Author: lbwdoulaandbirth

Nailing It with DND: Discover the Perfect Shades and Long-Lasting Brilliance of DND Nail Polish

When it comes to expressing personal style and adding a touch of glamor to our appearance, nail polish has long been a go-to accessory. A perfectly manicured set of nails can make a bold statement, complete an outfit, or simply boost our confidence. And if you’re on the hunt for a nail polish brand that combines stunning shades with long-lasting brilliance, look no further than DND.

DND, short for Daisy Nail Design, has been making waves in the nail industry with its exceptional range of high-quality nail polish. From vibrant hues to subtle neutrals, DND offers an extensive palette to suit every taste and occasion. Whether you’re looking for a classic red, an eye-catching metallic, or a delicate pastel, DND has got you covered.

Express Your Style with Vibrant Colors and Unmatched Durability

Nailing It with DND

One of the standout features of DND nail polish is its impressive longevity. Unlike many other brands on the market, DND polish is formulated with a special gel and lacquer hybrid, providing a chip-resistant and long-lasting finish. With DND, you can enjoy flawless nails that retain their brilliance for up to three weeks, making it perfect for those who lead busy lives or simply don’t have time for frequent touch-ups.


Embracing Your Beauty: A Comprehensive Guide to Skincare for Black Skin

Skincare is an important part of maintaining a healthy and beautiful complexion. For people with black skin, however, it can be challenging to find the right products and techniques that work best for their unique skin type. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the essential steps to developing an effective skincare routine for black skin, as well as some tips for embracing your natural beauty.

Embracing Your Beauty: A Comprehensive Guide to Skincare for Black Skin

Understand Your Skin Type

Black skin comes in many different shades and hues, and each individual’s skin type can vary greatly. It is essential to understand your skin type so that you can choose products and treatments that will work best for you. Generally, black skin is more prone to hyperpigmentation, which can be caused by acne, sun damage, or hormonal changes. It is also prone to dryness and can benefit from regular moisturizing.

Skin Care Routine for Black Women

The skin care routine for black women is not very different from that of women of other ethnicities. However, there are some unique skin concerns that black women may face, such as hyperpigmentation, uneven skin tone, and dryness. Here is a basic skin care routine that can help address these concerns:


Start your routine by cleansing your skin to remove dirt, oil, and impurities. Look for a gentle cleanser that doesn’t strip the skin of its natural oils. It’s important to avoid harsh soaps or cleansers with sulfates as they can cause dryness and irritation.


Use a toner to help balance your skin’s pH and remove any remaining traces of dirt or oil. Look for a toner for black skin with natural ingredients like witch hazel, rosewater, or chamomile, which can help soothe and hydrate the skin.


Cellulite Isn’t a Problem Anymore: Wear These Pants and Look Confident

Thanks to cutting-edge technology, cellulite is now a thing of the past. Thanks to the revolutionary work of dermatologists and surgeons, cellulite can now be reduced or even eliminated using non-surgical methods. So if you’re struggling with cellulite, don’t worry – you can finally start feeling confident in your skin again! In this article, we will talk about how pants can help in reducing & hiding cellulite. So, let’s get started.

Cellulite Isn’t a Problem Anymore: Wear These Pants and Look Confident

What are the benefits of wearing pants?

Cellulite is a type of skin fat that collects in the folds and valleys of the skin, creating an uneven surface. Wearing good quality pants such as the best lululemon pants for cellulite that are tight at the waistband will force your stomach and abdominal muscles to work more effectively, which will help distribute fats throughout your body and decrease cellulite levels. In addition, wearing clothes that cover as much skin as possible will minimize exposure to sunlight (which can cause cellular damage).


Have Fun This Christmas Wearing Funny Christmas Theme T-shirts

Christmas is approaching quickly. So, it is time you start preparing for the festival by ordering your best clothes to wear. While many people love to wear formal attire on Christmas, you can be different and create a new trend by wearing funny Christmas shirts. These beautiful and funny t-shirts are available on our website. You can order them in bulk and gift them to your near and dear ones. It could set a beautiful trend for people to follow.

Have Fun This Christmas Wearing Funny Christmas Theme T-shirts

Let us discuss some Christmas shirts funny designs.

Top 7 Christmas T-shirt 2022

Minnie and Mickey T-Shirt

Here is a beautiful cartoon design t-shirt depicting the lovely pair of Mickie and Minnie Mouse. It signifies that Christmas is the festival where everyone should spread the message of love and affection. Besides, Mickey Mouse introduces the element of fun with his exciting facial expressions. Therefore, this t-shirt should qualify as the best Mickey Christmas shirt.


Best Mother’s Day T-Shirts for Every Kind of Mom in Your Life

We do not really need to wait for Mother’s Day to appreciate mothers. Let us be realistic: everyday is Mothers’ Day! Each day millions of mothers work at various capacities and industries to sustain their families. Mothers’ Day 2022 presents yet a mother opportunity for you to pass your love to someone special.

Best Mother’s Day T-Shirts for Every Kind of Mom in Your Life

Besides gifting your biological mother with a fabulous mother shirt, a gift to any mother figure you admire is a selfless and touching gesture. The person you recognize could be an elderly friend, aunt, spiritual mother, or grandmother. One of the quickest ways to dress up a woman nicely is through a refined customized top.

In this post, you will learn a number of ways to observe Mother’s Day, celebrated on May 8th annually. Feel free to select the most appropriate gift.

Tee Shirts for Every Kind of Mom in Your Life

The tee shirt market is full of new designs, styles, and colors. However, with the right information, finding the perfect mother shirt is not too hard. This is because tees remain flexible and adaptable to most body shapes and types.


The Mechanism Behind Tanning Lotions: Answering All Your Questions

It’s summertime, and that means it’s time to get your tan on! But before you head to the beach or pool, you need to make sure you have the right tanning lotion for your skin type. Not all tanning lotions are created equal – some work better than others. So how do they work? And which one is right for you? read on to find more.

The Mechanism Behind Tanning Lotions: Answering All Your Questions

How Do Tanning Lotions Work?

Tanning lotions work by containing melanin, which is the pigment that gives skin its color. When you apply the lotion to your skin, it helps to darken the color of your skin and give you a deeper, darker tan. They also contain special ingredients which protect your skin from the harmful radiation from the sun. If you also have sensitive skin, make sure you are using the best tanning lotion for sensitive skin to prevent any irritation or sensitivity.


25 Things to do in Early Labor (that aren’t go to the hospital)

Ah… You are pretty sure you’re in labor and today is Baby Day! Yay! But it’s definitely early so what the heck are you supposed to do!?

25 Things to do in Early Labor (that aren’t go to the hospital)

Early labor is defined differently by probably every maternal care provider out there, but here’s my definition.

“Early labor is the first signs of labor which may include cramping, cramps that come and go with regular spacing, or contractions that have clearly developed a pattern but are lasting no longer than 45 seconds and one can pretty easily breathe and talk through them”

Notice I didn’t say how far apart they are…. This is because in my experience both personally and as a doula I’ve seen early labor contractions that are 2-3 minutes apart and transition contractions that are 8-9 minutes apart. Spacing, in my opinion, has very little to do with where you are at in your labor.

But I digress… What are you supposed to do!? It’s too early to go to the hospital/birth center/call your doula/midwife in. And you don’t need to really “do” anything to work through them, so what is there? Well here’s my very best list of things to do when it’s “time” but not quite “TIME!”

1. Go to sleep! This is ALWAYS my #1 recommendation to my clients. Who knows how long your labor will be and I can promise you that any amount of sleep you can carve out before your labor kicks off into high gear will make you feel infinitely better

2. Go to lunch, breakfast, dinner, whatever meal seems appropriate for the time of day. If your waters have broken, throw on a pad and head on out. A yummy meal complete with a distraction is just what the doctor ordered.

3. Watch a movie! Hulu or Netflix or Amazon Prime, it doesn’t matter, but pick something funny and light-hearted and continue ignoring the heck out of that early labor. It will be at the forefront of your attention soon enough.

4. Take a nap! You may think this sounds like #1, and while it is, I feel like naps can happen on the couch, in the sun in your backyard, on your hammock and sometimes during other things mentioned on this list. IF YOU CAN SLEEP, DO IT!!!

5. Go get a pedicure. Yep, just walk on it (make your husband or friend or mom drive you) and get your toes looking pretty. You probably haven’t been able to reach them for weeks. Plus the massage of your feet combined with the extra relaxation might help move things along

6. Get a manicure… see above! Also, as a birth photographer, I can’t tell you how sad it is to send someone a gallery of a mama holding her newborn with crazy chipped nail polish. Or you can do like this mama and go with a holiday theme if your baby is born near a holiday!

This baby was born the day after Christmas and I loved her sparkly Christmas-themed manicure

7. Take off your nail polish…. See above

8. Watch a totally bingeable series! This will take your mind off of things and I’ll bet it gets you further than you think because you just want to get through one more episode!!!

9. Take a shower. Labor is hard work and you’re going to want a shower

10. Wash/do/dry/style your hair. I did this during my early labor with my first thinking that at least it would look nice for when I gave birth… I was 100% wrong, it looked crazy by the time I had my baby 40 hours later, but at least it was relatively clean!

11. Bake something. Does one ever need a more awesome reason to have fresh baked goods at home than celebrating your amazing accomplishment of birthing a baby!?

12. Play a game. Xbox, Playstation, Board, Computer, Card… doesn’t matter. The key here is distraction

13. Meditate. I really love this one. If you’re doing hypnobirthing, or even if you’re not, now is a great time to spend some time listening to your meditations or any guided meditation that you love

14. Read through some birth affirmations. I found this SUPER helpful with the birth of my second child. My friends had all written down affirmations or blessings or words of wisdom for me on cards during my mama blessing that I read to myself once my labor had started. It gave me the feeling of being surrounded by the love and support of all my friends and mamas who had walked this same path as me before.

15. Make out with your partner. Bare with me here… Look, you’re about to have a newborn. This is likely to be the last chance to have a serious makeout sesh for a LONG time. PLUS all the oxytocin that gets produced will have you laboring in earnest in no time

16. Have your partner massage your feet, legs, hands, shoulders, head, whatever feels good! Maybe a bit less intimate then #15 but is still a lovely way to spend some time and relax and connect before your baby is here

17. Take a few last baby bump pictures!

18. Write a letter to your baby about the last day they lived inside you and save it for their baby book.

19. Put together your hospital/birth center bags… This is here for all you procrastinators.

20. Take a bath. Yes! Absolutely. Take a bath. If its real labor, a bath cannot undo the hormonal change that is systematically happening throughout your body making all the things happen for your baby to be born and stop your labor. Light a candle, throw in some bubbles, turn off the lights and relax. This is NOT your birth tub. This is early labor. You will be getting out of this bath during your active labor and moving around, changing positions and you may find your way back here eventually should you be birthing at home or waiting til the last minute to head to the hospital

21. Cuddle your other kid(s). Especially your most recent baby… They are about to not be the baby any longer. If you have only fur-babies at this point, they also could likely use some love

22. Feed your dog/cat/chickens whatever… I find domestic chores soothing and you might forget to throw food out for them when things get real

23. Put away your laundry and wash your sheets and towels. NONE of this will get done properly for weeks after you have your baby.

24. Go for a walk… I put this far down the list for a reason. I prefer for my clients to wait until active labor to walk much as I feel like early labor is just better for resting. There will come a time when sitting or laying down is no longer comfortable and then walking is the thing to do. If you’ve crossed that threshold, then you probably aren’t in early labor any more. But if you must walk during your early labor, let it be slow, let it be holding hands with your sweetheart, let it be to enjoy a sunset or a sunrise, or a nice breeze. Don’t walk with the steely determination to “get things going”! Your body will do it’s thing in it’s own time, I promise.

25. Drop off/arrange for pickup or care of your kids/dogs/pets etc… I feel like this one is obvious, but now is the time to do it, while things are still calm and you might be able to still have some quiet and relaxation time before your labor really gets busy.

26. This one’s a bonus one as it might not apply to everyone, but do be sure to call your doula and or midwife and or birth photographer if you have them and let them know you are in early labor. This makes their lives easier when they can have all their ducks in a row for when you need them.

If I’ve forgotten something or there was a genius thing you did during early labor, leave it here in the comments and lets see if we can get this list to 50!!

All my best, and happy labor!

10 Ways Doulas Help Partners Better Support Pregnant/Laboring Women

So I hear this a lot, especially from first-time parents, and I understand it, I really do… “Well I have my husband and he’s my rock and I don’t need anyone else” or this “Well my husband doesn’t think we need the extra support because we have the doctor and nurses there and that’s their job” or even “It’s a really special time for us and we don’t want anyone taking away from our experience of the birth of our child”.

10 Ways Doulas Help Partners Better Support Pregnant/Laboring Women

So, here’s the way we can help in ALL those circumstances and where you might not know we are actually really important! (and some pictures of some of our local doulas do what they do(ula) best!! )

1. Doula support doesn’t start when labor begins! It starts the moment you hire a doula.

I’ve been hired as early as the first positive pregnancy test and as late as 38 weeks gestation and everywhere in between. But so much of what I do as a doula starts way before labor begins. Doulas are treasure troves of information regarding birth, all the tests that you may have or may opt out of during pregnancy, all the supplemental care givers your community has for you like massage therapists, acupuncturists, chiropractors, etc. I keep a running list of these resources that’s 10 pages long and always growing. Doulas help ensure that you have what you need to have the best pregnancy possible, which any partner can get behind

2. Doulas are trained in pain management techniques for labor and birth!

Trained!! And we spend hours after our initial training oftimes learning even more tricks of the trade. For instance, I attended the Spinning Babies workshop this past year and it has proven to be an integral skill for my practice. Training in the use of a shawl or rebozo during labor, or a TENS unit, or acupressure or essential oils. These are all things that I know and am comfortable using during a birth.

These are pictures taken by my client’s husband of me doing hip squeezes (she preferred my hip squeezes) and then later, pouring water over her back to help relax her muscles and help her rest. And while they had paid for birth photography (as evidenced by the camera slung across my back) they wanted some on their phones too.

Partners, you can hold hands, and look into your woman’s eyes, and comfort her with word and touch the way no one else can, but what doulas do helps you to be able to do just that! Let us rub her back while you lock arms and whisper into her ear the things she needs to hear. Let us massage her pressure points in her feet while you hold her hand.

3. Doulas don’t forget those labor positions you learned in your birth class!

I know, I know! You took the classes! And I’m so glad you did, but let’s be real, did you actually go home and practice? Do you really think that in the maelstrom of emotion that is the birth of your child you are likely to remember that hands and knees is a great position for an OP baby (or even know what an OP baby is)? Well your doula will! And sometimes that’s all it takes, is a little reminder from your doula and sometimes we need to really help especially if you missed that class!

This mama just gave birth to her third child while kneeling on her hospital bed! She had no idea before this birth that she could do that, and said afterwards that she’d never want to give birth in any other position again!

4. Doulas are a non-invasive extra set of hands!

So often during labor extra hands are needed. I’ve never been a part of one that I wasn’t needed to get more water, fetch a blanket or towel quickly, towel off mamas wet legs or help her in or out of underwear, do double hip squeezes while mama is hanging off of her partners shoulders, or holding onto mama while her partner gets into position to catch their baby! Let us help you make sure that the woman you love has everything she needs before she knows she needs it during her birth. We’ve got you!

You can see in the two images below (the first taken on the midwifes cell phone, the second taken by me) of how my client’s husband was initially supporting his wife between contractions so she could completely relax, but then handed that duty over to me so he could get behind her to catch their baby.

5. We probably know where everything is in the hospital/birth center that you are birthing in….

This may seem silly, but in all the excitement of a birth, it’s good to know that your doula knows where to check-in in the middle of the night, where they stash the extra pillows or where the blanket warmer is. They also likely know where the nourishment room is for juice and snacks. Partners, let us run around and gather the necessaries while you do what you do best, love on your woman!

6. We speak medical jargon AND normal-people!

So often in birth, especially in the hospital setting, things arise and nurses or doctors walk into the room and start spewing medical terminology rapid fire and all of a sudden things are happening, medications are being given, consent isn’t being asked for, and it’s chaos. Doulas have the uncanny ability to slowly explain what was just said in lay-men’s terms, ask for time from care providers so decisions can be made, and then calm things down.

7. We fill birth tubs like a boss!

This may not be pertinent for everyone (though it should be, birth tubs are awesome!) but I can say from multiple experiences that even the best laid birth plans can go awry when someone forgot to check about how to hook up the hose for filling the birth tub, or forgot to buy a hose, or the hose doesnt reach, or it’s not even blown up yet. We will problem solve and it’s not our first rodeo! I’ll have 6 pots of water boiling on your stove in no time if all else fails. This is not your job. The laboring couple needs to stay connected and the doula will get shit done.

8. We know when to head to the hospital/birth center or when to call the midwife to come

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve walked into the house of a couple, especially first-timers just to have the partner standing by the door with bags in hand ready to head to the hospital when their plan was to stay home for as long as possible. They are CONVINCED that the baby is about to fall out despite the fact that mama is pretty chill, breathing through contractions well, and talking in between. We’ve seen this before. We know the sounds and the visual cues to look for that help us know where a woman is at in her labor with pretty good accuracy without ever needing to “check her cervix”. No one wants to head to the birth center or the hospital just to be told to go home, you’re not even close…

May Masangya of MalaysiaMasangya Doula Services

9. You need a nap…

It happens. Whether you just got off the night shift at work, just got home from a business trip, or have been supporting this amazing woman in her labors for the past 2 days, sometimes you need a nap, but you can’t just leave her with no one to care for her, to watch over her, to keep her company, to do those hip squeezes. Thank goodness you’ve got a doula. My poor husband and doula and midwife switched off multiple times to sleep during the birth of my first child during the 40 hours marathon of my labor. And I’ve most certainly stepped in as the main support person for mamas when their exhausted partners simply need to close their eyes for a while so they can get back in the game.

10. We know how to navigate and advocate when things go wrong.

What happens when there’s an emergency cesarean section? What will that recovery be like? What about retained placenta or a post partum hemorrhage? Post-partum pre-eclampsia? Feeding issues? Knowing you have someone in your corner to help you navigate anything that is scary that might come up gives so much peace of mind.

This beautiful mama’s birth plan got thrown out the window due to needing to be induced for pre-eclampsia, yet every step of the way they were able to ask questions, take time to make decisions, and still have so many of their initial wishes for their birth honored

I’ve had a client who was released from the hospital who I saw soon after that was showing symptoms of post-partum pre-eclampsia and I immediately suggested they go to OB Triage and get checked out. Sure enough. Her BP had skyrocketed again and she was close to having a stroke.

I can show mamas how to find positions that she can nurse in and get rest,

Make sure that she has what she needs to recover from her birth,

tell her the best post-partum support garments for c-section mamas and what to expect from healing,

suggest a sleep coach, a therapist, a naturopath for that post-partum depletion that has her down.

I’m someone to talk to about her sore nipples or that scar tissue that still bothers her.

These are not your jobs. You should be spending time snuggling your baby and loving on the woman who just birthed your child, not researching on the internet or talking to Dr.Google.

Doulas are there. And we are here for both of you.

Reasons Why You Should Absolutely Pay for that Birth Photography

You may be laughing already, because if you’re here, you know that I’m a Birth Photographer. Like, “Obviously you think people should! It’s how you get paid”. But I promise if you keep reading I just might make some points you haven’t thought about, because when I was having my first child I certainly didn’t think about it.

You may be thinking to yourself, and I definitely hear this from grandma’s-to-be, “Why would I want pictures of THAT!?” Meaning, of course, the moment of birth… Baby’s head emerging from the vagina or through a cesarean section incision, sometimes a butt or a foot, depending… And while I personally LOVE that moment, (I think it’s super cool and amazing to see what women’s bodies are capable of) this is not all that birth photography is. In a gallery of 75-100 images, normally about 5 are of this particular moment and depending on the client’s wishes I may be standing right by her shoulder so that I don’t in fact have any vagina shots just amazing captures of a baby reaching for it’s mother for the first time.

But sometimes mom’s want those photos, and I’m happy to oblige. I know for myself, those were the ones I was most interested to see from my son’s birth.

But more often than not, what a birth photographer is really trying to capture is the human emotion of birth. The connection between partners, the strength of the family, the love pouring out of every pore, the small little touches, the details of the room that will all to soon be forgotten.

If you’re plan for birth photography is your husband with an iPhone they simply won’t get this shot… Look at that dad’s face as he see’s his third son for the first time and his wife’s amazing strength to birth her baby.

or THIS shot…

Or THIS one either… Yes, dad is in the hospital tub with mom applying hip pressure with two red apples… I mean, who doesn’t want that memory captured forever!?

But we (birth photographers) want to capture the special details that neither of you may recall, but in the moment were so so special.

And let’s please not forget the family reactions! They get me every dang time!

This brand new grandma was so surprised to walk in and see her grand daughter already born! There wasn’t a dry eye.

Or how about all these cute people waking up to a new baby in the house!?

And let’s not forget about the baby! If you’ve ever had a baby, you know, they change SO fast! And if you’ve never had a baby, I’m here to tell you that those details change and disappear within hours of birth and they don’t stop changing. I love being able to capture all the teeny tine details that I promise you, the very best camera phone just isn’t going to do justice too. When your kid is 2 or 12, you will be so thankful to be able to look back and see just how tiny and precious they were.

And while I know that camera phones have gotten pretty good these day, they just simply will NOT handle low-light situations (which most births are) or weird spotlights (which you get in hospital births) and super fast shutter speeds to capture stuff that will be lost to time.. Here’s some side by sides of a couple photos taken by a dad at a birth and then pictures taken by me of almost the same vignette. They’re not bad, but I think you can clearly see the difference.

I feel like I could go on and on… But here’s one last reason… Moms, and mamas to be, don’t you want to be able to look back, to show your children, the way your face looked the very first moment you laid eyes on your baby? Because I know I do. I would throw my wedding photos in the trash can to be able to go back and have a birth photographer capture the moment my daughter (my first born) was born after laboring for 40 hours and pushing for 6 and finally birthing her all naturally in my own bed. And so that’s why I feel blessed to be able to capture moments like these…

Or maybe some of my favorites… from the birth of my son, and when I knew I was ready to take the leap into birth photography… While my face is swollen from hours of pushing, the angle is a little less than flattering (birth is done in tight spaces), the shock and amazement at finally holding my giant 9+lb son who was 41weeks and 6 days gestation, the joy I felt, the relief, it will always be worth having this moment beautifully captured.

Thank you to Hillarie Mae Laver of Hillarie Mae Photography for being at my birth, encouraging me in my early photography days and for theses priceless moments.

There are more moments than just these that those of us that call this our career, our passion, work tirelessly to capture through all hours of the night and day. On call for weeks at a time, forgoing trips and outings with family, always carrying our things with us, phone never on silent, but to us this is all worth it to be able to best serve the families that choose us as Birth Photographers for your birth. If you are on the fence, do it! If you want to talk more, call me. I’d love to capture your birth for you!

The Birth of Ayla

How a family welcomed the final member of their family and did a complete 180 from their first birth together. A beautiful #homebirth story…. #azbirthphotographer

In Lindsay’s (the birthing mama) Words:

I’m going to start by saying this: admittedly there was a time when Matt and I joked about “kiddie pool” births (meaning home water births) and we poked fun at it. Historically home birth never crossed my mind. With Arie, I did everything the “traditional” way and unfortunately ended up having a very traumatic birth with her. In many ways after her birth, I felt robbed of the initial bonding and wonderful emotions that come with holding your baby for the first time. I had a very long rough labor with Arie (from start to finish it was 36 hours with about 15 of those in active labor). Long story short, when it was time to deliver Arie the umbilical cord was around her neck so when the doctor went to pull it off (she was rushed and rough with it) the cord snapped in half. They had to take Arie away right away to get that taken care of. Meanwhile, the doctor immediately tried to tug on my placenta to deliver it and my placenta ruptured inside of me into pieces. The doctor ended up leaving some placenta inside of me and I was back at the hospital the night I was discharged with a huge infection (that they told me went sepsis throughout my blood). I was so sick and ended up being in the hospital for a week on IV antibiotics. I didn’t get to have immediate skin to skin with Arie or even hold her right away. I was so delirious and did not feel well from the labor that I really missed out on all that initial bonding. The infection from the placenta caused me to be even more sick I could barely care for Arie that first week let alone enjoy our new precious addition.

Fast forward to this pregnancy, I knew I wanted a much better outcome for my birth experience. Since having Arie I have become more natural minded about things and so I realized I have options to help achieve a better birth experience. The hospital was something I initially thought I would still do but I knew I wanted a natural birth with no epidural. As my pregnancy progressed and I thought more about the natural birth I envisioned I began to look into other options aside from the hospital. We toured a couple of birth centers and even began to have conversations about home birth. Initially, we thought we may be more comfortable with a birthing center. The more we looked into it the more home birth stood out to me. I knew Matt would have some initial reservations, but he at least entertained the idea and kept an open mind as we became educated on what home birth is all about. After meeting with an incredible midwife it was so clear to me that a home birth is what I wanted. Matt began to have fewer reservations and slowly became more accepting of the idea as well (talk to him now and he would tell you it is the best thing ever, he is totally sold and in love with home births now). I wanted a birth that would be intimate, quiet, calm, and deeply/spiritually connected with Matt and I working hard together to bring our baby girl into the world and that’s exactly what we got. We ended up committing to a home birth, hired our midwife and also hired a doula for emotional and physical support to help us achieve a natural birth because I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. The whole process from the prenatal appointments to the birth to the after-care has been far different (in an amazing way) from the “traditional” hospital and doctor office care. Not that there is anything wrong with the traditional way it works for most people, but having a midwife and doing a home birth has been way more personal with the best care I have ever had.

As I prepared for my birth I learned that my body was made to birth a baby and to trust my body and the process. Medical intervention only needs to happen when necessary. Women have been birthing babies since the beginning of time, so let your body do what it is capable of doing. At the beginning of this pregnancy I still had a lot of fear surrounding birth but over time I learned to let go of that fear and view birth from a totally different lens. One where I am confident and capable. I become excited and focused only on thoughts that would help me achieve a beautiful natural birth where I trust my body and my baby. On 12/7/18 my water broke all on its own at 10:00pm. Contractions and active labor started about 1:00am. On 12/8/18 baby girl blessed us with her presence at 5:36am (that is 7 and a half hours total and only 4 and half hours of active labor). I trusted my body and my baby and it’s beyond amazing what can happen when you do this. Although there was a point (or several points lol) where the pain was so intense, I didn’t know how I was going to continue it was truly the most incredible experience of my life. I got all that initial bonding that I missed out on with Arie and the recovery has been night and day compared to my first.

And here’s their story in pictures, with a little narration from me!

At 10pm on December 7th Lindsay called me to let me know her water had just broken! I had just fallen asleep, of course, as such is the #doulalife. She said she wasn’t really having any contractions yet, but she had let her midwife know that it had happened. I encouraged her to try (I know it’s nearly impossible) to lie down and rest even if she couldn’t sleep and let nature take it’s course. I too, went back to sleep.

She called me back at 1am to let me know that contractions had started and could I please get ready to come out. So I got dressed, made my cup of coffee and 2 pieces of toast (I do this for every birth… It’s a weird ritual thing that I always eat the same thing on my way to a birth) grabbed my bag and made my way out to their house. I messaged her midwife, Jetta Anderson of Family First Midwifery, to let her know I was on my way. She was getting ready to come as well.

When I arrived this was the scene… Lindsay was starting to feel uncomfortable laying in bed through contractions and decided to try getting back onto the ball.

Soon enough sitting no longer felt great, so she wanted to stand and I helped show Matt how to do double hip squeezes, a powerful tool in the #doula handbook.

That stage where you just can’t get comfortable… And are also so tired… Another attempt at laying down…

At this point I suggested she get in the shower to help with her contractions and to help with her energy. The shower is one of the most magical tools during a natural labor. It helps so much with that place that isn’t quite transition but surges are coming fast and the pressure of labor starts to build.

It was now definitely time to get in the “kiddie pool” as Lindsay and Matt used to jokingly call it!

Once Lindsay got into the #birthpool it was apparent to me and the midwives that things were indeed moving along quickly at this point. Both the midwives were now present and near by holding space and supporting this lovely couple as they labored together.

After just a bit, and as happens in physiologic birth, it was clear that her body had started to push. There was no need to move mom onto her back, or aggressively check her cervix. Her body was just doing what it knew to do.

At this point I took over for Matt holding Lindsay so that he could move behind her as he was planning on catching their baby. She bravely vocalized her baby down and embraced her power as a birthing woman. It was magnificent to watch her strength and her surrender to the power of her labor

A quick change of position! Lindsay needed to stretch her legs and all of a sudden baby was on the way out!