the Fluke Puke

 

I need to discuss something. Something that I’ve never seen discussed anywhere. Perhaps because all moms fear it so much they won’t even whisper the word, let alone discuss it with their friends…

What could strike such terror within the hearts of otherwise courageous and fearless women?
The fluke puke.

Ugh. Even typing it makes my arm hair stand up.
You are all doing your thing, and someone coughs. Then it comes. Puke. Ugh. Oh no. Is it a stomach virus? Are we going to be quarantined for a week? Or more?

But wait. There was a cough. Your eyes open wide. Maybe it was just the fluke puke.
On one hand, fluke pukes are awesome. It means there won’t be vomit everywhere. It means you may actually get to go in that mom’s night out that you have been planning for months.
But.
And there’s a big but.
The fluke puke is so terrifying because you just don’t know. You’ll live next 24 hours in fear. Any time your kid makes a quick moment your heart sinks and you say to yourself, “Welp. There’s that. He’s going to barf his BRAT diet everywhere.” But then there’s nothing. Maybe you just got lucky though. Every sad face, “Yep. Here it comes. Banana puke.” But nope, he’s just whizzed that Mickey Mouse is over. Do you go anywhere? What if he pukes all over the grocery store? Do you chance it? Do you TELL ANYONE?! What if they treat you like you have the plague? Oh you know it’s coming. If you even mention puke people go running for the hills.
Ugh. The Fluke Puke. It’s almost just as bad as the stomach bug.

Can’t believe..

This year I’m actually doing the half marathon! I’m scared out of my mind. I’ve been having dreams about it. Ask my friends, it’s basically all I can talk about.

But for this mama, 13.1 is a long, long way. Coming from a point where I couldn’t do a mile in under 17 minutes to my last training session doing 10 in 15 minute miles I’ve come a long way. That doesn’t take the fear away… but I know I’m preparing as much as I can.

The truth is, I would have never done this on my own. I wouldn’t have sought out to do it if it weren’t for one thing: Sophie & Madigan’s Playground. This charity is close to my heart because it was formed after my best friend’s daughters passed in a house fire in January of 2013. Their passing spurred their family to come up with the idea of a huge playground to be built in Frederick, MD for families to come together and make memories that will last a long time. I say it a lot, but it’s the truth… sometimes memories are all you have. That’s why this park is so important. Not only that though, the charity seeks to help families to play, learn and create. We’ve held a ton of amazing events with that focus. To help families create long lasting memories.

 

So as I get each mile under my shoes, I try to remember why I’m doing it. When I don’t want to, when it’s too cold out, when I’m exhausted I look down and remember Sophie and Madigan. Sophie’s laugh. Madigan’s love for babies (including Max). The way they played with the boys. I don’t want to let them down. Each mile is important.

 

If you so feel called, please consider a donating to Sophie & Madigan’s Playground. My goal this year was a very lofty 6,000 but I’ll be happy about any cent raised for this cause.

http://www.sophieandmadigansplayground.org/runnerprofile.php?r_id=241&race=4

Honey Badger Parenting

Recently I was asked to write a blog on parenting and family.

At first I really wasn’t sure what I could write about. Maybe our family closet? Or maybe how I handle four crazy boys? Or maybe how I try to keep my house clean? None of it sounded terribly exciting…

And then I was in Target with Max and he had no pants on and was sticking his feet out of the cart. Aha! The Honey Badger Parenting was born!

You can read the article on my friend Maggie’s blog here: http://www.beingonpurpose.me/#!Guest-Post-Honey-Badger-Parenting/c1rfl/CF91AF13-B79F-4256-9AE7-452AE1FB5C3A

Changes, they are a comin’

Hey All!

So things have changed so much over the last year. We’ve decided to put our house on the market, our kids have all gotten larger, and I’ve settled into the role of praise and worship leader at our church. I have been crazy busy and as you all know, balance is hard.

I’ve decided to examine who and where I want to be in this life. I want to be more present, and I want to do the things that my heart calls out to do. One of these things is being a doula. I had a really hard time balancing life when Dixon was born. We had just lost the girls a few weeks prior when I found out I was pregnant. Life was hard. In the year since he’s been here though, I’ve found balance was so hard to find. That’s one of the places I really struggle with. I like to be everything for everyone all the time and now through therapy I’ve found that just isn’t possible. I have to have priorities. I have to say no to good things sometimes. And I have to create a balance that may not work for anyone else but does work for my family.

Being a doula is one of those areas. I would love to have a thriving business being a doula, but this is just not the season for us. So while my heart cries out to help women in birth, I’ve decided that I can make it work without making my family struggle. Being a doula is something I feel called to do, but the business aspect was just not working for me. I support all doulas who charge, so that isn’t where this is coming from. It’s truly coming from a place where my heart can be happy, I can be happy doing what I love, without the aspects that stress me out. So I have decided to become a not for profit doula. I also am dramatically limiting the number of births I attend. I don’t know exactly what this will look like as I’m trying to figure it all out, but I know that it has to look like something I can be happy with. Serving women in pregnancy and labor is something my heart desires, the business part isn’t, for now. Maybe that will change in a year, who knows. But for now I’ve found peace in it.

O/T: spectating for the disney princess 1/2 marathon

I had the most amazing weekend. I headed down to Disney World to cheer on Chrissi Lillard and the rest of the Running for Sophie and Madigan’s crew. It was one of the most inspirational experiences I’ve ever experienced. The energy, the tears, the cheers… Everything was so over the top amazing.

I got to Disney around 3am, and Chrissi picked me up (only after a few hurdles… Haha). By the time I was at her cabin at Fort Wilderness it was too late to sleep, so we stayed up until the 5k. Let me tell you, I am not a racer. Thankfully we had a blast. We photo bombed every character and it was just awesome. I had such a great time with Chrissi and Jen at the 5k. Stayed up the rest of the day, helped pass out tshirts to the runners. Hurt my foot some how bad enough that it impacted the rest of the weekend, but I sucked it up and went on. The pasta party on Friday night was a blast. We had a great time. Then sweet Tara pushed me around in a wheelchair so that I could enjoy a little fun at Epcot

Got up the next morning to watch Chrissi’s mom finish the 10k. Chrissi has amazing qualities, and many are from her mom. She helped runners on the course and they announced that at the end. It was a very touching moment. I cried. I don’t cry. But I cried.

Watching Morgan, Mya, Riddick, Sadie and sleepy Mason in the kids races was so fun! I was so proud of my kiddo Morgan. Her determination and spirit is amazing. And I think she scared Jen at least 10000 by sneaking up on her.

Handed out more tshirts, hung out with Lauren and family for lunch then headed to see Chrissi for dinner. Lots of talking. Got matching Madigan pins. Mickey silhouettes with pink hearts. Now I have to find one for Sophie :). Headed back in a 26 dollar can (ouch!). Went to sleep excited for the 1/2.

We met with with the group before the race. Giving hugs, taking pictures, crying of course. Then we headed to Epcot’s monorail. Cheering is a lot of walking and poor Tara and I were limping along as she hurt her leg and I hurt my foot but we pushed on. Once on the monorail you head to tickets and transportation, walk down and up ramps to get on the magic kingdom monorail. Once off there, you can find a spot along the course. I wanted to be near the castle but it was pretty filled up by the time we got there so we opted to sit by the bakery on Main Street.

Cheering for the half was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. It was awe inspiring. Mike was the first in the pink shirt. That was so cool. Seeing Jack pass by us was just amazing. His heart was in it for his beautiful girls and I was so proud to know my Mr Jack. As more and more pink shirts passed I was just so excited. Becky, Rachel, nick and their crew came through. So proud of them for finishing it together. Robyn and Marty in their awesome pink shirts. Tara and I cheered our hearts out, not only for our team, but for everyone. It was so fun to yell for the princesses and princes! Sadly we missed Debbie but we were so proud of her. I think we missed Rebecca in there some where too. Then Stephanie came up. It was amazing to see her. I’ve known Stephanie for a long time so seeing her meet this goal was just amazing. I tear up thinking about it.

Then came Regina, who looked like she had this thing in her pocket. She was made for this race!

My memory is fuzzy, but I think Kristin was next. She may be switched with Lauren and Jonathan but either way she texted and asked for a banana. We didn’t have any and I couldn’t find any so she got craisens instead. I’m certain those craisens made the difference. Haha.

I think Lauren and Jonathan were next. Lauren…. What can I say? I am so proud of her. She put her heart and soul into this race for the girls. When I look at all she’s accomplished I can’t help but tear up knowing how she struggled and fought for this race. She deserves to wear her medal every day. And Jonathan! Jonathan is a “real runner” but he stayed by Lauren’s side every step of the way. He is a huge part of the success. I’m so proud to know this power couple!

Vicki, Jen and Chrissi came next. When I saw them I knew that it had been a hard 5 miles. But the tears and the smiles and the cheers came stronger.
Vicki is a “real runner” in that she runs a crazy fast mile but as she passes she held tight to Chrissi’s hand. Vicki is a big part of why I could be there. She let many of us stay in her room. Thank you! I still owe you a drink. Jen, my dear chicken, who was the first friend I made in Maryland. Can you believe it chicken?! YOU DID IT ! Remember when we used to try to work out in the apartment gym?! You freaking completed a 1/2 marathon!!!!!! Chrissi, my darling friend of so many years. My words fail me when I try to articulate how proud I am. You could have given up, and no one would have blamed you for a second. But you pushed on. You went for it. You did it for your girls!!!!!!!! You. Did. It. Wow. I could feel the girls cheering you on with me. So proud of their mama for never letting them be forgotten. They will live on in each person that ran. Each person that asked what Sophie and Madigan’s Playground is. Each person that read the #runningforsophieandmadigan sign. Each person who saw our neon pink shirts. You and Jack did it!!! And we are so proud.

Tara and I then got on the monorail to Tickets and transportation then onto the monorail back to Epcot. We ran into Stephanie’s parents. We tracked that we walked about 6 miles for this race, hey maybe I can do a 1/2 marathon ;). Once back to Epcot you walk to the trees and back to the spectator area. There are a ton of bleachers but you kind of have to push through to get a seat. It wasnt too bad though. I had gotten the platinum ch’ear squad but I opted to sit with Tara in the free seats until it was time for Chrissi to come through. We cheered for each of our friends as they crossed that finish line. It was such a surreal experience. After Vicki, Regina, Lauren and Jonathan finished we started to get a little nervous. See, you can be swept in this race. They can take you off the course and I was scared that Jen, Chrissi and Kristin had been swept.

I went to sit with Jack. We were nervous together. You could tell they were starting to wrap things up. Emptying trash cans and such. But then I got a text from Jen!! They were almost there!! When I saw them I burst into tears. I couldn’t believe it. There was my amazing Chrissi. She had done it!!!!! The announcer then announced why they were running, for Chrissi’s beautiful girls, Sophie and Madigan. Mickey, Minnie and Goofy were there, hugging and kissing and cheering them on as they crossed over the finish line! Confetti cannons and cheers! It was amazing.

Jack and I hugged and sobbed and hugged and sobbed. Then Jack and I ran to greet them (okay, not gonna lie… I ran while jack quickly walked… Because we all know if jack were running I wouldn’t be able to keep up hahah). It was like out of a movie. Jack grabbed Chrissi and hugged her and we all cried.

This weekend was amazing. It was hard. It was sad. It was happy. It was laughter and tears. It was old friends meeting up to support our beautiful friend and each other. It was literally life changing.

Thank you from the very bottom of my heart to Jen and Kristin for crossing that finish line with Chrissi. For bringing her through highs and lows. You are my heroes. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

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Maddox’s Birth Story

This is the story of my third kiddo’s birth. It was a crazy situation but turned out pretty amazing.

I feel as if this story begins before the night I went to the hospital. My first child, Riley, who was born when I was only 19. I knew very little of birth. I knew very little of the world, really. I was induced on my due date because of… well… there was no reason. I didn’t have any idea what it even really meant. All I knew was that I was going to have a baby. I had a fast but incredibly intense pitocin induced birth. He came so fast that I was unable to have an epidural. This opened my eyes to the idea of what birth out of the norm could be like. I’m glad I felt it. It sparked an interest in birth. Fast forward to my second. I had read and read but was still not confident in my choices. I still thought that what the doctor said would go. I was induced for a second time. I went through that birth without an epidural as well, but I knew there had to be more. After discussion upon discussion, reading book after book, talking to mom after mom I knew that midwifery care was for me. I knew that I could have the birth experience that so many women had, where they felt empowered to birth.

I woke up out of dead sleep on Thursday, Thanksgiving, night. I was 37 weeks and 5 days with my third child, having had contractions for weeks on end. But this felt different. I was in so much pain I couldn’t control myself. I knew something was wrong. The pain wasn’t contractions, there was no rhythm it was constant. Jeremy called the midwife who said it sounded like a kidney stone. I agreed. She suggested a warm bath. Over the next two hours I tried everything. Tylenol, hot compress, shower, birth ball, walking, laying down, but the pain got worse. I sent my friend Chrissi a text to see if she had any suggestions. Eventually I decided the pain was too bad and I needed to head to the hospital. I’m so glad now we went to where I was delivering instead of the closest hospital. My poor hubby had taken Tylenol pm that night because of a bad headache. He never takes anything so it hit him pretty hard. Chrissi offered to come get me and take me to the hospital. I was in so much pain I began vomiting as we pulled in after the 30 minute ride.

They took me into triage and gave me pain medicine. It took hours to get the pain to even a manageable point. I was in pain after only an hour or two of the larger doses of demerol. Once morning came, one of the midwives, Paula, came to talk to me. Her recommedation was that I be induced because the large amount of pain medicine could be dangerous for the baby if continued. While they were pretty sure it was kidney stone, the problem may have been baby placement which the birth would relieve. I was given some options and after a lot of discussion with everyone we decided to go ahead and have a gentle induction. The options included: Going home with percocet and hope the pain went away, get an epideral & pitocin and go into labor, attempt to deal with the pain & take phentanol as needed and be induced with a cook’s catheter and low level pitocin. I chose the cook’s catheter and low level pitocin. While it was not what I wanted, at that point I had been in so much pain that I was very fearful of heading home and trying to mask the pain with percoset. This is where I feel that midwifery care really helped me. Had I had a doctor that wasn’t interested in my wishes, they would have pushed much harder for a hard induction. Paula was respectful of my wishes, knowing that even if I couldn’t have the natural birth I wanted, I had choices and that was one of the most empowering times.

At about 2:30pm I got my last dose of phentanol for the kidney pain and they inserted a cooks catheter. I was already 3cm and 70 percent effaced and had been taking evening primrose oil to soften my cervix for a few weeks. They put me on a low dose of pitocin as well. After about an hour I was able to get up. I rolled a ton on my birth ball while listening and laughing at my birth playlist, which included “You’re Having My Baby” from the Glee soundtrack. Then I went to the bathroom and the catheter came out! My midwife checked me and I was already 6-7 cm! The midwife asked if I wanted my water broken, and since I was already 6-7 I said yes. She went ahead and broke my water. I allowed her to break my water because I had a feeling that if my water was broken, the baby would arrive quicker and that would allow me to avoid upping the pitocin or more medical interventions. I couldn’t believe I had progressed so quickly and really was in relatively low amounts of pain. This experience was already 100 times better than my previous inductions. I truly feel like it was because of the huge amount of support that I had. Decisions that were made were mine. They were informed, supported, well thought out decisions. And I was surrounded both physically and emotionally by people who loved me, both in the room and from afar. Also, I was encouraged to move with the pain, I was encouraged to moan, hum, or anything else that would help me move through the pain. My midwife was very encouraging to do what felt best to me. She helped me to know that this was my experience and to not be embarrassed by my more primal side.

I got back on my ball to move him lower into my pelvis. We continued to roll with each contraction until my midwife suggested getting in the tub. At first I said I’d rather get in the shower but after one contraction while standing I knew it would be too painful. I rushed to the toilet because I knew so many women who found some pain relief from sitting on the toilet. While I had a couple of contractions on the toilet, Chrissi filled the tub and I got in. The water was so refreshing and calming. This is when I think the contractions got very intense. I started really vocalizing them. Working through each contraction with humming, o’hhing. Jeremy sat in the bathroom and held my hand as each contraction peaked. Knowing he was there and encouraging me was so beautiful to me. Near the 5th or 6th contraction I remember talking to Maddox. Reassuring him that the world wasn’t scary, that I could hold and love him outside the womb and he would be safe. Within another contraction I started feeling a little pushy so out of the tub and onto the bed. My midwife trusted that I knew what my body was doing. I was about 9 cm and the midwife encouraged me that I could push and she’d pull the cervix aside if needed. I pushed but knew he wasn’t quite there. As they got ready I knew he’d be here soon. I had been in so much pain from the kidney stone that I was afraid my body couldn’t handle the pain of pushing. I was afraid that my birth had been so fast that the pushing stage may be hours. But I was able to let go of that pain and within two contractions and pushes he was born into the world at 5:40pm, only about 3 or 4 hours since the start. This experience was so much better than my previous inductions. This felt so much closer to what birth should be like. While I know it wasn’t completely natural, for me I was able to get a lot of what I wanted. I was able to move, laugh, cry, get in the tub, vocalize. After the birth it was everything I wanted. He was placed directly on my chest. He snuggled with me and was able to latch on right away. His cord was able to pulsate and I was able to bask in the first precious moments of his life. It was truly love at first sight.
Right afterward, Antonette, a friend & doula, came to come get the placenta. I’m so thankful because the placenta pills were amazing They helped so much with the postpartum depression I was so afraid that would engulf this amazing experience. I was moved to the post partum room quickly after that. Then, I was sent for a CT scan where they found both of my kidneys have stones in them. The kidney pain went away shortly after the induction started. After the birth I had to have uretal stints put in. After further investigation I had 13 kidney stones, one that was lodged in my ureter and had to be taken care of.

While my birth wasn’t perfect, it was the best birth I could have had under the circumstances, and truly changed me as a mother. My bond with Maddox is unbreakable. It is as strong as the contractions were that brought him to me. I am so thankful for all the women who helped me to achieve this bond.

Sponsor me as I ch’ear’lead for Sophie and Madigan’s Playground!

If you know me, you know of a charity that is incredibly dear to my heart: Sophie and Madigan’s Playground. This charity is raising money to build a destination playground in Frederick, MD. The reason this playground is being built, is to honor the beautiful lives of Sophie and Madigan. Soph and Maggie Moo are an important part of our family. When I met their family, Sophie was a tiny babe. I remember getting the call when Madigan was born. Our little turkey :). We’ve had countless sleepovers, big adventures, and play dates. These girls (and their sisters Sadie, Morgan and new brother Mason) were and are a huge part of my heart. My boys considered them sisters. When they passed it left a hole in our hearts. We are working to raise money to help keep their spirit alive. The girls loved to be outside and playing. . We would have play dates where all the kids would be outside all day (even when my boys would whine ;). This playground will be a place where those kind of memories will be made.

Now to the ch’ear’ing part! Disney has always been a big part of the Lillard family’s lives, and now subsequently ours. Our last big adventure before we lost the girls was a big trip to Disney World. To say it was magical would be an understatement. Both our families had an amazing time. We even surprised the kids. We didn’t tell them that we were meeting. It was so fun when they saw each other at the carousel at Magic Kingdom.

They, as well as a lot of our friends, are running in the Princess Half Marathon for the girls, and I’ll be ch’ear’ing for them! As part of the ch’ear’ squad I am raising money for the playground. My goal is 3000! If I make it to my goal I will shave a Mohawk into my hair and dye it pink and blue. PLEASE HELP GET ME TO MY GOAL! :D Every little bit counts!

You can click here to donate. Thank you!

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Dixon Murphy Erickson’s Birth Story

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When I first found out my blood pressure was high I wasn’t worried. I figured it was a fluke. The same thing had happened once in Maddox’s pregnancy as well, but was shown to be an issue with the cuff. So I headed over to the Birthing Inn and settled in for a Non Stress Test. Once laying down, my pressure fine and I was sent on my merry way. Little did I know I would have to continue the NST’s, 24 hr urines and bedrest until I birthed. At this point, my diagnosis was pregnancy induced hypertension. But soon I was officially diagnosed with pre eclampsia. To say the least, I was scared. As a doula I knew enough about pre eclampsia to know that I had to take things seriously. When the midwife asked me to go on bedrest, I obliged, knowing that laying down dropped my blood pressure dramatically, therefore dropped my risk of stroking or having a seizure. I thought that I’d be induced right away, but the midwives were gentle and caring. They encouraged me and set up a plan that would include inducing at 39 weeks. This was prior to the tests showing I was spilling protein. I received a call on Wednesday, Oct 23rd. I was to be induced, again, for the fourth time, on Thursday. I wasn’t happy. I was overwhelmed. Scared that my blood pressure would spike during labor. Afraid I’d be tethered to a bed. Afraid of letting down my clients and friends. Afraid of side effects. Of the pain of pitocin. I wanted to be excited. It was there that I realized I had made my birth an idol. I was so obsessed with having a 100 percent natural birth that I wasn’t letting myself get excited about the baby! I knew I had to change that, and quickly. I prayed. I drew. I painted. I worked through letting to of my obsession with natural birth.

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I showed up at the Birthing Inn at around 8 o’clock on the 24th. They settled me in, read my birth plan, and the midwife, Courtney came in. We chatted about how I wanted to proceed. At that point I was around two centimeters dilated. I knew that I didn’t want Cervadil, a hormonal cervical dilator. We talked about my options. I decided, for me, a Cook’s catheter (a catheter that is filled with water, with two balls on each side. One ball goes in the cervix then is filled, the other sits inside the vagina.   This physically dilated the cervix without chance of hyper stimulation) was the first step. Courtney suggested I also have a low dose of pitocin. At first this was not what I wanted. I had wanted to avoid Pitocin at all costs. However, the more I thought about it, the more I was scared that without it I may be in labor much longer, giving my body more of a chance of developing dangerously high blood pressure, which could then lead to even more interventions. We decided very low Pitocin would be the best bet. We started everything around 9 am

At first all I felt was awkward. Having fluid filled balls in your vagina isn’t exactly the most amazing feeling. There was a lot of pressure. It was hard to walk. I found a nice spot on the birth ball, though. I rolled my hips and kept entertained by constantly updating my Facebook status. Yep, I totally live Facebooked my early labor.

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Contractions started and I started to breathe through them. Any woman who has experienced labor can tell you there’s a point where you breathe through, but it’s a choice. Then later, you hit a point where you no longer have a choice. You simply have to breathe through them to get through. I was definitely in the choosing to breath phase.

After about 3 hours Courtney said she was happy with my contractions and held the Pitocin at the level it was at. I continued to roll on my ball. I was so glad that my blood pressure was behaving. I was starting to have hope that maybe, just maybe I could stay out of the bed, not need any medications to lower my BP and have a semi gentle birth.

Around 1pm any time I stood up I used belly dancing techniques. Opening up my hips, doing circles and figure eights. This was a huge help to me.

At 2 pm, the Cook’s catheter fell out. So much relief! There was still a lot of pressure, but it helped. I knew I’d need to get checked to decide on the next course of action. Courtney said I was 3-4 cm. Honestly I’m not a huge fan of breaking water this early, however this is where trusting the provider comes in. I talked through my fears, and Courtney walked me through. When she looked in my eyes and said it was up to me, I felt it. I knew there would be no judgement. No sighs or complaints if I had decided to forgo breaking my water. So I heard her out. And again, went back to my previous births. In each one, as soon as my water was broke within an hour or so I had a baby. I knew that the birth I wanted was within reach so I consented to the AROM.

You know how I said every mom hits a point where she has no choice but to breath, stop what she’s doing, pay attention to the contractions? Yea well, that happened fast. Within minutes I went from smiling and facebooking to wanting to sign a release for an epidural. I looked at Jeremy and told him I couldn’t do it. That if labor was going to be like this for long I couldn’t do it. I got weak. Felt like jello. Thought I was going to throw up. Courtney got behind me on the ball and rubbed my back. Jeremy rubbed my thighs. I quickly hit a point where I knew if something didn’t change I would need some sort of relief.

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Although I was nervous it was too soon, I asked to get in the tub. Courtney thought that was a great idea and started filling it. I kept silently talking to the baby. Begging him to just come out.

A few minutes later, in the quiet between the contractions (at this point I was having two to three contractions back to back then a decent down time) I walked to the bathroom. It was about 3 pm. I started taking my clothes off through the web of iv’s. I knew the back to back contractions were coming, and that I needed a break so I sat down on the toilet, before I got in the tub.

During my last birth, that was the last place I wanted to be. It made everything worse. But this time? I could brace myself on the wall bars and ride through the contractions. The nurse and midwife must have sensed I was able to cope, and left Jeremy and me to be alone for a little bit.

In my mind I kept talking to Jeremy about what I was feeling. I was telling him that I thought he was getting close. That I was feeling pushy, but still figured I had time.  However, in reality I said nothing until my body was pushing! Everything I thought I was articulating out loud was all just self talk. All of a sudden though, my body started pushing and I was finally able to articulate that it was time. Within seconds, he yelled for the midwife. By the time she got in (which was literally seconds) I had delivered his head into mine and Jeremy’s hands! Courtney then helped me to stand to deliver his body and somersaulted him (his cord was wrapped) onto my chest where we removed the cord that was wrapped loosely around his neck. Quickly after I delivered the placenta, still in the bathroom. I was able to gaze at him, in shock of what had happened.

I had done it! I birthed my baby, I had caught my baby! I had brought life into this world. I never would have imagined I would have birthed on the toilet, and yes, I totally get how hilarious that is.

I had always had this dream of an unassisted hospital birth, where I was able to labor and birth on my own time, but in the hospital setting to calm my anxiety. However, I had went into this birth with that being the furthest thing from my mind. This wasn’t a choice I made, to catch him, but it’s amazing that this birth that I decided I needed to just let go of and let happen ended up being so fulfilling.

Dixon Murphy Erickson Morris was born lovingly fast into the hands of his mama and daddy at 3:22pm.

I couldn’t have done it without my husband by my side. He was such a huge support through the pregnancy as well as the birth. His constant encouragement is amazing.

I also want to thank Courtney at Loudoun Community Midwives. I know she believed in me throughout everything. Her trust in my body made the difference.

 

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Summer time and the livins’ busy!

Wow! I have been a busy doula this summer and I love it! Attending all these beautiful births has just hammered in that I am called to this! I really have loved it.

I’ve attended three births since I last posted, each of them special and wonderful in their own way. I love this!!

 

And a reminder, although I am on maternity leave coming in August, I am still continuing to take prenatal clients up until I am too exhausted to think ;) What does this entail? Well here’s a quick description:

Prenatal meet up – 2-3 hours – This time will help you to process your thoughts and feelings about your upcoming birth. We can work on birth art, discuss, role play, whatever you believe will be the most helpful for you to obtain the birth you feel you would like. We will go over a birth choices plan, with various scenarios.

 

This has been extra popular with c section mamas! So often we don’t think of the choices we have when it comes to c sections, but they are there! I love helping any mom to feel that her birth was her own… so please contact me if you’d like to set up an appointment.

 

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Little Miss

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and Mr.