how a doula picked her doula

flash back a few years ago. i was told my someone i put trust in in terms of my pregnancy care to NOT hire a doula, that i wouldn’t need one. i would know what i needed instinctually. i listened. and i was sorry i did in the end. not because keaton’s birth wasn’t wonderful and beautiful, but because i missed out on one of the most amazing relationships a couple can have with another person. trevor missed out on having someone comfort him and tell him all was normal, that it was part of the process…and simply to be able to close his eyes and not feel “on” the entire time (yes, the “entire time” was not that long, but it was overnight…). it was one of a handful of things that i thought to myself after keaton’s birth, “next time…” and a few times “i should have known better!!”

flash forward to the present. here we are at that “next time” and before i even got pregnant i actually already really KNEW who i wanted to be present at my birth. she actually knew i was pregnant before trevor did! true, i really couldn’t go wrong with almost any of the wonderful women i know who have dedicated their lives to similar passions as mine (and we have such an amazing doula community here in san diego. honestly. so blessed), but, in my heart, i knew who i wanted by our sides. i knew who i would feel most comfortable with. i knew who trevor would find solace in. i just…knew. my friends had wonderful experiences with her, my students had wonderful experiences with her. i always had lovely conversations with her, our friendship was growing, and i knew that her heart was to glorify God in her work…bingo. jackpot. answered prayer.

but, with that being said, i also know many other moms who don’t have the luxury of knowing so intimately so many doulas and are like “HOW do i find one i mesh with?!”  Here is what I often tell moms:

Ask around. If in a childbirth prep class, ask for referrals. Ask your friends about their experiences. Ask your care provider for referrals. Talk about it with girlfriends. Talk about it at independent baby stores. Post a question on Facebook. Google it. Whatever you need to do. Just involve yourself in conversation, you’ll be surprised at the patterns that show up! i have given referrals to so many mamas and they were really encouraged by how many “overlaps” they had either in their own research or in suggestions from friends, etc.

Interview, I say, at least 3 doulas. Unless you hear choirs of angels in the background and see fireworks when interviewing with #1 or #2, just keep chugging. It can be overwhelming to interview too many women- time consuming and thought consuming! But you do want to feel confident in your decision, as this is a pretty important event in your life- and this person WILL be seeing you in a state of vulnerability and simultaneous power all at one time. and oh yeah, she’ll probably see you naked. but don’t worry, even my most modest of moms at the end usually could care less and are asking their clothes be taken away from them!

{Before you meet, make sure you have asked them about fees, etc so that you are both aware of what that expectation is. If finances are an issue, don’t be nervous to broach the subject. I see doulas as being an incredible value and investment and well worth the fee, but you also don’t want to get in over your head financially. Ask about payment plans, deposits, etc. I know money can be uncomfortable to talk about, but it’s part of the process for these invaluable services.}

Ask them questions. Birth questions. What is your philosophy on birth? How do you involve partner in the birth? When do you normally join us/What are the logistics of that? Besides the actual birth, what else is involved in your services? If you are taking/drawn towards a specific type of labor prep method or course, ask them about their experiences with it. Do you work with a backup? Logistics.

Ask them questions. Real questions. How did you get into this line of work? What do you love most about what you do? Get to know them personally. If spirituality is important to you and something you are desiring for closeness from a doula, that is something certainly to discuss now more deeply, but a great thing to discuss before you even meet in person if that will be a game changer for you.

After chatting for a while and saying your goodbyes, assess how the two of you feel (if you are both at the interview together). Do you feel comfortable around her? Did she seem warm, knowledgeable, encouraging of your specific desire for labor? Do you feel like she will SUPPORT you and your partner in your birth, no matter what your birth looks like or what decisions are made? Is this someone you want to share your journey with? Are you excited about your birth journey now after speaking with her?

I know not EVERYTHING is about feel, but sometimes…it really is all about feel.

I know personally I have been on interviews with moms with whom I can tell almost immediately that they won’t be hiring me. They look at me and, while we get along fabulously, they see a friend. A sister. And their desire was a motherly figure. And others desire more of a friend/sister and I fit that bill really well! Think about your own relationships with people in your lives, think about what will speak to your heart most during a vulnerable time.

Certification status, number of births, etc wasn’t on my own radar for a birth doula- although I will say the doula I selected is certified and has a lovely number of births under her belt…that was not the most important piece of the puzzle to me. That may be for you though, and that’s something to ask her about if you desire to. If she is certified: with whom? What does that really mean? If she isn’t: Why not? Not being certified or not having a hefty number of births under your belt is not a red flag in terms of a person’s ability and fit to be your doula, but if it is something that might bother you- then you need to be aware of it.

I personally went through many questions in a similar way with my husband. A huge part of what we wanted from our own doula was someone who will be able to pray with us and over us throughout my pregnancy and throughout the labor/birth. That would be a game changer for us personally in a doula- we knew it wasn’t a game changer in our care providers, but knew the doula connection was on a different level for us. I also wanted someone who could help me not focus so much on what i KNOW in my head about birth, but about what i can experience in my heart. Being a birth professional who is about to give birth can have its perks, but it can also have its drawbacks…there is a LOT of head knowledge that is apparent now, but might not be so clear during the actual labor. It is easy to get caught in one’s head and forget about that tiiiiiny thing called surrendering. Letting go of all that “stuff” and letting God be in control is a huge vision for this birth…and our doula is someone who can help us on that road.  With that being said, just like how a lot of my clients or students aren’t Christian, a lot of my doulas’ clients aren’t Christian either. Just a friendly clarification 🙂

Anyway, if you would like more info on the doula that Trevor and I prayerfully selected…check out Jenna Anderson, CD (DONA)…here…and here.

And, if you are in the area, feel free to let me know if you’d like more recommendations and referrals. I love to give them out to inquiring mamas!

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carly’s birth story

it’s been a while since i rocked a birth story on the blog, and i thought now was a lovely time to grace y’all’s hearts with a sweet story of how a little lady was welcomed into the world in a calm, confident, and really beautiful way. carly and her husband joe took my classes in the spring, finishing the class ON carly’s guess date, and their little lady annikah decided it was time to say hello to the world the following morning! enjoy!

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kelly!! i was already planning to write to you today to thank you for an incredible class and a really beautiful bonding time between my husband and i over the last 5 weeks. we especially loved the labor run through last night…and i say “especially” because…well…we actually put that into use later last night night into the early morning hours today, welcoming our daughter annikah naturally into the world this morning at 9:07am!

as a quick overview, once we got home from class we were in such a good mood. joe kept telling my baby “come out soon, i don’t want to forget what to do!”

i took a shower and got settled in to watch my tivo’d “conan” and i started feeling some light surging. i assumed it was just some warm ups and went about my giggling and ice cream eating. the “warm ups” were coming every 5 minutes or so once i realized they were still happening, but they were super mild in sensation so, again, on with the giggling and tivo watching. about an hour later when we were on our second episode, conan was doing a skit about basketball player wives (it was so stupid but so funny. in case you can’t guess, i have a celebrity crush on him!) and i was cracking up. and then i felt all warm and watery. “oh great, carly, you peed yourself” i thought. i stood up, joe and i now cracking up that i had peed myself, and a larger gush came out from underneath my nightgown. we both kind of stopped laughing, looked at one another, and joe said “oh, it’s on!” we both knew it was my water that had broken, and my surges IMMEDIATELY felt more intense and were making my back feel achey. good thing we we went through that counter pressure just a couple hours before, because joe was on counter pressure duty for the night/into the morning on my lower back. it made it all so much more manageable!

with every surge my back ached. it wasn’t like a terrible pain, it was just as if i didn’t feel anything happening in my uterus, only tightness and pressure in my low back that went away when i wasn’t in a surge. honestly, the first about 6 hours of my 9 hour labor were really not that bad. every 3-4 minutes i’d have some back achey annoyingness that i really had to focus to get through, and then we had time in between to sway, cuddle, choose a new position, go to the bathroom, etc. it really was such a blessing to have just had that run through in class, it was all so fresh and i felt so confident.

this went on for hours, and eventually i hit a point where i looked at joe, who was being so awesome trying to be so present and calm and loving, and said “get me to the hospital now. i literally feel like my face is on fire, i keep pooping. honestly. this seriously sucks. and i feel like such a mess.” joe was a little surprised since i had been relatively quiet so far in my labor, and those low noises we talked about/practiced in class started coming out. apparently joe texted his brother at this point “it REALLY is on now.” we both knew i was transitioning and i was just really uncomfortable. i wanted something new. i wanted this baby out. again, it wasn’t like it was an out of control pain or anything, just so ridiculously exhausting to focus for that long. you know what i mean?

we got to the hospital and i was 8cm. victory! check in was really easy, much easier than i thought, and the nurse who we got assigned was really hands off and very sweet. she got us a few wet wash cloths for my forehead and neck. sweet woman. i labored for 2 more hours before i really felt any kind of actual urge to push, even though i was 10cm after the first hour there. my doctor and nurses told me that they’d wait a while before “coaching” me to push in case i never felt the urge. that urge finally came though. and it was exactly like you described. i couldn’t resist it, so i just gave into it. i breathed and made crazy manly noises like i never had before, and bore down with everything i had, exactly what my body was telling me to do. the nurses said they were surprised that she was moving down as well as she was given the fact that i was still technically breathing while pushing. thinking back on it i thought that was really cool.

i hate to be “that girl” but the actual giving birth part felt kind of good. not like i want to do it all the time kind of good, but such a welcome relief from my back aches and intensity and just not knowing what my cervix was doing. i felt more in control. and i felt my baby’s head. i was on my side when pushing and it seemed like a pretty good position for me. i imagined being squatting or something, but after being up all night i really just wanted to lay down.

crowning was…not as good of a feeling. but it didn’t last for long. she was positioned normally for birth (i thought maybe she was sunny side up from all the back discomfort?), and once her head really popped out, her shoulders and body just sort of slid out. i tore a bit but nothing major.  my placenta took a while to detach and they gave me a shot of pitocin after birth to help with all that, which i wasn’t a huge fan of but i wasn’t super opposed to either, especially in that moment when i kind of didn’t care about anything else but being with annikah and joe.

i got to be with my baby for about 2 hours before i realized they hadn’t weighed her or anything yet. i loved the feeling of her squirming around on my chest, her lusty cries, and her little wide open eyes that were staring intently into mine as if to say “oh, there you are! that’s what you look like!” i was on a high for quite some time. so was joe. i actually think i still am. i meant to write you like 5 sentences and look where we are. talk about a man who was proud of his wife, joe has been loving on me so hard today, and if you aren’t friends with him on facebook you should be, his status updates about the labor are hilarious. i’m so proud of him, too. he handled everything so well and with such patience and (even if it was a front) confidence.

thank you a million times over for the class. without it i seriously doubt we would have welcome annikah into our lives in the way we did. it was life changing. i can see why you do what you do. it really does change you, and i can feel that already. i love her. i love joe. we love you!

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carly and joe!! congratulations on the birth of your sweet little annikah! i’m so thankful that our time together was fruitful and that you took a lot of great tools with you into the birth. i CAN’T BELIEVE you went into labor right after class, what perfect timing! i so appreciate you sharing your story with me and with all of us. it was beautiful to read, and i swear i could sense the oxytocin just oozing out of your writing!! lots of love! talk soon!

if you are interested in learning more about preparing for an awesome birthing experience, please contact me on my business site: Beautiful One Birth Services!

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!

and with that, hello…

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i kept telling myself i would focus on blogging when my final doula client i had scheduled before my own little goose arrived had her baby.  funny about the timing of baby’s births though…it’s never quite what you envision! this sweet mama nurtured and loved on her healthy baby boy longer than we anticipated, and i thought to myself- eh, i’ll write a post whenever it does happen and go from there. but i kind of envisioned starting to get back to blogging around week 22 or so. welp, hello week 25!

it was quite the labor for this mama. i pulled just about every doula trick i knew (and researched new ones) for this birth. and, in the end, a sweet little boy is now in the world and is so stinkin sweet and healthy and fully loved by his family. and a sweet little boy who shares the same name as MY sweet little boy, no less!

and with that, hello…

and with that, my phone has been turned off at night and i have started thinking of baby names. i have started to envision what life will be like with two. i have started to really focus on the reality of what is happening in my own belly, rather than solely focusing on what is happening in others’ bellies (although, of course, i still have that focus, it’s just not as intense as it is when doula’ing for a couple- where i am quite invested). it was pretty fun to have those conversations about names, about what little girl clothing we would get should this little goose be a girl…and how similar or different we think they will be if this little goose is a boy. i finally let myself go there, and it was pretty freeing honestly.

i will be 25 weeks tomorrow. i have 17 weeks or less to go before meeting this little one. and while yes, we are preparing for the birth, i am also doing much more heart preparation this time around. God has been working in our lives in mighty ways over the past few months (well, He always has been, we just have been crazy aware of it recently in particular), and i believe this is a result of our steadfast desire to spend time with Him and ask Him for very specific direction in terms of our family’s future. a lot of prayer in regards to having the heart of a parent of 2 that glorifies Him, for the good to be refined and for the negative to be made clean…for the heart of our kiddos to turn to Him and love Him by our example. i think i left God out of my journey in many ways in my last pregnancy- or, i should say, i didn’t understand the fullness i could have by intentionally inviting Him into each and every experience within my pregnancy (and life) and birth and early parenting world. i know better these days. or, i should say, HE has shown me better.

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i have about 6 different blog posts started for the next couple weeks, and more ideas swirling. some are birth related (you’ll hear more about my transition out of being a “hypnobirthing” instructor and into my own “brand” of classes that reflect, fully, what i teach, you’ll meet my “birth team” and learn a bit more about how i picked them, and pick up some advice about how to pick your own should you be looking for some of that!), as well as life related (learn more about what keaton is up to, what my belly is up to, what directions our family is being led…)

but for now…hello.

and for now…here are my babes.

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janice’s placenta encapsulation story

hey, friends!

normally i share stories of my students’ births in this story series, but this quick story about janice’s decision to encapsulate her placenta was really touching to me and i wanted it to be out there so that hopefully people will find some encouragement from it! janice recently gave birth to her second baby and was referred to me by a friend of hers. here is her story about why she chose placenta encapsulation and her experiences with it…enjoy!

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Hey Kelly, I just had to take a couple minutes to write you and tell you thank you beyond measure for the placenta capsules and the salve that you made for me. As you know, when I had {our first daughter}, my postpartum experience was pretty much horrendous, and I really wasn’t expecting that at all. I guess I’m just one of those people who didn’t respond well to the fast shift in hormones, and to the fact that I ended up with a c-section after a long labor that left me totally exhausted mentally and emotionally. I wish I knew about encapsulation or knew that I would need it last time!  While we decided to have a repeat c-section with {our son}, I went into this experience doing my homework- how to make this c-section more calm and serene, how to help my postpartum experience be brighter not only for myself and my husband but for our children. I couldn’t imagine having to care for two kids if I felt anything like I felt the first time. After hearing about placenta encapsulation so many times and doing some research I thought to myself, what is there to lose? If it’s all potential benefits, and no real side effects, then why not? I figured even if I wasn’t one of the moms who felt like little rainbows and butterflies were popping out of their placenta pills, I at least would know that I was doing everything I could to be proactive about my health and my relationships with my family. Thankfully our hospital was easy to work with in terms of placenta release, and thankfully YOU were so accommodating and came to us only 2 hours after {our son} was born, picked everything up for us, and brought it all back to us so quickly. I was able to take my first dose less than 24 hours after my son was born, and was able to use the salve a few days later when my incision site closed up. I think the quickness in getting those hormones back into me made a difference for sure, and I think the suggested dose and how it helped me “wean” off the hormones was especially useful. I literally was stunned how quickly my milk came in {something we struggled with after the birth of my daughter which led to her being formula fed, yet another thing I lamented over}, and honestly how much energy I had. I felt like my incision healed faster this time around, and that I actually wanted to cuddle with my baby, with both of my babies, and that, in and of itself, would be worth me paying triple what it was you charged. We are now 3 months postpartum and I have to tell you, everything is different than last time. Yes I still struggle a bit with anxiety, but I didn’t expect to be magically cured of all my ailments from these placenta pills. What it HAS provided was an abundance of milk, a much more awake and aware mom, and no real sense of looming sadness that followed me around after my daughter’s birth. I can’t tell you that this was only the placenta pills that did this for me, but what I can tell you is that I wish every mom would make the investment and take advantage of this service, whether they think they’ll need it or not, because I didn’t think I would the first time and boy did I. I sing the praises of what my placenta has done for my baby and for me, and I hope every mom at least considers this options. I know it makes many people squirm to think about, but it really was life-changing for me, which is worth a little squirming in my book!  Thanks, Kelly. I am forever grateful. So is my husband! And my babies, I’m sure!

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Thanks so much Janice for sharing your placenta encapsulation story with us. What an AMAZING thing to hear that you have been so much more present with your family this time around. It is humbling to read something like this- I am thankful that the services I provide can have such an impact on families, and thankful that you took the time to research all of your options. It was a fun journey with you answering your questions and laying out all of your options! Lots of love!

If you are in the San Diego area and interested in placenta encapsulation services, please visit my business site at Beautiful One Birth Services or email me at info@beautifulonebirthservices.com

placenta encapsulation and gestational diabetes

hey, lovelies.

this is a little bit of a “the more you know” post for inquisitive minds…

i wanted to touch on a topic here relatively briefly simply due to the amount of times it comes up in conversation from perspective placenta clients of mine (and others) regarding their diagnosis of gestational diabetes and their desire to encapsulate their placentas.

what is gestational diabetes?

briefly,

Pregnant women who have never had diabetes before but who have high blood sugar (glucose) levels during pregnancy are said to have gestational diabetes. Based on recently announced diagnostic criteria for gestational diabetes, it is estimated that gestational diabetes affects 18% of pregnancies.

We don’t know what causes gestational diabetes concretely, but we have some clues. The placenta supports the baby as it grows. Hormones from the placenta help the baby develop. But these hormones also block the action of the mother’s insulin in her body. This problem is called insulin resistance. Insulin resistance makes it hard for the mother’s body to use insulin.

Gestational diabetes starts when your body is not able to make and use all the insulin it needs for pregnancy. Without enough insulin, glucose cannot leave the blood and be changed to energy. Glucose builds up in the blood to high levels. This is called hyperglycemia. {diabetes.org}

obviously a problem, right?! some moms are able to control (keep their levels in check) their gestational diabetes with diet and exercise, others need to actually take medication in order for their body to find a more homeostatic point. but, either way, because of the focus on the placenta thus far in research regarding gestational diabetes, many moms and many care providers are leery of having the mom then go forth and ingest her placenta, in this case- the “cause” of all the issues in the first place.

but…not so fast!

even if a mom has gestational diabetes, she can still utilize her placenta.

{cue clapping and whistling}

When the placenta is no longer inside of the uterus, doing what it was designed to do, it cannot continue to produce and release the HPL hormone. With that being said, every woman’s experience and then recovery period with/from her GD (gestational diabetes) symptoms will vary. Ingesting your placenta will be fine, but doing a trial and error until your body is able to completely tolerate the capsules (meaning, your levels stay consistent) might be the wisest route to take. I have had some of my GD mamas take the normal dosage that I suggest and then they will go on to check sugar levels afterwards just to be sure, others will simply see how they feel and check only if they feel necessary. If an issue arises, the best route of suggestion would NOT be to simply toss the capsules away counting it as a loss, but to discontinue the capsules for a week or so, allowing your body to kind of recalibrate. After that little hiatus you then go ahead and try again. It should only take a few weeks (if that) for your to regulate…OR you may also be fine right off the bat and not have any issues whatsoever- which, honestly, is what I’m finding more often than not.

For insulin dependent mamas with severe issues, tinctures may be the more realistic route rather than in pill form…but again, some women in this situation are very sensitive to any dips or rises and some can not have noticeable issues whatsoever.

I hope this is an encouragement that you CAN continue on in the plans you desired and not have them derailed because of a gestational diabetes diagnosis.

with all of this being said, this is not designed to be medical advice nor am i medical care provider. if you have specific questions or want more information, ask a trusted care provider.

ch-ch-ch-changes

hey, friends.

in light of my recent announcement, some things are going to look a little different business-wise for the rest of this year, and i wanted one, concise place to mention it all.

so lemme break it down for y’all (and it goes like this…♫♫♫)

childbirth education.

not much to say here, actually. my listed classes will still be running as they are posted. i am teaching until August, having zee babe sometime in September most likely, and then teaching final classes to wrap up the year starting in November. Well, that final class is up in the air, depending on how I’m feeling at that point. Even though it’s only a couple hours away and the logistics of that are totally doable, I need to make sure I’m getting enough rest, etc at that point so that i can actually be an effective instructor.

you WILL notice when you click over to my childbirth education options that i have a new class offering starting up in May, which i’m super stoked about. being a christian myself, i’ve had many couples ask me if there is a particular class where not only they’d be instructed by a fellow christian, but where we actually would discuss God and how to tangibly rely on Him through pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting. while those same couples have LOVED taking my HypnoBirthing classes and found it to be a wonderful preparation course- both mind and body, i almost always would be spending lots of time in emails and coffee dates about more in depth issues regarding utilizing scripture, preparing one’s heart from a christian perspective, etc for their labors…so now we have one place to do, learn, and talk about ALL of that…and more! i’ll be teaching out of my home on my cozy little patio (or in my cozy little living room if the weather gets crazy…but, let’s be honest…this is san diego). i’m excited!

so, in summary:

HypnoBirthing classes- sign up!

Alpha classes- sign up!

doula services.

as you can imagine, this is where you’ll be seeing the most change and shifts. i have mamas scheduled until may 2013 and then i’ll be taking some time off to rest, relax, have  a more firm schedule, and just enjoy being pregnant. this little goose is due in september, so it’ll be a nice break to enjoy the last few months of my pregnancy. it is tempting to continue on in this work because i love it so much, but honoring my family and this pregnancy and this baby is really important to me…so time off it is! then i PLAN on taking couples on (probably just one a month for the first few months to see how it meshes with our new family dynamic), in or around february or march of 2014.  i am so excited to utilize some doula love at my own birth, and am so excited to be able to share that love with others myself again after my sweet babymoon is over. i have 4 more births scheduled until my maternity leave from doula’ing begins, and i am SOAKING it all up…

i WILL have some new, fun options available to you in the coming weeks, too- birth tub rental, and a couple other new things up my sleeve that i am still ironing out the details on. you see, i can’t stay away from this birth stuff…

placenta services.

welp, there’s really nothing to see here, folks. i haven’t decided yet- i MIGHT not be taking on other september moms, but most likely i will and in case that mom and i are in labor at the same time, i will just utilize a backup. i will continue to provide the same services and not taking maternity leave from this aspect at all. so bring on your placentas, mamas. you know i love ’em

hope that helps clarify anything you were just DYING to know about over on my end. i know, you were waiting with bated breath for this info.

with love,

kelly.