alexa and chris’ birth story

alexa and chris recently just took my online childbirth prep class. it was a joy to email back and forth with alexa throughout her pregnancy, and an even bigger excitement to have chris text me at the beginning of labor! i was able to keep in touch with them for a bit of their labor, and was anxious to hear the outcome the following day. i heard from chris 2 days later that their (surprise!) baby girl was born via cesarean after 2 days of “an interesting, to say the least” labor. i am thankful alexa took the time to write her birth story, AND that she wanted to share it with everyone. i hope this serves an encouragement to everyone that no matter what your birth looks like, you can look back knowing you did everything you could with what you had.

Kelly,

I’m going to spare you the long drawn out story and just stick to the highlight reel. Or lowlight reel. Well, actually, they really were all highlights- just not what I expected or envisioned. At all. I’m so thankful we took your class though, not only did it help me through my labor, but it also helped us through making all kinds of decisions we never intended on making. I can look back on my labor, and even though I ended up birthing my baby on an OR table via c-section, I can truly say it was beautiful. Hardest thing ever, but I am so proud of the work Chris and I did together in birthing this little girl. Side note? Thank GOD for your DropBox folder- we were able to pull up the family-centered-cesarean birth plan in one of the folders and added a few “demands” at the end of our labor- which the nursing staff was actually really excited about.

When we texted you originally, my water had released about 15 hours prior and nothing. I mean NOTHING was happening. There had been a decent gush of water and no surges at all, despite our best efforts to get things going. We had been in touch with my OB who finally said they needed to just have us come in to check on baby. On the way to the hospital I started surging. Maybe my body knew that it better get cracking. Either way, I had quite a few in the car and continued to on the walk to labor and delivery. They weren’t super intense, but I knew they were something. I was checked and was 3cm and 75% effaced. WOW! Progress even without feeling like there was any progress? That’s probably the best feeling in the world.

We were admitted due to the fact that my water had released and I was surging, which I was thankful for since it was an hour drive back home and there really wasn’t much else near the hospital. After about 6 hours of surging, walking up and down stairs, lunging, psuedo-belly dancing, etc- I asked to be checked. My surges weren’t all that intense still, but they were closer together. 3cm. Totally soft. Not the news I wanted to hear, but I knew those first few centimeters take the longest, so I decided to just choose to think about the progress in my cervix softening. We were at about hour 24 of my water having broken, and my doctor came back in to “have a heart to heart.” She knew I didn’t want any interventions, but she also knew that she wanted the baby out sooner rather than later with my water having been broken for so long (I recognize that many in the birth world would say it was totally fine, but I trust my OB and I am totally at peace with that). She threw out pitocin as an option. I threw out climbing more stairs. She said sure, even though I was already exhausted, but she’d give me an hour and a half, and then would come back to discuss starting pitocin again. I climbed the length of Kilimanjaro most likely in that hour and a half. SURGES! DO SOMETHING! PLEASE! As we neared the end of my time frame, I broke down. My body wasn’t doing what I was asking it to do. It wasn’t performing how I wanted it to. Please?

I took ten minutes and listened to some relaxation, talked with my baby, and told him/her that it was time to pick things up. I wanted my baby to have a heads up that things might get a bit hectic for him/her once pitocin started. I knew I would like the heads up if I was a baby.

My OB started me on a low dose of pitocin, and increased it just a tiny bit about every 45 mins-1 hour. The surges got way more intense, but no more close together than they were before. They immediately peaked when they started, rather than gradually working their way up. Holy moly. Talk about needing to remember to relax and breathe. I moaned. Chris rubbed my back and my legs, and I moaned some more. This went on for hours. I started to feel the need to push. YES! I thought, it’s baby time. Finally!

My nurse checked me- 4cm. I was gutted.

Knowing I needed to sleep and that I couldn’t go on like this any more, I asked what my options were. Some IV meds or an epidural. I chose to get in the shower to see if that helped. 45 minutes later and tears and tears later, i decided that an epidural was probably best. going through what the benefits, risks, alternatives, etc were, I just knew this was where I needed to go with this labor. Most importantly my instincts kicked in. I felt confident in this decision.

Once the epidural was placed and started kicking in, my surges slowed down as well. I knew that meant more pitocin, and even though I wish it didn’t, I knew that was the game plan and I okay’d it. At this point we wanted baby out. Mercifully!

We started noticing some decelerations in baby’s heart rate. I know, I know, I could have called it before I went into labor. Whenever I heard of a mom getting pitocin I always thought, judgmentally- ‘How could you DO that? You KNOW what is going to happen!’ But guess what? I am a humble mom now, I get it. Sometimes things don’t go as planned. I saw my birth playing out and even though it wasn’t ideal, I still felt in the driver’s seat and knew I would remain calm and collected for the sake of my baby. I still wanted him/her to know that everything was alright. But, in my gut, I felt like something was off. When Chris heard me say that, he asked everyone to leave for a minute. We talked. I cried and told him that I understood what all of our options were but that I felt like something wasn’t right. With my body. With our baby. Something. It was an eerie feeling. It wasn’t just a “my labor is slow, something is wrong” it was a “something deep in my soul is telling me that this isn’t going to end well unless we do something else.”

My OB and nurses came back in. Chris told them what we had just talked about. My OB offered to check me again, just to see if any progress had been made. This check was obviously MUCH more comfortable than the previous ones. Phew. 10 cm. Fully Effaced. Baby high. Really, really high. His/Her heart rate had looked fine for the past hour or so, so my OB suggested I “labor down” (just continue on without jumping into pushing too quickly so I wasn’t too worn out, and that the baby was low when it was time to push). I told Chris I must have not been right about that instinct, my body obviously responded well to the rest I was getting on the epidural, and we would meet our baby soon.

I fell asleep, and 2 hours later woke up in a stupor. No baby yet. The nurse checked me soon after and again, high baby. I was able to move my legs a bit so we got into a super supported all 4s/squatting position, along with trying side lying, etc. My OB suggested I push for a bit, to see what happens. I pushed with everything I had, in every position I could possible get into, even with an epidural. No progress.

My OB suggested a c-section. I suggested more pushing. So push we did. What happened next terrified me.

My next group of pushes pushed out some seriously dark meconium. Along with it, an almost complete drop in heartbeat for our baby. As in, heartbeat in the 20s. My OB called it, we needed to get this baby out ASAP. When my OB first suggested a c-section, Chris pulled up a family friendly cesarean birth plan he had in the DropBox folder from class. He spoke with the OB and the nursing staff- as long as baby was okay: baby to mom after being born, weighing him/her, etc later. Nursing ASAP. Calm music being played. Gentle words. Sacred birth, even on an OR table.

My OB rushed me into the OR and told Chris they would do their best, but it depended on baby’s health. It all happened so fast. At first they told Chris that he wasn’t able to come into the room with me due to the hospital’s policies on emergent surgeries, but I said no and he said no…and even though they were basically RUNNING me down the hall, they said he could come in immediately postpartum. I was without him for the beginning of the surgery, but my nurse brought my phone and turned up the Pandora station I had been listening to. She held my hand and looked in my eyes and told me to focus on the baby, to take deep breaths, to be strong. I was. I talked with our baby, telling him/her that everything was going to be fine. That we would meet soon.

My OB described each step of the way for me, what she was doing and why. But holy cow, it was fast. Minutes later, baby was here. I heard a cry. Some meconium was on the baby’s body, but nowhere near her (HER!!!) face. She was crying and everything sounded clear. Sigh of relief. My OB unwrapped her cord from around her neck. Three times. THREE times. Poor thing, it was no wonder she didn’t want to/couldn’t move down. No wonder she got all stressed out. No wonder my body took forever. I breathed a sigh of relief. I’m sure my OB did, too. They lowered the curtain and handed her over to me. I couldn’t do much, but they put her right on my chest. I couldn’t quite get a good view of her face, but her crying started to fade as her breathing rhythmically started to match mine. We were bonding, while my bottom half was all cut open and they were putting me all back together. Wow. Is it possible to have a birth high from a cesarean? Because I am certain I had one.

Chris had big eyes as he caught a peek of what was happening down there, but I think it gives him a greater respect for what I went through. In a weird, kind of nasty way.

There wasn’t much else I could do with baby besides just lay there with her on me. They took Apgar scores and wiped her down a little bit for me while she was still with me, and they told me they wouldn’t weigh her or measure her until after the first hour of skin to skin. At least a couple things in my birth preferences got to stay that way! Chris left the recovery room to tell our parents that everything was okay, which I encouraged him to do after the first 30 minutes or so in there.

When I was wheeled back in I love that Chris had set up the room just as I had wanted postpartum, oils in the diffuser and music in the background. It was mellow. Had I just had surgery? I was feeling surprisingly good for what I just went through.

She started latching on soon after we got to back to our recovery room. She latched well from the get-go, and is still going strong. Again, thank goodness something went smoothly. I needed that.

Emily’s birth story is not what we pictured it would be, I didn’t even think it would look that way when it came time to push. But I see in hindsight what she was trying to tell us all along. I am thankful I had skilled care available, thankful Chris and I were both educated and could anticipate certain roadblocks ahead, that we knew what to advocate for. It also gave me confidence that my mommy-senses are indeed strong and intact, and that I should trust them. I so appreciate the class, the tools we took from it, the support we had with all of the extra resources, and just generally for the encouragement along the way. It really helped open our eyes to the birthing process and how beautiful it can be. And while ours didn’t look like we expected, I really am proud of how we handled it. We did the best we could and we both can look back on that day for the rest of our lives knowing it was exactly as it was meant to be, not because something was forced on us, but because that is the way she needed to enter the world for one reason or another.

Thank you Thank you Thank you! I can’t say it enough.

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congratulations alexa and chris! i so very much appreciate you sharing your birth story. it brings me such encouragement to hear you say that, even when things didn’t go as anticipated, you still look back knowing you made the right decisions at the right time. your mention of your mama-instincts are so right on- you know yourself and your baby better than anyone else ❤

and yes, your birth high was REAL and was well-deserved, mama!

if you or anyone you know is interested in online natural childbirth preparation classes, or group classes in San Diego, please feel free to check out my website for this info, along with doula support and placenta encapsulation information, and a small online shop for all kinds of birth/postpartum related goodies!

www.beautifulonebirthservices.com

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thoughts on classes, career, and carrots

i alluded in my last post that i am making some shifts to the classes i am teaching currently. i think what i actually meant to say is that the classes are staying exactly as i have been teaching them for months and months now (with always the added info, tidbit, research, tool, etc that i am picking up along the way), just a new name since, well, i needed to be honest.

the HypnoBirthing Institute has pretty set guidelines on how they want their instructors to teach. their syllabus is relatively firm. they want acknowledgement that you are following consistently those guidelines, teaching their principles, etc. i love the emphases on relaxation and how just the simple knowledge of what is happening in your body is pretty perspective-altering…and labor-altering in HypnoBirthing. but, there’s a lot about HypnoBirthing i just decided i wouldn’t teach because i don’t believe it, or i wasn’t seeing it being helpful with my doula clients (and, in some cases, have seen tenants of HypnoBirthing being counterproductive to some moms in labor depending on how it was taught or how it was read/interpreted). i refused to only show their videos because it was just moms laying still in hospital beds, quietly breathing and pop! out comes baby!  (i remember in the midst of my own birth wondering why i couldn’t stay still, and why i couldn’t be totally quiet towards the end…was i not doing it right?!, i questioned my husband). i also started adding a lot because there was a lot missing from what i personally wanted to convey to expectant parents, so other things got cut.  i wasn’t covering certain things the way the book was because it was unrealistic/confusing (so i don’t need to do any work at all, the baby just moves down while i breathe ever so slightly? perfect!), or perhaps just not supported by research (anymore?! i don’t know if it was when the book was actually published though). i found myself saying “well yeah, the book says this, but…” so, suffice to say, i kept a lot of the groundwork, but began to build a different house. a useful house, a well rounded house, but a different house. i have a lot of respect for the HypnoBirthing method itself, i am just saying that for me personally…i realized slowly but surely how different my house was beginning to look from my original syllabus and how many outside resources i was pulling from, and soon began to realize that i was promoting a method class by name, but a personally-built-with-love class in product.

that started to really not sit right with me, and when an email came from the Institute saying that we needed to sign something saying that we were teaching in line with the syllabus, principles, etc fully…i just knew i couldn’t sign it. not because i don’t like HypnoBirthing, but because, again, the class that i love teaching is not straight HypnoBirthing, it’s a mashup of a ton of different things from HypnoBirthing, Bradley, ICEA education, to doula tips, to postpartum health, etc. I am not cool with not being straightforward and honest, and i felt like i wasn’t being honest. which, again…doesn’t sit right with me.

so, i haven’t done an overhaul on my classes really, just the name. the class you took a year-ish ago from me is the same class (again, with new additions being added all the time as i learn new things) you would take from me now. but, it’s just a different name. and a lot more hands-on, positioning, swaying, moving, noise making than when i first started out 🙂 i love the classes i teach and i recognize that i may get a few less people signing up for classes because they don’t have a “brand” name to them, but that was a happy price to pay for being true to what i am up to.

i see myself continuing to teach these classes for a long time. i love walking the journey with parents and am always SO proud to hear how their births went- whether it was so straightforward and everything fell into place perfectly and mom just rocked it as if it was easy…or whether it is a 40 hour birth where certain interventions, etc are being introduced and parents have to carefully work together to make decisions that they feel are best for them and their situation. it’s an honor to help moms realize that they have it within themselves already, and whether or not a certain number-counted breath works for them or not, they can absolutely listen to their bodies and provide it what it needs. it is also an honor to help guide them on the decision making journey through the discussions we have in class. i can’t wait to see, as i work through my ICEA certification, what else i add to this class of mine…what other tidbit of information will be there to help couples achieve their goal of having a transformative labor experience. i also can’t wait to see what happens in the span of my career…as so much has been added and shifted already…i can only imagine what this will all look like in 10 years. more amazing than i can imagine, i know that much. God is good.

so that’s that. my classes in a nutshell since i had a few questions and i always like to make things as clear as possible. nothing crazy honestly, just a change in the name…and in the book i provide to my couples, too. and more relaxation tracks, lots of new handouts, and some awesomely wonderful labor prep run through. but hey, the HypnoBirthing book will still be in my lending library if anyone is interested 😉 and, again, with all this being said- i still totally recommend the HypnoBirthing classes specifically that are out there (we have great women out there teaching here in san diego!), but i encourage you to get to know the way your specific instructor will tackle the courses, etc (because it looks varied a lot of the time!!) in terms of what your views are as well as what you aim to get out of your childbirth prep class itself.

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also, as a completely different side note…how good are carrots?! i can’t get enough of them these days. i normally have a wicked sweet tooth, but when i’m pregnant my body craves things like hummus, carrots, celery…and, of course, late july chips. yummmm.

lots of love!

14+ Weeks

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14+ Weeks

So, I haven’t blogged much recently….or at all basically. Lots happening both personally and professionally. Kicking off my return to blogging with a little announcement for those who haven’t heard. #2 shows him or herself rather quickly, eh?! We are so excited to meet our little goose in September 2013! ❤

2013

say it with me now

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i am so excited about what 2013 is going to bring to my life- personally, spiritually, professionally … a lot of big milestones, big additions (both personally and professionally), and just a lot of energy about what lies ahead- i am SO on fire for all of this! last year at this time i was telling myself- i am going to see where this takes me, see if it can actually become a legitimate business! and a year later, it is. and it is continually growing into something that i never even imagined it would be … i am beyond thankful to so many families who have walked on this journey with me through their births this year- witnessing families becoming families, witnessing the first breaths of life, encouraging others along the journey through education … i am still in awe that this is my life.

but it is. and i have found IT. what so many people look for in terms of career and passion. THIS is where i am at my best, where i’m not ashamed, where i’m content yet always striving and desiring to learn more, where i know that i am following His will. not many people get to feel that way. i count myself immeasurably blessed for feeling so.

2012 was the year of keaton becoming a little boy, no longer a baby. he is smart, funny, and is learning how to make solid choices given the parameters. i am in awe of his sweet personality, and his simultaneously rambunctious nature. i can’t wait to watch him grow this year. so much lays ahead for this little man, and i trust (and pray!!) that he will handle it in stride.

i will be adding a new set of classes to my list of services in 2013, as well. this will be an exciting addition for san diego families- something that just hasn’t been available! i am looking forward to not neglecting this blog in 2013 either. i know you’ve heard it all before, but now i have a plan. my intention is 2 new posts a week. 1 personal, 1 professional. anything else is icing on the cake for you. well, for me actually. well, for all of us.

and more birth stories, lots more. i have too many sitting in my inbox! too many empowering nuggets of personal experiences to share with y’all!!

 

what are you looking forward to in 2013?

top 11 pregnancy must-haves

okay. okay. so there are a lot of these lists out there, and i recognize this list probably isn’t going to shatter anything you ever knew about pregnancy…but i still think sharing in one place things that i personally find essential to a more confident, comfortable, encouraging, and empowered pregnancy will be helpful for you mamas out there.

this was actually quite hard for me to narrow it down to 10…so i actually had to make it 11. i could go on and on about wonderful things to have available during pregnancy, but i had to cut it off somewhere. so by the end of my list you might be screaming at your screen (or gently speaking to it with kind words of corrective feedback, right?!) about something i didn’t put on the list…add it to the comments! i also steer clear of any supplements, homeopathics, etc…not that i don’t think they are wonderful and awesome during pregnancy, i just think that is up to you to decide what is best for you beyond a simple prenatal vitamin.

with all that being said…in no particular order….here ya go!

11. a care provider you LOVE. did you know that you can LOVE going to your prenatal appointments? that you can leave feeling confident and encouraged and excited? that you can be heard? and understood? and validated? that you can be given information that is evidence based, with full informed consent? finding the right care provider for you comes down to asking yourself what YOU want from the experience and what you think your baby wants. what kind of care do you desire? there are providers who LOVE their moms/families and invest their time, efforts, and energies into providing evidence based information and care practices…sometimes you have to be a little sleuth to find out who they are in your community, but it’s worth the extra effort. it’s worth the insurance hassles. remember how many caterers you tried out and cakes you tasted before making the final decision for your wedding, right?! you wanted the best, and you were willing to pay for it in most cases…this is the birth of your baby, demand the best. and remember- YOU are the consumer here. you are paying for the care you are receiving…demand the best. you would send a dinner back if it was wrong or had things you specifically stated you were allergic to or whatever…so keep that in mind as you assert yourself in your hunt for the best care possible. i personally see so much benefit to the midwifery model of care, but there absolutely are doctors who practice with that in their hearts, too…again, it just might take some sleuthing to find!! i can’t emphasize how important this is though. it sets the tone for SO much. so so so much. will help alleviate fears and encourage relaxation and an embracing of the normalcy of the process. all around: yes, please.

10. a good workout routine. not that you need to be in the best physical shape you’ve ever been in in your life, but you want to be active. in whatever way that looks for you and your abilities and desires, great. if it’s walking a bit every day, awesome! if it’s yoga, if it’s any of the barre method classes, if it’s pilates, whatever…do what feels best for you (and, if necessary, talk to your care provider about your plans/activities). think about your activitiy level before pregnancy and tailor it from there. just because you are pregnant doesn’t mean you are now unable to engage your body in these ways…it may begin to look a bit different, but different is better than nothing! you will feel better about yourself, you’ll be healthier…and you’ll feel GREAT.

9. a body pillow, a contouring pillow, or just a big stack of pillows you can turn into your own little pillow fort on your side of the bed. your body is changing and needs support, and sleeping can start to get a little tricky as you get a little bigger, things start shifting around…any way you can find comfort you should jump on it. i personally just used a $5 random body pillow from target (although they have fancy pregnancy pillows out there too if you like that sort of thing), and it did the trick. i wrapped myself around it in a million different ways and even used it during parts of my labor as well.

8. Prenatal Vitamins. Your mind is blown, right?! Well, I only share this because we don’t live in an ideal world where we are all getting the vitamins and other supplements we need to sustain ourselves fully just from diet, let alone our little growing little ones. i do highly recommend to find a vitamin that is organically based on whole foods and plants. if you struggle with swallowing the pills, those plant based ones will come in capsules that you can undo and put in a smoothie or hide in something else too. i always took mine before i went to bed so in case i felt sick i would just sleep right through it.

7. reusable water bottle. a “must have”?! out of everything out there?! yeah, i think so, at least for the majority of us. most people don’t get enough water as it is, and when you are pregnant you need a LOT of water every day. so many of my moms aren’t aware of how much water they are drinking when they just use cups around the house or mugs at work, etc…so getting a reusable water bottle that you can look at and know how many ounces, liters, etc you are getting?! brilliant. i personally recommend alex!

6. a good book to read. which one though, right?! well, that depends on you. if you are a believer, I highly recommend the book “redeeming childbirth” by angie tolpin. it focuses less on the education portion of childbirth and moreso on our hearts, and inviting Christ in, glorifying Him in our experiences of pregnancy, birth, and motherhood. for mamas of any faith background (believers too!) some great books are- mindful birthing, gentle birth gentle mothering, and anything pretty much by ina may gaskin. mindful birthing is a new favorite of mine, so many wonderful nuggets to bring into the birthing experience!

5. a remote control. what?! not so that you can sit around and watch tv, but so that you can TURN the channel in certain situations. i know you want to soak up everything pregnancy and birth related and so you find yourself DVRing every episode of “a baby story” ever made…and then you sit and watch them and you are feeling increasingly freaked out about birth, feeling a little less stoked about pregnancy…turn the channel. no more overly dramatic shows about pregnancy and birth. you want to surround yourself with positive notions about pregnancy and birth…and you don’t often find that on tlc or abc or anywhere else that has birth and/or hospital drama shows…or romantic comedies that think it’s hilarious to show a laboring mom wanting to punch everyone and screaming at the top of her lungs. do yourself a favor and watch realistic births…whether it’s watching a dvd like organic birth, or seeing the birth videos at the end of a great prenatal yoga dvd, watching videos online like this one, you need to see real, empowering birth. so pick up your remote control and change the channel, will ya?!

4. a birth ball. well, really, it’s just one of those exercise/physical therapy balls but they call it a birth ball because it is super useful during labor. but, this is specifically a “pregnancy” 10 top ten, right?! WELL, it is super useful pre-labor as well (and post baby, too- babies love to fall asleep to that gentle bouncing movement). beyond using it for actual exercise, simply sitting on the ball during pregnancy is going to all sorts of wonderful things for your joints, encourage opening, proper posture and optimal positioning for baby. keeping everything aligned and open…great prep for birth but great things just in general as well. use it instead of your chair at work/home. lean over it to relieve back discomfort. it’ll be your new bff. and that relationship will grow when it comes to birthing, too.

3. a chiropractor. i wavered between putting a massage therapist here instead (who can work WONDERS, too) but ended with a chiropractor because of the changes i’ve seen in both myself and in so many of my moms who have been to a solid chiropractor during their pregnancy. it can help keep your body aligned, help encourage baby to be in the most optimal position, alleviate certain aches and discomforts, and prepare your pelvis for birth. it is all around a wonderful, healthy decision for you and your baby, truly!

2. childbirth education program that focuses on physiological birth and the normalcy of the process. while this isn’t a blanket statement for EVERY class at EVERY hospital everywhere, but i highly recommend taking a class outside of a hospital. you’ll want to do your research and see what FEELS right for you and your baby. what kind of birth are you desiring? what kind of birth do you think your baby desires? take time to think about those things, and make decisions regarding your care and your preparation from there. you will (or should hopefully!!) learn about the process of birth, tools to work with your body through it, and generally feel more aware and prepared for how to engage in the process rather than sink away from it. that in and of itself will certainly shift your birth experience, but it will shift your experience of your pregnancy. feeling more comfortable, confident in your body and the journey you are on. knowledge is POWER people. POWER. gi joe had it right all along.

and drumroll please….

1. a doula. and i’m not just saying this because i am one. doulas are not JUST for birth. they are for pregnancy as well (and postpartum, but that’s for another post!), and can help you feel even more loved and supported through the process. having someone who has experience in the pregnancy/birth world you can turn to easily to ask questions, get advice, be encouraged by…it makes a difference. i would never dream of going without one. and i am one!

two two two two

one family.

two years.

three hearts.

my soul is singing out today. not just in thanks in terms of thanksgiving, but for thanks in terms of the amazing life that is now so much a part of our lives. two years ago we met our son for the first time. when my gaze met his, his sweet little alert eyes staring out trying to find his mama that he had heard for months and had known so intimately…my heart grew to double the size and our life grew into double the fun. {and, yes, double the work, too!} beyond just the impact that my pregnancy and labor/birth experience had on me {which has rocked and rolled all over my life}, his HEART has had an even greater impact. God knew exactly what child we needed, and i can’t even begin to say “thank you” for sending us keaton.

in awe of this little man. he has no clue how much he has inspired me already, how my entire career and purpose in terms of professional and personal desires has been propelled by him. two years ago i had no clue what to expect. i didn’t know it would be so hard, and i didn’t know it would be so easy. i didn’t know how to hold a newborn so…new. i didn’t know what it meant truly to be a mom, yet i did. i didn’t know what to do but somehow, at the same time, i knew. three new people were born that day: a new life coming into the world for the first time, and a mom and dad. it took some time to recognize that i wasn’t the same person anymore. yes, i was the same person technically….but i was so, so different. being okay with that, embracing that, and reveling in that took some time. much like keaton was learning about life on the outside of the womb, i was too.

in so many ways i can’t believe it’s been 2 years. and in so many ways it feels like he’s always been here. his hilarious personality, his keen awareness of the emotions of others around him, the way he approaches every situation as a new adventure, his perceptiveness, his ability to communicate and express his thoughts and desires…it all is just such a blessing. no, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies…but it is always good. even when it’s hard, it’s good.

i can’t believe my “little” man went from this

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to this.

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don’t mind me, just getting sentimental and thinking about how much life has changed since keaton arrived. thinking about how just a couple short weeks ago we came to the end of our nursing relationship, which is for another post altogether.

thinking about how he told me today, as he hugged me, “i’m so glad you’re here. we’re best friends.”

be still, my heart.

a baby k’tan carrier giveway!

yes. you heard me right. a giveaway!

i am so excited to be able to offer this amazing giveaway to you. Baby K’tan Baby Carriers were my absolute GO-TO when keaton was younger, and he lasted in his for quite a few months. I loved how many ways I could wear him, how safe and snuggly he felt, and how soft the fabric was. The Baby K’tan is pretty amazing in that while it IS a wrap (think Moby), it is SO much easier to wear and “wrap”…because there really isn’t much to wrap. You get all the benefits of wrap wearing without having to deal with all that fabric. i don’t know about you, but i fumbled and stumbled with all that fabric and really didn’t have the patience or energy to deal with all the wrapping, not when there was a much simpler and comfier option. and honestly, when you live in San Diego especially, where it is hitting the 90s this week (Happy Fall, everyone!) less fabric and less hassle can be a real lifesaver.

so, i am giving away ONE Baby K’tan Baby Carrier in the lovely eggplant color shown above. Swoon.

to enter you MUST have facebook, sorry to anyone who doesn’t hang on the ‘book.

step 1: have facebook. good, you are already almost there.

step 2: head over to my NEW facebook site: www.facebook.com/beautifulonebirthservices

step 3: “like” me. (i like you, too. thanks).

step 4: wait. i will be announcing who the lucky winner is by the end of the week.

step 5: do a little dance for yourself or another lucky liker for winning an awesome prize, and keeping $50 of your own dollars in your pocket! booyah!

lots of love and good luck, friends!

in the meantime, check out my new site: www.beautifulonebirthservices.com

STOKED!

<3,

kelly.

ps. i am not receiving any kind of payment in any way shape or form from baby k’tan. i just love their product and think you will love them too.