shay and kevin’s birth story

oh hey guys. i’m still here. slowly (like really, really slowly) getting back in the blogging groove. i wanted to start it out with a bang, and this sweet birth story from shay and kevin will do just that!

shay and kevin took my online essentials for childbirth preparation class (another blog post soon to reveal more about what those classes are all about!) when i first made them public in february. they live in arizona and are friends of friends, who both had crazy schedules. online classes were a perfect solution for them, so we connected and made it happen for them! here is the story of the birth of their little girl, jules.

hey kelly,

she’s here! jules was born 2 weeks ago weighing 9lbs 1oz and 21 in long. i was 41 weeks and 2 days when I had her. i never would have imagined i had that big of a baby inside me, but i guess knowing that kevin was 10lbs 3oz when he was born should have been a warning, right? !!! i wanted to thank you so much for the virtual classes we took, kevin felt super prepared with message techniques and positioning ideas to help me get comfortable, and i just focused on breathing the entire time. you were right though, it WAS my job to just breathe. when i focused on that, my surges weren’t insane. when i wasn’t focusing for whatever reason, i could feel it. that was motivation enough to start going inward and just realizing my one job was to breathe for me and for jules.

the story:

i woke up around 3am with a dull lower back ache and needed to use the bathroom. i had been having surges on and off all day prior, and i really did feel like tonight would be the night. but then i fell asleep and assumed it would be another day. as i was walking to the toilet my water started leaking (i thought i was peeing myself like you mentioned, but a gush happened soon after!). i was so excited labor was starting, and i got kevin up. he told me to go back to sleep, or at least get rest. so i put on a movie and “rested”- even though i was so excited. my surges weren’t intense yet, but i did have to breathe through them. around 7am kevin got up and made us breakfast. while he was cooking the eggs i had one HUGE surge that basically brought me to my knees. i had been surging consistently ever 5 minutes or so since 5am, but i was laboring just fine alone before he woke up. when this surge hit at around 7:45am i had been using him to help give me some hip relief and lower back relief too with some of those pressure skills you taught us. this one surge was so intense and out of the blue, and i started shaking a bit. i immediately thought, not only is this go time, it is GO time.

kevin grabbed our stuff, including our breakfast that he put in tupperware quickly, and we headed to the birth center. we live about 30 minutes from there with no traffic, thankfully it was a weekend morning so we didn’t have to deal with that. i began feeling like i needed to sway more deeply and moan more manly-like while we were in the car, which was hard to do swaying wise, but i was in the backseat grinding my hips around trying to find comfort amidst the bumps on the road. kevin was probably driving about 100mph on the way there. i had planned music for the car but we ended up listening to some 80s at 8 radio thing, which, by the way, it was kind of awesome to labor to “i’ll tumble for ya” : at the very least it made me laugh in the middle of my now super intense surges.  when i breathed i felt powerful over the surges, when i got caught up in the intensity, it felt like they owned me. it was crazy. i just kept telling myself to focus on breathing, that i could do anything for a minute, that i was going to get in the tub soon. i gave myself a pep talk as kevin said a few encouraging things, but i honestly don’t remember what those were. thanks though, kev!

we showed up to the birth center and it took me about 6 surges to get from the car to the room. slowly but surely. they checked my cervix when we got there. 9cms. WHAT?! i hadn’t been laboring that long, it was intense but i was managing it well enough, and i hadn’t gotten to the part where i was thinking “i can’t do this anymore!” i was so encouraged by this news i started laughing. yup, laughing at 9cms. who would have ever imagined me, who cries when i hit my funny bone, would have laughed during labor?

well, it wasn’t all fun and games. as i progressed i did feel a bit like “i can’t do this anymore” as i was at 9cms for 3 hours. let me tell you though, getting in the water was a godsend. i jumped (well, i didn’t jump, obviously) into the tub soon after we arrived and it was exactly like you had said- took the edge off and helped me find peace in the waiting. after those 3 hours of sitting in the tub and being in different positions in there, i felt something new. uggghhhh. i was bearing down. i couldn’t stop it. uggghhhhh. it felt good but intense but hard but wonderful all wrapped into one.

midwives came back into the bathroom to check what was happening after kevin yelled “i think shay is going to have this baby in here with no one to catch it. and i think i’ll drop it!!!” they encouraged me to put my hands between my legs. part of her head. oh dear Lord, relief yet intensity yet more relief. almost there. still bearing down and i couldn’t help it. my body just did it.

3 more of those and out she came! the moments when they pulled her up from the water and onto my chest went in slow motion. i think i was the highest i’ve ever been in my whole life (well, i’ve never been high on drugs, but i can imagine the birth high is a million times more addicting than any other drug). her placenta was stubborn and stayed in a long time, i eventually had to get out of the tub and birth it, which wasn’t hard i guess i just needed a new position.

your classes and encouragement were a huge part of our birth story, and will forever be a part of our family’s story. when i read in your “about me” that you believed in the power that a birthing story has in the life of a family i didn’t quite get it. but now i do. and i agree, it is powerful. thank you for preparing us well and giving us the tools and encouragement we needed to trust the process and alleviate my anxieties. i can imagine her birth would have looked a LOT different if i didn’t prepare in this way. thank you forever and ever.


congratulations shay and kevin! such a beautiful story and a total encouragement to my soul to hear that you now see the power that a birthing story has in the life of a family. just so inspiring! thank you for your kind words about your experience with the online classes as well, great to have “my baby” be well received!

and i couldn’t agree more. that birth high. something else.

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!


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!


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!


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

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?


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. {}

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.


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,