The Best Compliment Evah!

So, this one time at a birth…

Home birth gives you bunches of good stories. And, yes, we can find connections to these very vivid stories to the mundane life events. And, yes, we will dramatically reenact these stories anytime and anywhere.

I have one of those stories.

As the senior apprentice in our practice, I go to ALL of the births. It also means that I am actively catching babies and filling out tons of confusing paperwork (this paperwork comes from the NARM Portfolio Evaluation Progress). Catching babies definitely trumps the paperwork part. Catching babies is one of the most incredible things in the world. Gives me goosebumps every time. I also get the opportunity to meet, bond, and establish meaningful relationships with our clients.

All of our clients are great at expressing their appreciation for home birth and midwifery. Some are down right HI-lari-ous!

So, onto the story….

This one time at a birth. In a galaxy far, far away… well, actually just in a neighboring city, but I love that opening and am a huge geek.

This birth was lovely. The family was awesome (And just for clarification, they all are cause they choose us to give birth with at home). The mother trusted birth. She trusted her body. She felt loved and comforted by her husband and mother. And, she entrusted us with her care. She felt safe.

She worked hard during her labor. Even though this was her third baby, the baby’s position remained posterior throughout labor and birth. Posterior births are usually long; lots of prodromal labor. I have attended many posterior births, but this was my first posterior catch. This was a super cool experience, but not even the best part of this story.

The best part of the story was the next day. Postpartum visits are some of my favorites. You get to witness this new family in the glow of oxytocin. It just doesn’t get old. You can’t help but feed off the oxytocin and glow of home birth. And this mom was glowing more than any other mom! She was radiant and exuberantly complimenting her midwives. Her feedback to me, her compliments, and her joy made me feel like a “real” midwife. All this hardwork over the past four years felt vindicated by her simple words…

someecards.com - I would totally give you a card that said,

Yep. She said this to me. And, yep, as an apprentice, I took this as the epitome of compliments. 

I am still smiling thinking about this birth. 

31 Days of Beach Living: Day 19 Study Time

31days day 19Study time and the livin’s easy… well not so much. 

Anyone else notice that their brains don’t retain information like they use to in school? Or, is it just me as an adult with 3 kids, a husband and a few domesticated pets?

I was the champion study partner in school and even in college. It helps that I have selective Type A personality habits. Really helps out with note taking and organization of said notes. At least back then it did. Not sure if it helps now. Pretty sure I have adult ADD… read a few pages then get distracted by the dirty sock sticking out between the couch cushions. Then go back and read the same few pages over again not realizing it until I get to the end. Ugh!

But, today is a study day. Mandatory study day. The boys are already done with their homework and get outside time. Not me. I get to read and take notes until I get this information down. Part of my nervousness is that I get to demonstrate this new information tomorrow. Little do the Green boys know that they will be my practice goons tonight. Mwahahaha! I figure if I can do a complete physical examination on three boys then I am good to go on anyone.

I also found that I need a bunch more to get me through studying… lots of coffee and healthy trail mix. And piles. Lots of piles. These piles of knowledge will later infuriate my husband. He is a no pile kinda guy.

My desk... It's a mess.

My desk… It’s a mess.

 

I know several moms that are back in school… How do you find time to study? And, how have you adapted to studying as a parent and wife?

For me, it is made simpler with school in session and iced coffee. Life of a student midwife:)

31 Days of Beach Living: Day 9 Slow it Down

 

31days day 9

Every now and then, several things happen to me in a row. More than just the rule of 3’s. Although, that rule has visited me way too many times in 2013. That rule posited it’s authority with 1) slicing off the tip of my thumb with a mandolin as I began my “Primary Under Supervision” role as an apprentice midwife, 2) breaking my knuckle and the middle phalanx of my left ring finger during flag football, and 3) breaking my right big toe 8 days post broken finger while running and unsuccessfully trying to do parkour so as not to trip on a rock. You know things have gotten bad when your husband gives you that knowing look and asks you if you are paying attention. Another sign things have gone too far is being laid up for the better part of 6 weeks letting bones heal and having appointments with an orthopedist.

Lately, things have happened to me that make me wonder if I am going too fast. Every New Year I make that resolution to “slow down and smell the roses.” But, then school starts, sports start, I take on too many house projects, and all that smelling goes out the window. Before you know it the days feel like they are over and you never got to sit down.

Here are some tips on slowing it down and clues that you should be slowing it down:

1. Your six year old starts reading the speed limit signs and your speedometer. He then proceeds to use brilliant math abilities you didn’t realize had developed and tells you that you are in fact speeding. Take my advice slow down. It’s not worth the embarrassment of getting that speeding ticket. Not too mention, your kids will gladly spout to strangers and your husband that you speed and cops pull you over. Save yourself the embarrassment. Slow it down. I am making the very conscious decision to only drive the speed limit or 5 miles over.

2. You can’t possibly be your best when you are going through life toooooo fast!

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Do what you can do perfectly. Perfection comes with having the time to perfect. Slow it down. Be you, perfectly!

3. This one time at a birth… you don’t arrive in time to catch the baby. Yes, it happens with planned home births. Some women are just too dang efficient. And yes, I am jealous of that ability. I am the type of birth-er that likes her midwives to be there for several hours before popping them out. But really, when you are speeding to a birth and get stuck behind a cop on a two lane road. Just slow it down. The universe is giving you the clearest message — pass the cop get a ticket and probably one for reckless driving or slow down, breathe and you will get there when you get there. The safety of my being is important too. The birth will play out as it needs to. Getting into a car accident is harder to recover from than missing that “catch.” Slow it down.

4. Slow it down and take the time to read with your kids. I love, love, love to read. My kids struggle with it sometimes. But, when I slow my day down and sit with reading to me or reading to them, we all enjoy ourselves. Reading is also a great way to get your busy kids to slow down.

5. Slow down your commitment to others. Take the time to hang with your hubby. Take the time to have a slow leisurely lunch with your bestie(s). Quick, jam-packed days make life go by too quickly. So, slow it down and spend life with those that make you a better person.

P.S. Sorry this post is a day late, but birth happens. I decided to spend the evening with my family instead of rushing through a blog post. I took my own advice and slowed it down.

31 Days of Beach Living: Day 8 DIY Healthy Trail Mix

31days day 8

 

Healthy go-to snacks are very important in our busy life. I don’t know about the rest of you moms (and midwifery students), but I am in the car a good part of the week. The clients I serve with Seven Cities Midwifery Care are spread about the Hampton Roads Are (include 7+ cities) that equals to much time in the car. I try to follow a Clean Eating lifestyle <I readily admit to a cheesecake obsession> hence my desire to have a yummy healthy trail mix.

I only use raw nuts, dark chocolate and unsweetened, un-sulfured dried fruits in my mix. Here are some of the benefits of raw nuts, dark chocolate and coconut.

NUTS

-decreased body mass index & waist circumference

-lower systolic blood pressure

-lower weight

-lower chance of the following risk factors for Metabolic Syndrome: abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, high fasting glucose & a lower prevalence of Metabolic Syndrome (nut & tree nut consumers)

-contain the amino acid I-arginine (a key nutrient in promoting efficient blood flow & overall cardiovascular function)

Almonds: the skins are rich in antioxidants including phenols, flavonoids, & phenolic acid

Walnuts: plant-based omega-3 fats, natural phytosterols and antioxidants

Pecans: 19+ minerals and vitamins

Brazil Nuts: source of organic selenium

Dark Chocolate

-can improve glucose metabolism

-can improve blood pressure

-rich in flavonols

Coconut

-highly nutritious

-rich in fiber, vitamins & minerals

Trail mix 1

Ingredients:

1lb. raw almonds, 1lb. raw cashews, 8oz. dried cranberries, 8oz. dried pineapple, 8oz. dried mango, 1c dark chocolate chips, and 2oz. dried/roasted coconut strips

1. Place the nuts into a large mixing bowl.

2. Use kitchen shears to cut the dried pineapple and mango into bite size pieces.

3. Place the coconut, cranberries and chocolate chips into the bowl.

4. Mix it up and portion it out into glass containers or BPA-free plastic storage bowls.

trail mix 2

Once I have it portioned out, I place it about the house in small pint mason jars. I even have a jar in the car for quick snacks.

trailmix 3

I keep it on the desk while blogging, too! Yummy healthy trail mix on the go.

trail mix 4

Co-Parenting: Does it really take a village?

Just got the picture of Brandy and I… How can two people who spend so much time together, not have a recent picture?

The XFit Midwife

I get asked all the time. This one question.  Almost once a week.

‘HOW DO YOU DO IT?”

Let me first go back and explain how I roll… I’m a Type A, self-diagnosed selective OCD kinda gal. I like order, but I can definitely roll with chaos (which goes hand in hand with 3 boys). I like my fridge neat, the house tidy, constantly sweep the front porch and walkway thanks to annoying squirrels, but could really care less that I have a pile of laundry <that my husband folded for me> on top of my jewelry box for the past two weeks. So, to organize some of the chaos, my husband and I created an iCalendar for each person in the family. See below for wonderful color-coding, organized chaos:

This keeps me sane most of the time. I didn’t even include another calendar for all of my midwifery appointments…

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Co-Parenting: Does it really take a village?

I get asked all the time. This one question.  Almost once a week.

‘HOW DO YOU DO IT?”

Let me first go back and explain how I roll… I’m a Type A, self-diagnosed selective OCD kinda gal. I like order, but I can definitely roll with chaos (which goes hand in hand with 3 boys). I like my fridge neat, the house tidy, constantly sweep the front porch and walkway thanks to annoying squirrels, but could really care less that I have a pile of laundry <that my husband folded for me> on top of my jewelry box for the past two weeks. So, to organize some of the chaos, my husband and I created an iCalendar for each person in the family. See below for wonderful color-coding, organized chaos:

Color-coded bliss and sanity.

Color-coded bliss and sanity.

This keeps me sane most of the time. I didn’t even include another calendar for all of my midwifery appointments; that would be a HIPPA violation. So, yes, our life is busy and we like to keep it that way. Our boys enjoy sports, we enjoy work and CrossFit™, we like to have down time (but not too much), and we always live life “ON CALL.”

On Call is a special stressor that most people working in the health industry get to experience. I know there might be other occupations with on call, but I have yet to find one with more stress on a family than midwifery. It means that at any hour or day this schedule can be dropped like a hot potato. Nothing is in stone. I always preface any RSVP with “as long as I am not at a birth.” It means two cars to most events. It means my kids may not get to that party or sports practice. My husband recently told me that he just assumes that there is always a birth happening. He says its easier for him to adapt that way. And, I think he is sick of me repeating to him after 3 years that “I might have a birth tonight.” I might also be kinda over “on call” 24/7 since 2010.  Just kinda though because witnessing a birth makes me have temporary amnesia until the next time I’m on call.

So, have you ever heard of the village principle? Not quite the villages of a third world country village principle. But, not too far off either. I am lucky. I have family in town. I have a super involved mom who is loved by her grand boys.  She jumps in whenever she can after work and on weekends. I have a sister who takes my kids on a whim if she is home and not off teaching others on how to find yoga bliss.

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My sis, Jackie and I at a recent backyard cookout.

I also have two wonderful friends who I call my co-parents.

These are the ladies that I owe so much to everyday. We have each other’s backs. No questions asked. They are the ones I can call or text at anytime to get my boys. Once they have the boys, I know that they will be treated as family. Their names are Stacey, who is a talented family photographer, and Brandy, an amazing birth doula.

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Stacey and Brandy with two of my boys, their own kids, and a few extra just for fun.

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Stacey and I at a recent CrossFit Chronic event. You even get a glimpse of her camera strap.

 

 

Me and Brandy, doula extraodinaire!

Me and Brandy, doula extraodinaire!

So, the answer for me is “YES”. It does take a village to do it all or in my case at least 90%.

My hope is that every woman finds her village.

 

*Can you tell we spend a whole bunch of time at the box?