I am going to include something beneficial in this post. Really. But right now you will just have to bear with me while I ramble. Even writing out the year, “2020”, elicits a gut response in me-I am heartily sick of that number!!!

But wait. I have 2 new grandbabies. I was at both births, at home, and I am in awe. Of my kids, of life, of God’s providence and grace. These additions brought the grand(haha!) total to 8 grandchildren. I am so blessed.

There was also death. Friends I should have known better, who died too soon. Babies not held in their parents’ arms. My sweet mother in law, who had suffered the ravages of Alzheimers and the isolation that is involved with the disease itself and is a byproduct of Covid. This was a year. A strange, awful, wonderful, emotional year.

I ended a relationship with a preceptor who was a dear friend, to my loss. I mourn the friendship so much more than the other aspects. I gained a new friend and co-conspirator in the birth world, who challenges me to be more than myself. That would not have happened if Covid had not shut down the world. I just can’t process all of this with my feeble mind. It is too much.

This was the year of too much. I am seeing the fruit of decades of not doing enough. Of God going beyond the gentle nudging He has done for years, and kicking me right out of my comfort zone. His hand is in the whole year, not just parts we like. But this morning I heard a song that summed up things a bit for me(if anyone knows the artist please message me so I can give them credit!!)-God already gave me everything I will need. When those terrible times are drowning us, we already have the lifejacket. All we have to do is grab hold. In the joy, hold tight. In the pain, hold tight. God never promises that life will not give you more than you can handle. He promises that Christ is enough.

This year hasn’t ended yet! I have a beautiful Christmas to look forward to, I have babies, both my own and the sweet families who are expecting. This year has been so FULL of EVERYTHING. And there is so much more to come. Grab your lifejacket and jump in the deep end with me! Be blessed.

Times like These

Covid-19. Shelter in Place. Alone. There is a devastating ring to all these words now, and especially if you are pregnant. We start hearing fear and anger and frustration when we need love and hope and encouragement.

It is an especially trying time for the partners. The ones that are supposed to suddenly go from loving support to the One with all the tricks. Talking to a mom the other day, I wanted to cry with her in frustration over all of this. My answer in the video linked below is the best I can give you right now-any thought for future videos are greatly appreciated! This is a Great Adventure for you and your family. Do not let this stupid virus win. Blessings, Laurie

Easy Relaxation Video

I am teaching a class on Neonatal Rescusitation in a few weeks. I am prepared, I know the material, and like everything else I am truly terrified of completely mucking it up.

Two years ago, I was certified to teach Helping Babies Breathe. This gentle resuscitation is ideally suited to homebirth. In my opinion it should be a requirement for any first responder in rural areas. I am really convicted about this. I truly believe it, so why am I so afraid?

I am afraid, because there is so much at stake. I am afraid, because mothers and babies are at serious risk not just in MS, but all across the US. I am afraid that I will not be enough.

We have a lot of work to do. A lot of work. Moms, helpers, Grandmothers, Friends, Aunties. We need to roll up our sleeves and do what it takes. We, not me, not you, but WE. We need to love mamas well, and the babies they carry.

This year I chose a phrase I wanted to give back. I wanted a phrase I could reflect on, study, act on throughout the year. My friend Marsha counseled to pray about it and ask God for guidance. I did, He answered, I wanted to argue about it.

Luke 12:28 To whom much is given, much is required.

I have been given so, so much.

My promise to you, sweet mamas and to the tiny passengers you carry, is to require much of myself. To teach, to hold you up, to cry and laugh with you on this journey. May it be a blessed and beautiful one.

You Are Your Prenatal Care Provider

My Midwifery preceptor reminded me of something yesterday. No matter where you go or who you choose to serve you in your pregnancy, YOU are the one responsible for your prenatal care. Prenatal care is not just the tests you do, the heart tones, weight checks and blood draws. Prenatal care is what you do for yourself during pregnancy to ensure the healthiest birth outcome for you.

When you go to your doctor or midwife for your initial visit, take a well thought out list of questions and concerns. Take a 7 day diet diary for them to go over with you. Their responses will tell you if they are the right fit for you. Did they dismiss the diet diary and tell you it doesn’t matter? Did they go through it and help you find strengths and weaknesses? Do not wait for your chosen caregiver to demand proof that you are keeping yourself healthy. Arm yourself with knowledge. Ask what books they recommend and READ them. Research what exercise is appropriate and make a plan to do it at least a few times a week. In the essential oils world we call this staying above the wellness line. How can you personally stay on top of your own wellness?

The first thing you can do is write down how you feel. If you are experiencing 1st trimester nausea, ask your caregiver to assist you in finding answers. Sometimes it is hormonal, but a lot of the time it is diet related. Do not take a drug for something you can fix with extra protein and b vitamins! Drugs have their place but they should stay IN their place. The same goes for natural remedies. Papaya enzymes can’t cover a crappy diet. Write your list of complaints, get input from your caregiver and ACT.

Get books. This is school: it is a nine month crash course in biology and how to grow a human. Blogs are great, but they are a starting point. It is a lesson in relaxation to get a good book, sit down with a cup of hot tea and a blanket, and learn about your baby. Start a small library so that when you are done having babies you can bless a new mama. Some books I love? Dr Sears Birth Book, Dr Sears Baby Book, Shonda Parker Making Babies, and so many more! The Making Babies book comes with a neat DVD that shows you how to make a lot of her recipes. Online there is the Brewer Diet page.

Include your partner. My husband always asked me to give him the synopsis. I read a lot to him in the baby years, lol. He also worked early to late, so when he got home I would keep him involved by telling him how eating went that day, and practiced relaxation with him. Helping you relax helps him relax, and helps you figure out what might work best during labor.

Women have been having babies since the beginning of time. You have not. Generations of mamas forgetting how to have a good pregnancy and birth have left us with a choice. Will we choose not to care for our selves and our tiny passengers? Will we give up and agree that almost half of women cannot have a baby vaginally, and that drugs are the only way to endure labor? Are we going to accept that a greatly growing number of women are incapable of making it to term without developing toxemia and other nutrition-related disorders? Or are we going to THRIVE, and grow fat healthy babies?