

My second baby followed two years later, another hard pregnancy, with weeks more of preterm labor, followed by a barely term delivery at 37 weeks at the birth center again.  His birth really solidified things for me.  I talked with my husband, and he said he would support me if I began the journey.

To be in this sacred line of work, it has to be a calling.  I talk and work with so many women who want to be doulas or midwives and so fully infatuated with birth, but then the first couple of births come, and they realize its hard.  You have to miss holidays and birthday parties.  You have to back out on obligations.  You may pour all your strength into a marathon birth, and get called that the next mama needs you.  You will miss a lot of sleep.  Some births pour from one day into the next.  Sometimes you may go 40+ hours without sleep.  Sometimes you give 150% of yourself to your clients, and they are still unhappy.  Birth work is not an easy work, but it is a calling you can not run from.  It is beautiful, sacred, powerful, miraculous.  It’s looking into a laboring mom’s eyes reminding her the power is within her when the war of transition rages on inside of her.  It’s the joy and empowerment that comes when a woman births her baby on her terms.  Midwifery is so much beyond words, and when truly called, the calling chases you.  It is a calling that is deep within, Christ ordained, and cannot be run from.  This is how you know you are called to this work.

#sacredjourneymidwifery

 

G and E started care with me in the first trimester of their fifth pregnancy.  G had used my services and had a beautiful home birth with her previous child, which you can read about here.

G’s pregnancy progressed along as beautifully as her previous one.  I did the home visit at 36.6 weeks pregnant, and found G ready to go.  She was experiencing a lot of Braxton Hicks, and ready to start doing all the things to have a baby.  She requested an exam, and was 1cm dilated, 50% effaced, and baby at a -3 station.

Three days later, G called me in the middle of the night with painful, frequent, short contractions.  She did not think they could be labor, but they were causing a lot of pain.  She came over later that day when contractions had slowed, but were continuing.  Baby looked great, and G was now 2cm dilated, 80% effaced, and baby still at a -3 station.  We talked about things to do to try and allow rest, and help her irritated uterus chill out.

Things persisted all week, and G said I needed to do a sweep and get her baby out.  G had a history of delivering before her estimated due date anyway, and since I am client choice, i honored her request to begin labor encouragement as we started the 38th week.

G arrived at my office around 830am on June 21st for our attempted labor encouragement.  We did some herbs, and then an exam and membrane sweep.  G was 3cm dilated, 80% effaced, and baby at a -1 station.  We talked about going for a walk, and eating a good meal as her next tasks before she headed out.

G returned close to 3pm for a second sweep and herbs.  The first sweep and herbs definitely brought on a considerable amount of contractions, so we were hopeful repeating would make things more active and get this mama a baby!  G was 4cm dilated, 90% effaced, and baby at a -1 station.

Since G was very sure she wanted the baby to be born, apprentice A followed shortly behind G to do some good positioning work to help get things more regular and active.  For a couple of hours, they worked alternating between the birth ball, lift and tucks (with what G lovingly called “satan’s scarf” otherwise known as the rebozo), and some asymmetrical positioning.

Around 7pm, A and G went to the park and took a walk.  This seemed to change the flow of the labor waves, and A told me active labor was in progress and I should come.

I arrived at about 9pm, and found G laboring on the birth ball.  She had showered after her walk, and had changed into a special outfit she had wanted to wear during her birthing time. Her looks were definitely on point for birthing goddess!  She looked beautiful!

We did intake vitals, then moved to the bedroom to do a cervical exam to assess where we were at in our journey.  G was 5cm dilated, 90% effaced, and baby at a -1 station.  G felt emotional hearing about where her cervix was at in the journey.  She was hoping for more progress.  I reminded and assured her that each baby has to make their way into the world in their way, and we have to remember to allow this little one to make her journey the way she needs.

After the exam, we moved back into the living room and turned on some music, and G did some side lunging and big hip circles with contractions, or as I lovingly call them, captain morgan’s with slutty circles.  G was ready to work to meet this sweet girl!

Next was the abdominal lift and tucks for ten contractions.  These had been so powerful in changing things with her last baby’s journey, so G had a love/hate relationship with them.  Contractions were coming every 2.5 minutes, lasting 45 seconds.

We started homeopathy to help the journey.  When the lift and tucks were complete, G moved back to the birth ball, which was a comfort position for her. Contractions were shifting in intensity, and G was beginning to moan with contractions.  The birth pool was filing, in preparation as it seemed like G would be wanting in before long.

As 11pm neared, G was feeling done.  She wanted to be done.  The waves were becoming more powerful, as transition was nearing.  She moved around the house some before entering the birth pool on her knees at 11:21pm.

With G’s previous birth, once she got into the pool, things moved very quickly.  This journey was not the case, and the journey to holding her sweet girl was a much longer one.  E and her sister in law R (also a home birth mama) said later they almost asked me if everything was okay because the journey took much longer than the last time.

G moved position’s frequently, as she worked with her body and her baby to bring her sweet girl earth side.

Big brother R was very sweet, as he stood quietly next to the birth pool, sometimes lightly touching his mama, and so excited to meet his sister.  He hung in there so long, and even asked for some gloves like the rest of the team because, we discovered, he hoped to catch the baby.  He was disappointed he could not reach very far into the pool.  It was precious.

The emotions were high for G as she was in the thick of transition.  We continued to encourage G through each wave that she was safe, that her baby was working hard with her body to come earth side.  With each waves, someone was offering touch and encouragement.

We started herbs a little after midnight to help emotionally when G wanted to be so done.  At one point, apprentice A was encouraging G that this pain has a purpose, and G found her sassiness for a moment and replied, “This pain can kiss my a**.”  It was funny moment.

G was beginning to grunt more with each contraction.  I checked G at 12:47am, and found her with a lip of cervix and baby at a +2 station.  G wanted to try one contraction with me reducing lip, but the intensity was too much for her, and we continued to moan through the next few waves, waiting for her body to take over.

At 1:01am, G’s body took over, and began pushing spontaneously.  G was having some resistance to the urge, and I reminded her the sensation was normal, and her baby was ready to meet her.

With the next contraction, the baby came barrelling earth side, taking no time to slow her roll in wanting to meet her mama!  The journey was over, and baby girl was here!

Welcome to the world Bellamy Freyja, born earth side on June 22nd, 2019 at 1:04am, weighing in at 7lbs 6ozs, 19.25 inches long.  Your mama worked so hard in every capacity to surrender to the journey and had the power and strength to do what it takes to meet you in the comfort of home.

It was such a privilege to work with this fun couple for a second time.  Photos taken by Stacy Fitzmorris Photography.

#sacredjourneymidwifery

Birth Story of Channing

S and S hired me in the second trimester of their sixth pregnancy.  S had been unhappy with the treatment she had received in care providers, and was desiring a VBA2C, as her last two deliveries had been via cesarean.

S’s pregnancy progressed on beautifully.  She knew she had a potential history of going a week overdue, so it was not surprising at all when S’s estimated due date came and went.

The evening of June 12th, S began to experience contractions coming every 10-15 minutes, and just aggravating enough to effect sleep.  The next morning, S had her regular prenatal appointment with me.  She was 1cm dilated, 70% effaced, and baby was at a -3 station.  I strongly encouraged S to rest, stay distracted, and consider something to help with sleep.

After a long day, S took a sleeping aid that night, and got some much deserved sleep.  She woke on June 14th, with contractions coming every 6-9 minutes, but about the same strength.  I did an exam late morning, and found D to be 3cm dilated, 80% effaced, and baby at a -2 station.  We talked about continuing the plan of rest/activity/nourishment, and encouraged S to trust the journey already set for this little guy’s journey.

Around 5pm, S and I were talking, and she was feeling very ready to meet her baby.  Apprentice A had sent with S home the day before with a homeopath that she felt may help progress S’s labor.  I encouraged S to start the homeopath for two hours, and see what happens.

The homeopath was magical for her, and almost right away contractions regulated and became more intense.  After a couple hours of more intense contractions, S asked if I would come.  I knew it was probably early still in the journey, but wanted S to be supported.

I arrived at 815pm, and found S semi reclining in the bed.  She was focusing and breathing through contractions, which were coming every 3-4 minutes, lasting a minute long.

I did an exam at 830pm, and found S to be 4cm dilated, 90% effaced, and baby at a -2 station.  I recommended a walk, so S, apprentice S, and I went for a walk through the cul-de-sac.

S labored on the birth ball while sipping on fluids after the walk.  She was feeling more pressure with the contractions post walk.

S requested an exam at 10:14pm after having a small amount of bloody show.  she was 5cm dilated, 100% effaced, and baby was at a -2 station.  I could feel a very bulgy bag of water during the exam.

Apprentice A recommended doing lift and tucks, so as 11pm came, A did a series of abdominal lift and tucks through ten contractions to help with labor progression and positioning.  We rotated a couple of homeopaths to help with calming and comfort through out these contractions.

As midnight appeared, S wanted to try to rest.  We helped get her in the bed, and positioned her on her side with the peanut ball to give baby plenty of room to move on down.  S attempted to rest, but stated her contractions hurt much more in this position.  Contractions were coming every 3-3.5 minute, lasting 75 seconds. She decided to get out of the bed at 12:45am, and began doing captain morgan’s with hip circles to help with progression.

S requested and exam and for her water to be broken at 130am.  We reviewed risks and benefits of breaking water, and I did an exam and was able to rupture her bag during a contraction.  Her fluid was nice and clear, and she was now 6cm dilated, and baby at a -1 station.

I recommended S try open knee chest for 40 minutes to help continue to shift contractions and help baby move down.  I applied counter pressure for a few contractions for comfort, which S stated helped with the discomfort the contractions brought.

S got into the birth pool, laboring on her knees, at 230am.  Contractions were coming every 2.5 minutes, lasting 60 seconds, and strong in intensity.  S was feeling more rectal pressure with contractions.  We encouraged her to breath through her labor waves, and allow her baby to move on down.

S got into the birth pool a little after 3am, and they labored together in the pool through out the hour.  We dosed S with some herbs to help with calming when things felt tough, and helped take the edge off.

S requested an exam around 4am, but was tense and hard to do an exam in the pool.  We talked about options, and S decided she would like to get out for a cervical check.  I did an exam at 4:20am, and found S to be 9cm dilated, and baby at a +1 station.  We all cheered S on with how close she was to the finish line.

S decided to lay on her side in the bed for a few contractions, and S used some essential oils on her back to help with back pain. We continued alternating a couple herbal tinctures to help with calming, while S provided counter pressure on S’s back.

After S was becoming discouraged by no progression, I recommended she get in open knee chest again at 5am, since baby was so close to being earth side.  S was such a trooper, and so ready to meet her sweet baby.  She got in open knee chest, and continued to breath through contractions while apprentice A and assistant H alternated providing counter pressure with contractions.

At 530am,  S requested I hold back the cervical lip that now remained to help her meet her baby.  It worked well, and S moved to semi reclining a few moments later.  I suggested trying tug of war with the rebozo with contractions, and begun this at 535am, with assistant H helping with the tugging.

Tug of war proved to be very effective for pushing, and the urge became powerful to bring her baby earth side.  We could see the head visible on the perineum at 541am.  With the next contraction, the baby was crowning, and then we hung there for a couple minutes.  The next contraction was very powerful, and S brought her sweet boy earth side and into her waiting arms at 545am.  He was here!

Welcome to the world, Channing!  Born earthside on June 15th, 2019 at 5:45am, weighing in at a whopping 9lbs 2ozs, 21″ long.  S’s vaginal birth babies had previously been in the upper 6 pounds, making this littler guy over 2 pounds bigger than her previously biggest vaginal birthed baby!

I am so proud of this sweet mama for all she did and all she over came to birth her baby her way, on her terms, in the comfort of her home.  She is one strong mama!

#sacredjourneymidwifery

 

C and C started care with me in the first trimester of their second pregnancy.  C had a beautiful home birth with her first little guy, and was looking for another great experience with this little one.

C had experienced a precipitous delivery with her first baby, and her first midwife did not make her birth.  This caused her some anxiety through out the pregnancy, and I encouraged her that I was going to make it, and if for some reason I did not, i would be en route and close, but was confident I would make it.

Six days after her estimated due date, C called me around 4am, letting me know she had begun experiencing contractions an hour earlier that were becoming more regular, longer, and stronger, and C prompted her to call for me to come as I live a bit of a distance from her, and with her history, we did not want to chance me missing it!

I arrived around 515am, and found C laying on her right side in her bed.  All vitals were normal.  C and I began discussing a cervical exam, and her choices dependent upon what her cervix was doing.  I did an exam at 530am, and found C to be 4cm dilated, 100% effaced, and baby at a 0 station.  I swept her membranes per her request.

After the exam, C moved to her birth ball, snacking on a banana between contractions.  We enjoyed laughing and chatting in between the waves.

At 615am, apprentice A began doing lift and tucks with the rebozo with C to help strengthen her contractions.  Contractions were coming ever 2-3 minutes, lasting 45-60 seconds after the lift and tuck.

After working hard with that position, C moved to laying on her right side again in her bed to get a little rest.

After getting some rest, C and C got ready and went outside for a walk.  They went for a good 25 minute walk, before coming back in for hydrating.  C was ready to keep working, and moved on to doing a fun position I call Captain Morgan’s with hip circles.  We had C do three on each leg, which helps open up the pelvis and allow the baby more room to move on down.

C stated she was beginning to feel some pressure in her bottom.  She moved to the toilet because she thought it would feel good.

C requested a cervical exam at 8am.  She was 7cm dilated, and +1 station.  She decided she was ready to move to the birth pool, laboring in a seated position.  We started to give her homeopathic arnica to help with swelling and bleeding associated with delivery.

C soon moved to laboring on her knees, focused with the waves, and snacking on chocolate covered strawberries between contractions.  I feel like chocolate covered strawberries just screams #thisishomebirth.  Mom’s get to do and eat whatever they want!

As the 9 o’clock hour appeared, C’s contractions were coming every 4-5 minutes, lasting about a minute long.  C was alternating her position between sitting and kneeling every few contractions, as her journey became more intense.

The heat of transition was upon as 10am appeared.  C was done, as all women feel when experiencing transition.  I sat on her bed side, and gently encouraged her with each wave that she was powerful and she was going to meet her sweet baby so soon.

Soon, her body began to push.  At 1025am, her body was pushing and bringing her baby rapidly close to her arms. With the second push, the head was visible on the perineum, and with the third, the baby was crowning.

Her water broke with delivery of her baby’s head.  With the next wave, C powerfully birthed her baby in the birth pool just as she wished and hoped.

Welcome to the world, Shiloh!  Born earthside on April 15th, 2019 at 1028am, weighing in at 8lbs 8ozs.  Her big brother was so excited to see her, trying to figure out who this little one in his mama’s arms is!

It was such an honor to support this powerful mama through her labor journey.  #sacredjourneymidwifery

Photos by Yany Photography.

M and G started care with me in the first trimester of their third pregnancy.  M had previously used A Sacred Journey Midwifery Services for her previous delivery, and was excited to be planning another home birth.  You can read about her first homebirth here.

M’s pregnancy was a bit harder than previous pregnancies between fatigue and nausea, and then followed gestational diabetes.  I know she was bummed to have to deal with GD on top of being pregnant and the pregnancy cravings that pregnancy brings, but I have to say she was amazing with things, and was able to manage her GD with diet changes and exercise.

M called me at 126am on her due date letting me know she was experiencing strong, regular contractions every 4-5 minutes, lasting over a minute since she got out of the bath an hour earlier.  Since her previous labor had gone fairly quickly once active labor commenced, we agreed I should be on the way.

I arrived at 210am, finding M laboring peacefully on her right side in her bed, gently moaning with labor waves.  The lights were dim, and M was in her birth zone.  She let me know that she was starting to feel some light rectal pressure at the peaks.  The birth team started to move along with getting the birth pool set up, and everything we needed for delivery ready.

Mom and baby’s vitals were all perfect.  I did an exam at 234am, and found M to be 6cm dilated, 100% effaced, and baby at a 0 station.  Her cervix was soft and stretchy, and I could tell labor would not last much longer.

M continued to labor on her side in her bed, patiently waiting for the birth pool to fill.  The sounds of birth becoming more and more clear.  M wanted in the birth pool, and she was not having a baby without it!

M’s water broke at 305am, just as the birth pool was ready for her.  After a birth wave had passed, M walked faster than I have ever seen to the birth pool in the other room, and got into the warm water in a semi reclining position.  With the next wave, M began to spontaneously push.  Things moved quickly.  The head began to crown at 313am, followed by the rest of the baby a minute later.

M and G looked at their sweet team green baby and found out their tie breaker was a sweet little girl!

Welcome to the world, Zipporah!  Born earthside on January 22, 2019, weighing in at 9lbs 2ozs, 20.75″ long.  Big brother and sister were definitely in love with their precious new sibling.

Miss Zipporah needed a little help to stabilize her blood sugar, so I assisted in giving her some donor milk, which immediately regulated her blood sugar, and she never had an issue after that.

I was such a joy and honor to get to work with this family for a second time.  #sacredjourneymidwifery