Heidi’s birth story


Heidi’s birth story
I’ve had the experience of two totally different types of birth, with Madeleine, my first, I was in the hospital with pitocin and an epidural (18 hour labor). Then with Heidi, baby number 2, I was in a birth center with no medical interventions (8 hour labor). Both experiences were great and so so different!

Here is Heidi’s birth story:

On August 10, I went in for my 40 week check up. I went in not expecting to be dilated much (I didn’t want to get my hopes up) and I was 3cm dilated already! I had been having contractions all week so I was glad they had been productive. The midwife offered to do a membrane sweep, which can help things progress down there. I, of course, took her up on the offer since I was eager to meet our little girl. We left the appointment very hopeful and I had inconsistent contractions for the rest of the day. My cousins had just arrived to town the evening before and were staying at our house so that was a great distraction. By 3am I realized I couldn’t sleep through the contractions anymore and started to time them.

We had a full house that night, so I tried to labor quietly and enjoy the time of peacefulness before labor REALLY got going. Around 530am I couldn’t sit around the house any longer and called my mom to come over and walk with me (I wanted Greg to keep sleeping and save his energy). My mom arrived around 630am. I was impatiently awaiting her arrival and met her on the street. She didn’t even make it in the house and I was already walking. We walked for about 5 blocks and decided to call the midwife. I was finally convinced that this was really labor and the contractions seemed close enough together (about 4-6 minutes apart, lasting 45seconds to 1 minute) to call the midwife and get ready to go in.

My mom and I spoke to Nancy, our midwife, and she said to go home, shower, eat something, and then head in to the birth center. So we went home, woke up the house and started getting ready. The shower felt amazing! I had a snack and called to tell my dad and step mom to book their flights because we were having a baby today! By the time we were ready to leave the house it was about 8:30am and we arrived at the birth center at 9am.

Nancy met us in the parking lot, I think I managed to murmur a “hi” to her when I was taken over by a contraction. She held me up and then helped me into the birth center and birthing room, where the lights were dim, candles were lit and the bath tub was being filled.

I tried to labor in a couple different places (bed, toilet, squatting on the floor) but the tub was by far the best! I was so tired because I didn’t sleep well the past 2 nights. When I got to the center my midwife offered to do another membrane sweep. She said I can allow myself to progress naturally or she could do the sweep to help me along since I was so tired already. I opted for the sweep again. It was more painful this time but I knew it would bring me one step closer to my baby. I went from 3cm to 7 in a matter of 2 minutes from the sweep! Yey!

The only way for me to deal with the contractions and keep good breathing was to close my eyes and block out everyone in the room and just focus on my body, and on the contractions and trying to relax into them. (I had my eyes closed the ENTIRE labor once I was in the tub) It really helped me to have a mantra in my head going during the really tough ones. It was hard for me to stay in control of my breathing which is key so I just kept say ” this is a peaceful birth” and ” I trust my body”. Although to anyone else, I know my birth sounded anything but peaceful. Low deep (very loud) moans were the only thing I do to attempt to maintain my breathing. I have literally never heard myself make those sounds before. I didn’t know it was in me. There were times at the end where I was telling myself that I literally could not handle one more contraction, but low and behold another would come and I would get through it.
Pushing was the hardest part although Nancy never told me to push, my body just pushed when it needed too. I had no control over the pushing. It was quite amazing to see how your body knows what to do. All I could do was try to relax my muscles by taking low slow breaths (easier said then done) to help my body and my baby do what they needed to do. It also really helped me to think of my body and my baby as a team working together. It wasn’t just me in labor it was also my baby making her way out. Heidi came in and out about 5 or 6 times before her head actually came out. What a relief that was! Nancy asked if I wanted to feel her head , but I declined because I knew if I felt her I would just want to pull her the rest of the way out because I was so tired and ready. About 1 minute later another push came, and her body came out and then she was in my arms! Amazing!! We did it! Heidi was born at 11:36am, on Thursday, August 11, 2016.


A couple of tid bits to anyone considering a natural birth ( or just any one pregnant  for that matter):

I watched a documentary on Netflix called “the business of being born” I would highly recommend watching this!!

For a month or so before birth, I visualized myself in the birth center and having my baby without complications and I think that helped a lot too. After birth my mom asked me, “was this what you expected?” And I said “it’s exactly what I expected, it went exactly how I have been visualizing it for the last month”

Every birth will be different though and if it doesn’t go how you’ve planned, if you need interventions, or opt for an epidural, have a C-section, whatever the situation ends up being give yourself permission to do that and to accept that. At the end of the day, the most important thing is that your baby is healthy. And whatever happens in labor, it will be you and your baby’s story and it will be amazing!


This photo: Nancy (our amazing midwife), myself and Heidi, sweet Maddie, and (the best husband in the world) Greg.



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Packing bags for baby arrival


Packing a Birth center bag

Here is an extensive list of what I packed in my birth center bag! Similar to what
You might pack in a hospital bag in preparation for baby.

Mom bag
Zipper sports bra (for laboring in water, zipper allows for easy removal for skin to skin after birth, a swimsuit too would work great too)
Loose dress to wear to bringing center
In a small toiletry bag:
Hair clips and Chap stick for labor

-Post labor items:
Button top pajamas and shorts
Nursing bra
Plastic grocery bag (for dirty or wet clothes)

-Going home items:
Yoga pants
Tank top or nursing top (something lose)



toiletry bag already packed in birth center bag:
Breast pads
Tucks pads
Large period pads and/or adult diapers
Mouth wash
Squirt bottle


Everyday toiletry bag: (I have this bag packed but in my bathroom because it’s stuff I use daily, but I keep it all together so I can grab it quickly and throw into birth center bag once i go into labor)
Dry shampoo
Tooth brush and tooth paste
Hair ties
Bobby pins
Face moisturizer
Face wipes
Make up



Baby bag (separate bag)
2 Pajamas
2 Onesies
Newborn Diapers
Viola paper towels (wet and use as baby wipes)
3 Blankets
Mittens *
*these are not shown in pictures because it’s so hot here I’m not packing them


Snacks and beverages- this post to follow

Eating out with a toddler


Eating out with a toddler
(Without using technology as a babysitter)

Going out to eat with a toddler can be a scary thought! The worst thing you can do is be unprepared. I have listed below a couple of things that have helped our VERY busy toddler sit in a restaurant for 45minutes to 1 hour at a time, without resorting to technology to keep her occupied.

Eating out is a social interaction and a skill to be taught to our children. Shoving a tablet or phone in front of them every time you sit down to eat not only cheats them out of learning these social skills, but also teaches them poor manners and teaches that it’s acceptable to be buried in a device screen instead of interacting with people around you. Now that’s not to say that we NEVER use technology as a distraction but it does not need to be your first line of defense. There are of course special occasions where you know dinner will run long or you’re not at a kid friendly place, or its just one of those days for your little one where they’re extra fussy, but as a whole technology should be a last resort.

You may think “but she’s just a baby she’s not going to interact with adults at the table” but kids pick up on EVERYTHING and they learn by example. How can they watch and learn if they’re staring at a screen or YOU never interact with them? Start in the direction you mean to go. In other words start now even if you think they won’t get it. Otherwise you may end up with a kid who throws tantrums if you try to take the screen away from them or it isn’t charged, or *gasps* you forget to bring it!

Here are tips that work for our family:

– Plan on eating during a time when toddler is awake and not right before nap or bed time

– Bring food -raisins, crackers, cookies- I know this may seem silly since you’re going out to eat, but the hardest time eating out is the time between when you first sit down and waiting for the food to come out.

– Ask for bread when you sit down (orange slices work too! Most restaurants will have one of these items)

– Bring quite toys (toy cars, crayons and paper, books)

– Bring a sippy cup

– Hold baby in your lap or pass her around the table in different laps until food comes to limit time in high chair. I know for our daughter she’ll MAYBE last 20 minutes in the high chair so I try not to put her in there until the food comes out and we need to have free hands.

– Take the kid outside – if the food is taking longer then expected or you have an extra fussy baby on your hands just take him outside for a bit, this is a good distraction and a good way to get some of that energy out.

– Eat outside -whenever possible, try to eat outside. It’s usually more kid friendly, more to look at, and noise level can be louder.

– sit in a booth – I love this option because you don’t need to hold a squirmy toddler, he can stand or sit in the booth between you and the wall and play with toys, snack, or chat there until the food comes

Cheers! And happy dining!