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.
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.

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:!Guest-Post-Honey-Badger-Parenting/c1rfl/CF91AF13-B79F-4256-9AE7-452AE1FB5C3A

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.












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! 😀 Every little bit counts!

You can click here to donate. Thank you!







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.





Little Miss


and Mr.


Exciting news for Mama Echo

Welp, if you follow my facebook page, you’ll already know… we are expecting our fourth baby! We have three little boys from the ages of 8 to 17 months… and we are welcoming another in November.


This pregnancy came as a bit of a suprise.. not that I don’t know what causes pregnancy 😉 but we weren’t planning on it. In fact, I had been planning on getting pregnant in around August after my doula training is complete. But God had different plans.

With everything that has gone on in the past few months, this pregnancy is an interesting one. I’m depressed, and I recognize that. So I have to push myself to enjoy the little moments and the joy that this pregnancy will bring me. I know that I don’t want to regret this pregnancy. Life isn’t worth living if you are going to regret and be miserable, so I’m trying to choose to be happy and choose to live in the moments of here and now. Be more mindful of this pregnancy.


So what does this mean for DME? I’ll be continuing to support my mamas that have already signed contracts with me. After that, in August I will go on maternity leave until January 1. So I will continue to have doula dates for any mama who needs a doula with a due date after January 1st. If there is an emergency, you can’t find a doula and desperately want one, I am still willing to attend births until August, but only under extreme circumstances. Please contact me with any questions 🙂

Birth mama numero four

Beautiful warrior mama went into labor on Thursday morning, made it through until Friday night! She gave birth to a beautiful little girl! Surrounded by love the entire time, it was a long journey for mama 4!


Doula note,

this was my first birth at Jefferson Memorial in Charles Town, WV. I have to say, I really wish EVERY hospital could be as great as JM. They were respectful, loving, caring, and had some really great protocol in place, like allowing mama to EAT during labor! They even allow water birth if you are lucky enough to get in the big room. Check the hsopital out! Not only are they cutting edge, the doctors and staff are amazing.