Episode 028 - When Hello Means Goodbye (SIDS)

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This week’s guest Linda Takano shares her story of saying hello and goodbye to her baby boy Miles, all within his first week of life. We are so honored she shared this conversation with us and we ask that you respect her vulnerability as well as she shares about her sons passing of SIDS. {trigger warning}

Linda is someone who instantly makes you feel welcome whatever the setting. She is the type of woman you feel was born to be a Mom. She loves kids and always desired to have a family. Linda’s journey to motherhood has not been easy - after struggling to get pregnant with her daughter Jolie, Linda and her family lost twin babies.  When her third baby, Miles, passed away of SIDS, Linda was really at a loss with how to process this kind of grief. 

In this episode, Linda talks about her real-time process of losing her son. The difficulty of navigating saying good-bye and the logistics of losing a child were so much to deal with. She shares about her husband’s unwavering support and what is was like for her daughter to say good-bye to her brother.  Her raw and emotional telling of these events will open your eyes to the healing that comes when you fully allow yourself to experience loss.


In This Episode:

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  • Losing her second pregnancy with twins at 10 and 14 weeks
     
  • Finding her 3 day old son passed away from SIDS upon waking up
     
  • The horror of having to reenact the last hours of her sons life with a doll for the police
     
  • Her daughter asking if they could have a goodbye party for the baby and how this led to them creating traditions to help remember their son
     
  • The physical experience of grief after pregnancy or infant loss that amplify the emotional experience
     
  • How she learned that being outside helps her with grief and anxiety
     
  • Realizing that people comfort how they themselves want to be comforted, when we really need to listen and watch for how those in pain need to be comforted
     
  • The feeling of wanting our children to be remembered, not just our pain

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Show Notes:

Linda's Candle Shop

 

 


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About Our Guest:

Linda Takano lives in the Seattle area with her husband & the two kiddos they still get to hug & kiss everyday.  However, Josh & Linda would like to be remembered as the parents of Jolie, Silas & Miles. Linda finds a strong connection to people who know great pain & with those who have a hearty laugh. When the kids are at school, Linda gets her side hustle on by pouring essential oil candles. She finds this slow practice to be satisfying & therapeutic. 


Episode 027 - Medical Providers Choosing Birth at Home

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Maker of the Why Not Home? Documentary, this weeks guest Jessicca Moore shares behind the scenes of her own two homebirths and her extraordinary journey into exploring why more and more medical providers are choosing out-of-hospital birth.

As a nurse practitioner, Jessicca had been trained in a hospital setting and always assumed that was where she would give birth.  After the experience of a colleague who chose homebirth, she began to explore the concept for herself.  Getting comfortable with the research on safety and outcomes for low-risk mothers and babies, Jessicca chose to give birth at home, which later inspired her to find out why so many more like her were doing the same.

In this episode, Jessicca gets real with us about how her choice impacted relationships with family and colleagues, how she chose to communicate about it, and why she believes that homebirth is an option that all women should have access to.

Why Not Home? is a critical look at the options that women are provided with and how medical providers around the US and Canada are not only opening the conversation, but making the surprising choice of homebirth for themselves.  

We were so impressed when we watched the documentary - Jessicca and her team tell this story with compassion, careful research, and a generously held space for whatever empowers the birthing woman.  She is passionate about dialogue between different practitioners and birth settings, knowing that this has a direct impact on the care that women receive and even on birth outcomes.


In This Episode:

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  • Considering homebirth after a l&d nurse friend had her babies at home and inspired her
     
  • Husband born in a bush hospital in Zambia, so he was quite open to the possibility of birthing at home
     
  • Having to carefully navigate who and when she talked about her homebirth with as family and some colleagues were not supportive
     
  • Having her son at her second birth and making decisions about children being present
     
  • The frustration of getting to complete so fast with her second birth but still having to push for 1.5 hrs
     
  • Conceiving both of her babies from IVF and not having any more flexible funds to pay for an out of hospital birth as insurance didn't cover it
     
  • Family doctor friend offered to support her
    during her births, despite the liability of operating outside of her practice
     
  • Efforts to improve communications and systems between midwifes and hospitals and how Canada is making major progress
     
  • How healthcare reimbursement for birth services works and how having more midwives able to bill for their services benefits everyone
     
  • How Jessicca's documentary is creating a tool for communication between people on every side of the conversation about hospital vs out-of-hospital birth

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About Our Guest:

Jessicca Moore is family nurse practitioner, a filmmaker, and a catalyst for healthcare improvement. A transplant from the midwest, she and her husband make their home in Sonoma County California where she tries to keep up with her two children 6 chickens, and two sheep. The garden is neglected and she never seems to get around to doing anything with the sheep wool, but hey, nobody can do it all. 

You can find Jessicca and more info on her documentary here:

Facebook | Instagram | Twitter


Episode 026 - Birth with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome)

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Kelly tried to get pregnant for 4 years before finally being diagnosed with PCOS.  After years of being dismissed by doctors, she and her husband finally had an answer to help them move forward - but it was just the beginning of their journey.  After a job change to allow coverage of fertility treatments, Kelly began a series of IUI's (intra uterine insemination).

4 losses later, including an ectopic pregnancy, Kelly conceived her daughter and struggled through that pregnancy to remain hopeful while feeling so connected to this life she was sure was meant to be part of her life.  Kelly shares the most incredible perspective on walking through loss and infertility with friends, and we think that her words are so important for any mama on the journey facing these challenges.

Lighthearted and joyful despite her painful journey, Kelly believes that spreading the word about PCOS and helping women advocate for themselves and their care is critical.  She is a beacon of hope that despite significant challenges finding clarity and support is possible.


In This Episode:

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  • Spending years and years with symptoms of PCOS and never being diagnosed
     
  • How everybody says "if you just lose weight your problems will go away"
     
  • Switching jobs so that they could afford medical/fertility treatments once she was diagnosed
     
  • Experiencing 4 IUI (intra uterine insemination) losses before conceiving her daughter
     
  • Dealing with the shame of your body betraying you
     
  • Finding both online and local support
     
  • How she and a friend made a pact that if one of them got pregnant first, the other got to call the shots on how they would interact
     
  • When Kelly felt like she became a mother
     
  • Making the transition from saying "if everything goes ok" to "when this baby comes"
     
  • What it was like to hold her daughter after waiting 7 years
     
  • Kelly's tips for managing anxiety during pregnancy

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About Our Guest:

Kelly Peters lives in New Jersey with her husband, their daughter Naomi, and a dog and cat.  She is a gardener, a former photographer, a student of folk medicine & folklore, a forager, a cook, a belly dancer, a sometimes writer, a Phish fan, and a full time Mom. 


Episode 025 - Unmedicated, Pain-Free Birth

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After a standard, run-of-the-mill pregnancy and birth in the US, Lisa and her family moved to Sweden to reset their life and find better balance.  Despite having prepared for her second birth with Hypnobirthing, Lisa never expected to have an accidental homebirth, let alone a pain-free birth experience.

Lisa has learned a lot about navigating the perinatal period in another culture, and helps other women tell the stories of birthing abroad through her books Knocked Up Abroad.  With such different birth experiences, she believes in advocating for yourself but also in trusting that things will happen how they are supposed to - ignorance can sometimes be bliss.  ;)


In This Episode:

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  • How having two completely different birth experiences in the US and in Sweden inspired her to help women tell the stories of giving birth abroad
     
  • Loved having an epidural on her first birth
     
  • The "I Can't Do This" moment and how it happens to everyone
     
  • Finding a postpartum/newborn care arrangement with your partner that preserves your emotional connection
     
  • Determining whether another culture is going to be a good fit for your parenting style and ideals
     
  • Navigating how different prenatal care and birth customs were in Sweden vs the US
     
  • Choosing not to be weighed during pregnancy
     
  • How Hypnobirthing unexpectedly enabled her to have a pain-free birth at home (accidentally)
     
  • Feeling disconnected from the postpartum bonding period after such an unexpected whirlwind birth - the feeling of "how did this happen?"
     
  • Recognizing that you are a different person each time you give birth

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Show Notes:

Knocked Up Abroad - The Books

Buy Knocked Up Abroad on Amazon

Trimester at Sea - Story of Being Pregnant While Sailing

 


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About Our Guest:

Lisa Ferland has lived in Sweden since 2012 with her husband and two kids--a Lego lover and a Pippi Longstocking--where they continue to enjoy the beautiful Swedish countryside and Baltic Sea. She is the editor and publisher of the Knocked Up Abroad series and loves connecting with mothers around the world. Read more at knockedupabroad.eu


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This weeks episode is being sponsored by our fantastic giveaway of a Lily and Jade diaper bag - head on over to our Instagram to participate!  The giveaway will happen the week of September 18th, 2017.

(oh yes, it's that bag right there. you know you want it)

Episode 024 - Of Sperm Donors, Cesareans & VBAC's

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When Loren and her same-sex partner decided to have kids, they first approached a friend about becoming their sperm donor.  What follows is a raw tale of the ups and downs of trying to conceive, intrauterine insemination (IUI) and a rocky first birth that ended up in a cesarean.

Loren is a licensed acupuncturist and found her ideals to be challenged by the birth process - determined to have an unmedicated homebirth, she faced great disappointment when that didn't turn out to be possible.  Her perspective as a mother and a practitioner has now broadened to understand that conception and birth aren't something that we can control, and that we can find joy in any experience of birth.


In This Episode:

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  • Choosing to try getting pregnant using a friend as their sperm donor and how it affected their relationship
     
  • Having open dialogue with kids about how your family came to be
     
  • Having to change plans from having a homebirth because her labor wasn't progressing
     
  • How you can have a satisfying, positive experience of birth no matter what happens
     
  • How a difficult or disappointing birth helps make you more empathetic and compassionate
     
  • Comparing our birth experiences to others or our own previous experiences is just a trap
     
  • Using acupuncture as a tool to get "down into your body" to aid in the birth process

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Show Notes:

What Makes a Baby - Book to Talk with Kids about Family/Conception

It's Not the Stork - Another Conception Book

White Peony Acupuncture - Loren's Acupuncture Practice

Information on IUI (Intrauterine Insemination)


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About Our Guest:

Loren Romley is a California Licensed Acupuncturist as well as a Diplomat of Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). Loren earned her Master’s degree in Chinese Medicine from Five Branches Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Santa Cruz, California. She completed the Five Element acupuncture program and focused her studies on hepatitis C, pediatrics, hormone balancing and sports injury. Loren combines traditional Chinese and Japanese techniques with the theories of Five Element acupuncture to gain insight into her patients’ constitutions and the imbalances that are the root of their discomfort and disease. As a Chinese Medical Practitioner and Primary Care Provider, Loren takes the time to analyze each patient carefully and understand their unique circumstances. She relates to a patient as a whole person with dynamic systems which need to be balanced. Our world is full of stress, pollution, trauma, accidents, and habits constantly bombarding our systems. These challenges faced on a daily basis cause imbalances in our bodies which may manifest themselves as pain and/or illness. Acupuncture and herbal medicine have been used for thousands of years to bring our bodies and minds closer to harmony. Loren is passionate about being a mother of two boys and keeping physically active; she enjoys surfing, swimming, hiking, running, yoga and river rafting. 


Episode 023 - Birth On Two Different Islands

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Anjelica shares her story of giving birth to her two daughters in extremely different settings as a military expat.  Empowered and awakened to the lack of communal support that women receive as they transition to motherhood, she was determined to do something about it.  Amidst raising her children, she became a lactation counselor and childbirth educator, focusing on helping women identify their goals and set up support systems before they give birth.

Anjelica's belief in a safe, loving environment for every woman to give birth in is inspiring.  You won't want to miss this story about how different birth can be yet how it's always possible for it to be an empowering, positive experience.

Anjelica also wrote the best interactive breastfeeding resource we've ever gotten our hands on, and we'll be doing a giveaway over on Instagram this week (August 21, 2017) of Milk Boss 101: The Modern Breastfeeding Journal and Guide.  Check out the giveaway over on Instagram here!


In This Episode:

  • How while working as a medic in the military she realized how much deeper work with women always was
     
  • Mosaic Motherhood - acknowledging how multi-faceted our lives are as mothers
     
  • How access to specialized services like lactation support and doula support is a privilege and one that many don't have
     
  • Growing up with either stay-at-home-moms or working moms and not feeling like she identified with either one as she approached motherhood
     
  • The gap between patients and their care provider in Puerto Rico
     
  • Listening to your Mother Wisdom above any other voice
     
  • The differences between her births in Puerto Rico and Guam
     
  • How every woman deserves to give birth in a gentle and safe space
     
  • Breastfeeding is a minimum 2 person job in the beginning - we NEED SUPPORT


About Our Guest:

Anjelica Malone is a Third Culture Kid turned Global Mama. She is the author of Milk Boss 101: The Modern Breastfeeding Journal and Guide.  She is also a Certified Lactation Educator Counselor, birth and postpartum doula, and a Childbirth Educator serving women in the Seattle area, where she lives with her husband, two Little Women, and their mini-dachshund, Aoki. Visit www.AnjelicaMalone.com to book her services or read her writings, which focus on encouraging women to embrace their passions and equipping them to navigate motherhood in the way that’s most natural to them.


Episode 022 - Reluctant Motherhood

Lindsay shares her journey from being unsure about ever wanting kids due to her independent lifestyle and personal goals to experiencing how surprisingly rewarding and enjoyable being a mother was.  Her experience of finding balance between her own interests and goals and the sacrifice of motherhood is one everyone will relate to.

 


In This Episode:

  • Growing up without a framework for how she could be a mother and also have a career
     
  • How a basketball game helped her change her mind about starting a family
     
  • How becoming a mother allowed her to become the best version of herself
     
  • Why we don't believe in the term "natural birth"
     
  • Deciding not to find out if it was a boy or girl and how that helped her let go of expectations
     
  • Knowing when to acknowledge that your needs or the needs of your family are changing and being able to adapt
     
  • Accepting sunk cost and being willing to throw in the towel when kids just aren't getting on board with your plans
     
  • Setting boundaries as an entrepreneur around work - being all in with whatever you are doing
     
  • How giving your best to your kids doesn't mean not taking care of yourself


About Our Guest:

My name is Lindsay. I live in Portland, Oregon. I have a husband (Nich), daughter (Margot), cat (Penelope), and a bunny (Lil Omar).

I often describe my style of cooking as “Slow food for fast life”. I am a freelance marketing consultant, event planner, writer, and stylist. In addition to my freelance work, I serve on the board of a local farmer’s market and host the PDX Food Swap. That being said, I am always on the go! While I’m passionate about sustainable living and eating whole and healthy foods, it’s hard to actually cook wholesome meals in the midst of a hectic schedule. Thus, my cooking reflects the struggles of a working professional and a mom who is trying to find balance. I strive to make food that is simple and attainable, and at the same time is beautiful, celebratory, and seasonally inspired.

Where to find Lindsay:

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Food Blog


Episode 021 - Globally-Minded Mother

Mary Grace shares her perspective on raising globally minded kids whether or not you travel or are an expat.  SPOILER - you can do it wherever you live!  She also tells the stories of her 3 different births and how much she learned about relaxing and letting go with each of them.

Mary Grace's experiences with birth have taught her that, just like in motherhood, not everything is going to go as planned and you have to be able to release your own desires.  

We get into some of her practices for intentional, globally-minded living and raising kids who are open to the experiences of others around them instead of believing that their way of life is the only or best way.

**Mary Grace wanted to point out that her use of the term "regular" culture during our conversation is a way of speaking that prioritizes and privileges the dominant culture and that is not what she intended to do.


In This Episode:

  • How growing up with foreign exchange students and living abroad impacted her worldview
     
  • Using our window of influence with our kids to share our values
     
  • Finding what works for your family - it doesn't matter what works for someone else
     
  • Being so set on having an unmedicated birth with her first and assuming the hospital staff wouldn't be supportive
     
  • Feeling like a failure because of having an episiotomy
     
  • Badge of honor culture and "natural birth"
     
  • Having pneumonia and a broken rib during her 3rd birth
     
  • How birth is a picture of motherhood as a whole
     
  • How to create a global home no matter where you live

Show Notes:


About Our Guest:

Mary Grace Otis is the host of The Global Mom Show  podcast, which helps mothers connect with global ideas and teach their kids to do the same. She's a wife, a mom of three boys, a former expat and development worker, and a freelance writer for nonprofits and businesses. She's lived and worked abroad in Germany and India, and now she makes her home in the U.S., where one of her goals is to stay connected with a global view of life. Grab a copy of her free guide 10 Ways to Create a Global Home--No Matter Where You Live, and join her free Facebook group to learn from more globally-minded women. 

Where to find Mary Grace:

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


Episode 020 - Mothering with Baggage

Tiffany became interested in birth support after the positive experience she had with her second birth, leading her to become a doula and ultimately start a thriving doula agency.  Her passion for unconditional, non-judgmental support comes from her own experiences of the transition to motherhood and the troubled childhood she lived through.

Tiffany's mother was a single mom suffering with severe mental health issues, and Tiffany ended up more or less raising herself.  She shares openly with us about her fears as a mother, how she communicates with her boys about their complicated family history, and what it looks like to create your own family story.

Her perspective on providing support for mothers and allowing them to shed the expectations that can be such a burden and lead to having nothing left is so important.  Mothering from a place of abundance comes from tending to our own needs and not from having the perfect mother model or from being energized by self-sacrifice, as Tiffany has learned.


In This Episode:

  • How her caregivers suggestion that she "may want to schedule a c-section so she would have childcare" for her older son made her reconsider her birth options and choice of provider
     
  • Deciding to get into birth work as a doula and building a business around the idea of non-judgmental support
     
  • How words like "support" and "community" have become so diluted in our culture that they hardly mean anything
     
  • Maternal depletion and the "race" to be the biggest martyr
     
  • Asking ourselves - "who is asking this of me?"
     
  • Growing up with a single mom facing severe mental health issues
     
  • How her childhood wounds have affected her own journey to motherhood
     
  • Being transparent with our kids about our journeys while still protecting them
     
  • Dealing with fear that family cycles will be perpetuated
     
  • How we create our own families and our own ways of being

Show Notes:

Tiffany's Doula Agency - Birthing Stone

Portland Doula Training

Getting Connected with a Doula in Your Area:

Find a CAPPA Certified Doula

DONA Certified Doula's

Childbirth International Database

Or, ask your doctor/midwife and ask around in your local community!  Additionally, a location specific google search will provide options in your area, and from there we recommend interviewing to find a good fit.


About Our Guest:

Tiffany is a birth and postpartum doula, sleep trainer (Birthing Stone Doula) and doula trainer (Portland Doula Training). She's the mom to two rambunctious boys, aged 9 and 7. The support she received during the birth of her youngest launched her into the birth world. As someone who has dabbled in many careers paths, the world of birth keeps Tiffany both emotionally and intellectually satisfied, and this is where she plans to stay. 

Supporting families in getting the support they need after baby comes, especially when it involves getting sleep, is an area Tiffany specializes in, offering sleep training as well as early sleep conditioning. She added this service after seeing the deep struggle so many parents go through after months of sleep deprivation. She is passionate about ending maternal depletion. 

With both clients and new doulas, Tiffany believes in transparency and sharing practical information, as well as offering nonjudgmental support. She supports families with diverse backgrounds and lifestyles, varying parenting style and birth choices. Her support for someone choosing and epidural is just as strong and committed as someone choosing a home birth. 

As a doula trainer, Tiffany's support and training is far from superficial. She takes the time to get to know each person she trains as much as she can, offers on-going support, and specializes in encouraging doulas to move out of their comfort zone and take the next step to take their businesses to the next level. 


Episode 019 - Birthing Abroad

Michelle was living in Guatemala when she got pregnant, and knew right away that she didn't want to return to the US to give birth.  She also knew that she didn't want to give birth in one of the national hospitals, and was fortunate to find a local midwife with a birth center practice.

Michelle shares her story of delivering both of her babies out of hospital and the incredible experience she had with her midwife, whose care Michelle felt was perfect for her and her family.  We get into how strange it was for her husband and his family to be able to be involved in the birth as that was uncommon in their area, and the various cultural differences and similarities in birth, postpartum and motherhood.

We love Michelle's description of mothering in community and how interconnected the lives of mothers and families are where she lives.  Motherhood can be such an isolating time in western cultures and it's refreshing to be reminded that there is another way.


In This Episode:

  • Choosing to give birth in Guatemala vs returning home to the US
     
  • Privilege and birth options in developing countries
     
  • Having her mother in law be present at her second birth, which is very uncommon in Guatemala
     
  • The experience of having a Cephalic Version performed to turn her breech baby (see show notes below)
     
  • How hyper aware of science and safety we can be in western cultures
     
  • Cultural values, the different ways to raise kids, and finding what works for you
     
  • Mothering in community

Show Notes:

Birth Center in Antigua

Birth Center Facebook Page

Article (in spanish) about rate of c-sections in Guatemala.  2 out of 5 births in Guatemala are at home with a "comadrona" or locally trained midwife. In private hospitals 94% of the births are cesarean sections.

Cephalic Version


About Our Guest:

Michelle Acker Perez is a former special education teacher from California. She currently lives in Guatemala where she works with a non-profit organization while also trying to raise two bilingual and bicultural kids. Michelle writes about motherhood, marriage and life in between two cultures and countries at simplycomplicated.me and documents daily life abroad on | Instagram | Facebook twitter


Episode 018 - Unplanned Vaginal Birth

Ericka was on track for a scheduled c-section with her 2nd baby, after a difficult labor ending in c-section with her first.  When her water broke at 38 weeks she still thought that was the plan - until shortly after she started getting the urge to push.  What happens next is a whirlwind as everybody kept preparing for a c-section - but babies have their own plans!

Ericka's shares her beautiful perspective on getting on board with how things were going down and letting herself follow her instincts even though she had never prepared for an unmedicated, vaginal birth.  The intuition of women is remarkable and Ericka was able to follow her body's lead instead of giving into fear.

We talk about honoring and appreciating all experiences of birth, and her ability to see the strength and beauty in each birth she has had, instead of comparing them.  There's so much good stuff in this exciting episode - both fun and inspirational! 


In This Episode:

Ericka nearly ripping off her husbands gown

Ericka nearly ripping off her husbands gown

  • How a serious sports injury as a teen affected her likelihood of having a vaginal birth, as well as how she prepared for labor
     
  • Choosing to have a c-section after 3 hours of pushing and knowing that it was better for her child to have a healthy mom than for her to have birth go just the way she wanted it to
     
  • Being the mom you want to be vs having the birth you want to have
     
  • Choosing to focus on the positives of having a planned cesarean for her second birth after doctors recommended it for her safety
     
  • The importance of doula support even when having a planned c-section, especially for partners
     
  • Water breaking at 38 weeks and rushing to hospital because of the urge to push
     
  • You are not your pain
     
  • Discovering that her body knew just want to do instinctively even though she had never prepared for an unmedicated, vaginal birth
     
  • Learning to be prepared to "adjust your sails"
     
  • In the day to day while parenting, drawing on the strength she experienced during labor
     
  • Finding the beauty in both experiences of labor and realizing how much strength they both required

Show Notes:

Red Stick Mom's Blog

What is a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean)?

Ericka's Doula :: Three Chords Birth

Baton Rouge Birth Photographer :: Cher Bebe Birth Stories

Hospital of delivery :: Woman's Hospital with OB Dr. Nicole Chauvin


About Our Guest:

Ericka Poole is originally a New Orleans gal who was raised to begin many dishes with a roux. Since 2011, she has happily embraced the Red Stick life with her husband of nine years. After graduation, she and Tyler tied the knot. She dabbled in the corporate scene but eventually returned to school to pursue her passion for teaching and earned a Master’s degree in Elementary Education. She’s traded in her beloved Expo pens and clipboard to stay home with her two little boys (and three yorkies!). She is also the Market Manager for Red Stick Moms Blog, connecting moms in her area one at a time. Motherhood has been the best roller coaster she’s ever been on and even at the most challenging times, she tries to remember to embrace the chaos and “bless this mess” mentality. Ericka loves good conversation, coffee, empowering other women, laughing, baking and making memories with her family.


Episode 017 - Spirit Birth

Lauren's interest in the mystery and power of feminine wisdom began when she was pregnant with her son many years ago.  Feeling awakened to her true self for the first time, she began to explore her intuition and found herself drawn to creating space for women undergoing the transformation of motherhood.

Lauren shares with us her incredible perspective on the identify shift that women experience when they become mothers, and seeing the season of early motherhood as a time of creativity and full bloom instead of closing off or isolation.  Bringing the wisdom of over a decade of supporting women in birth and motherhood, her compassionate and gentle soul radiates throughout our conversation as we talk about everything from aligning with the season of life you are in to believing in your body.

Lauren's work in creating Spirit Birth is a culmination of years of holding space for mothers, and we are so excited for what she offers.  Believing that each woman's birth path is important and beautiful, she knows that every mother deserves the support and education to create an empowered, spiritual birth experience.

See the Show Notes below for more information!


In This Episode:

  • Early motherhood is a season of creation - we are the most full of life and creativity we will ever be
     
  • We have the birth we need to become the mothers we need to be
     
  • Our children are our mirrors - we can look at them and often it's a reflection of where we're at
     
  • Taking responsibility for our own state of being - we can't change anyone but ourselves
     
  • Birth is a bridge - no matter how it goes down, you have to cross it in order to transform
     
  • Confidence over control in birth and motherhood
     
  • Living in alignment with the seasons of life
     
  • Seeing motherhood as a time of opening, not a time of closing off
     
  • Living in rhythm rather than routine

Show Notes:

Lauren's Website Hub - Featuring all of her projects

Spirit Birth - Lauren's incredible online birth course

Sneak Peek into Spirit Birth 

The Life Pod - Lauren's Yoga Studio in Sydney

Calm Birth Childbirth Education

The School of Shamanic Womancraft

Lauren's Influences: Ina May Gaskin, Sarah Buckley, Peter Jackson, Pam England


About Our Guest:

"I’m Lauren Falconer and I am the creator of The LifePod and Spirit Birth. I’m a birth educator, a doula, a yoga teacher, calmbirth practitioner, shamanic midwife in training and a blogger. I work with pregnant women, mothers, and women looking to reignite their connection with their intuition and passion for a soulful life.

I help them to feel nourished and supported, prepared and deeply aligned with their inner wisdom. I help to take the fear out of the birthing process and empower pregnant women to trust their own innate intelligence, reigniting the spirited experience that birth is."


Episode 016 - Discovering Your Worthiness

This weeks guest shares her long journey to believing that she is enough, just as she is, as a mother.  When her first son was born, she struggled with resentment and grief as she felt the pressure to be perfect and knew she couldn't be.  Over the years she struggled more and more with her relationship with her son, reaching a point where she felt there was something wrong with her because she didn't want to be around him.

It wasn't until years after Kelly's son was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome at age 5 that her turning point came when she began to understand that she had always been conditioned to perform for worthiness and that this had carried over to her experience of being a mother. Learning to let go of perfectionism and her need for control was an important part of her journey, and now Kelly helps others do the same through her coaching work.

Kelly gets real about learning how to understand her son's needs and advocate for him, what it's like to embrace imperfection, and how she has stopped "hustling for her worthiness", in the words of Brene Brown.


In This Episode:

  • How never feeling like she was good enough as a child led to her becoming addicted to external validation
     
  • Being imperfect as a mother made her feel like she was failing
     
  • Being vulnerable can be in sharing of the hard moments of motherhood but also in believing in yourself and letting people see that
     
  • How her son's Aspergers diagnosis helped Kelly move towards believing she was enough
     
  • Learning to advocate for her son and teaching him to advocate for himself as he got older
     
  • The need for more moms to stand up and say "this is freaking hard"
     
  • Learning not to dismiss our own struggles just because someone else "has it worse"
     
  • Exploring personality type through The Enneagram
     
  • A special visualization Kelly does to help conceptualize your inherent worthiness
     
  • Kelly's year of Intentional Underacheiving
     
  • Learning to recognize and listen to your inner voice
     
  • Kelly's invitation to join her private Facebook Group: The Worthy Collective

About Our Guest:

Kelly Covert is an inner voice coach with a passion for helping women lay down their lifelong habits of perfectionism and chronic overachieving, so they can listen to their inner voice and love themselves fully every single day. 

Through her coaching, online programs, writing and speaking, she is creating a movement of women that are practicing worthy now instead of worthy if or when. She is the creator and host of the In Her Voice podcast. Her work has been featured on The Huffington PostThe Elephant JournalYourTango.com, and she has been a featured guest on many podcasts. 

Kelly is also a professional flutist with Symphoria, a wife and the mother of 2 big boys and 1 baby girl beagle named Piper.

You can learn more and connect with Kelly at www.kellycovert.com.

Links:

Free 5 Days of Journaling Program: www.kellycovert.com/journal

In Her Voice Podcast: www.kellycovert.com/inhervoice

The Worthy Collective (my free private FB group): www.kellycovert.com/worthy


Episode 015 - Creating a Birth Plan - Part II

In Part II of our Birth Plan episode, Laura and Mellisa get deep into what happens when things don't go as planned.  Using the BRAIN evaluation tool for making choices during childbirth, we help you explore both your philosophical approach to labor as well as how you handle changes of plan.

 

If nothing else, we want to get across the concept of holding your birth with open hands - this frees you from the possibility of being disappointed in yourself, your care providers, or the outcome itself if things deviate from the plan in any way.

You can count on us to tell it how we see it - from the perspectives of both a mom who has completed several variations of a "birth plan" and from a labor and delivery nurse who sees the impact they have all the time!


In This Episode:

  • Learning the BRAIN way of evaluating choices, alternatives and "changes of plan" in labor
     
  • It's ok to ask for time to evaluate things on your own (when there's time), even without your doula
     
  • Collaboration with your support team can help you feel confident in your birth choices
     
  • It's an ongoing dialogue, not a closed conversation.  There are very few one-way tickets in labor
     
  • How important it is to have conversations about your birth preferences with your care provider BEFORE you are in labor
     
  • Listen to your body in labor - what's actually working for you?  There's no way to know until you're in it
     
  • Most newborn care can happen while baby is skin-to-skin unless there's an emergency
     
  • Don't neglect the pediatric care portion of planning
     
  • If a birth plan becomes about control instead of confidence, it can negatively affect the outcome and experience
     
  • A birth plan can be a powerful bridge in a hospital setting if it's done right

Show Notes:

Mama Natural's visual birth plan

Mama Natural's visual birth plan

Stage by Stage Birth Plan

Another Stage by Stage Birth Plan (PDF)

Easy, Customizable Birth Plan from Earth Mama

Visual Birth Plan from Mama Natural

When Birth Doesn't Go As Planned - an article written by Mellisa about drilling down to what really matters about your desired birth experience

Tips for a Gentle Cesarean Birth - having a cesarean birth doesn't mean that your preferences don't matter any more

 

 

 

Episode 014 - Creating a Birth Plan - Part I

In this episode, Laura and Mellisa dive deep into the why, what and how of a birth plan.  We talk both about the birds eye view and the nitty gritty - and how a birth plan can be relational instead of confrontational.

Part 1 of a 2 part episode, this conversation will get you thinking about your motivations and beliefs about birth, as well as reframing what the benefits of "planning" ahead really are.

It's our goal to get you thinking about what's important to you about birth, helping you reframe the way we approach goals and preferences around birth, and giving you the tools to evaluate your birth options successfully and in collaboration with your birth team.

You can count on us to tell it how we see it - from the perspectives of both a mom who has completed several variations of a "birth plan" and from a labor and delivery nurse who sees the impact they have all the time!


In This Episode:

  • A birth plan is not just for the birthing mother
     
  • A birth plan is not just for labor and delivery but also for postpartum and newborn care
     
  • How detailed you get really depends on personality
     
  • How planning for birth is like planning for a camping trip
     
  •  One of the best benefits is getting a chance to think through the different scenarios and how you will react if things DON'T go according to plan
     
  • On the other side of everything you don't want is something you DO want - proactive vs defensive
     
  • A birth plan can be a bridge
     
  • Talking to your care provider about your preferences and their style/model/perspective
     
  • How a doula can help evaluate birth choices and preferences

Show Notes:

Mama Natural's visual birth plan

Mama Natural's visual birth plan

Episode 013 - The Roller Coaster of Fostering & Adoption

After years of unfertility and wondering why this wasn't happening for her, Megan and her husband finally did testing and had to face that having children wasn't going to happen easily.  For a time, they decided not to do anything other than wait and see.

Inspired by a few different people, the couple eventually made the difficult decision not to pursue fertility treatments but instead to open their home to foster children.  They knew that this would be a challenging and often heartbreaking endeavor - and their families were initially concerned for their emotional wellbeing.  Megan and her husband knew that this is what they were meant to do and that no matter how hard it may be to have children they loved come and go, that they were willing to open their hearts and their home.

What follows is an incredibly inspiring and emotional journey through the ups and downs of falling in love with each baby that came into their lives and not knowing what the outcome would be.  Megan talks about the emphasis on reconciliation with birth families and how heartbreaking that can be, especially when it can sometimes be in conflict with what seems to be best for the child.  Learning to advocate for her foster children has been an important part of her motherhood journey.

The dramatic story of adopting their first foster child is one you cannot miss - Megan shows the fierce love she possesses and her passion for fully loving each child no matter how long they are with her - "Today you're here and we love you today". 


In This Episode:

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  • Getting creative with photographing your kids when you aren't allowed to show their faces
     
  • The nightmare days when they were separated from their first foster son and he didn't eat or drink
     
  • Having to accept that they couldn't control what happened to these precious children
     
  • How their families came around to supporting them in their choice to become foster parents
     
  • Deciding not to take on special needs children and later learning their first foster son had Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
     
  • The emotional battle of constantly advocating for your children


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Episode 012 - Infertility, Loss and Survivors Guilt

Rebekah knew early on that her inability to get pregnant wasn't just a fluke that would easily pass.  And as time went on and testing didn't reveal anything clear, they were left without a lot of hope or clarity as they began to explore options.

She went through a long season where coping with the continual disappointment and pain was incredibly hard to deal with.  This was time was also hard on her relationship with her husband.  Facing this was so raw and she had a hard time reaching out to friends and family, leading to finding amazing support through online communities for infertility.  

1 round of Clomid and 4 rounds of IUI later, they weren't any closer to their hoped for child.  At the point that they were considering IVF, after almost 5 years of trying to get pregnant, Rebekah randomly decided to take a pregnancy test and found out she was pregnant.  Completely shocked by this outcome, Rebekah then entered the overwhelming and unfamiliar territory of navigating pregnancy and dealing with survivors guilt among the infertility support groups she had been a big part of over the years.

Rebekah ultimately had a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby - but you won't want to miss the story of her long, challenging and unmedicated labor!  


In This Episode:

  • Why Infertility is like being at the craps table with a 20 sided die
     
  • It doesn't help to tell someone "just relax and it'll happen"
     
  • How hard it is on a relationship to be constantly in this cycle of hope and disappointment
     
  • You never know who's going to show up for you
     
  • Dealing with "Survivors Guilt" when you do finally get pregnant
     
  • How hearing "If you two really want to be parents you can be parents" was at first frustrating but later comforting
     
  • Why she wanted to have an unmedicated birth after years of infertility
     
  • How having a baby made her feel really dependent and vulnerable, which she was not used to
     

Show Notes:

Information on IUI

Information on IVF


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Episode 011 - The Infertility Sample Platter

Jess's brush with death in her early 20's and subsequent management of lupus and stage 4 kidney disease set the stage for fertility challenges when she was finally ready to become a mother.  Faced with the choice to do emergency chemotherapy knowing that there wasn't time to harvest her eggs and she would likely never be able to carry a child, she moved forward: "you can't be a parent if you aren't alive".

With a lot of determination and heart, not to mention no small amount of heartbreak, Jess's journey to motherhood includes most of the possible paths available to those dealing with infertility.  She shares candidly about managing her chronic illness and making decisions with that in mind, loss and vulnerability, and the beautiful gift of surrogacy that finally brought her daughter to her.

Find out how Jess and her husband are trying to expand their family again!  This powerful story inspires the courage that it takes to be a mother - from the big, hard decisions to the showing up every day for our kids.


Show Notes:

(After Lupus caused her kidneys to fail in 2004, Jessica Goldman Foung refocused her life and work to study food, health, and the many ways they interact. She began SodiumGirl.com in 2009 to capture her adventures in a low-sodium life.)  Here are links to her work:

Jess's website

BOOKS! Sodium Girl's Limitless Low-Sodium Cookbook and Low-So Good

WORDS! Food52theKitchnHuffington PostFood NetworkAmerican Heart AssociationLean In

VIDEOS! Access Hollywood LiveDr. OzFood52 LIVEBetter TVABCNational Kidney Foundation 1National Kidney Foundation 2National Kidney Foundation 3


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