April, Amy, and Raygen came to my house and kidnapped me. They took me to Frank's Italian Restaurant in Tuscumbia. I was escorted to a table- and WOW! There sat friends waiting to surprise me for an early birthday party! I was speechless! Each friend went around the table and told how they knew me. Wendy met me at a childbirth workshop five years ago; we had a lot in common as we both had military backgrounds and a love for helping women birth. Jenny met me while she was in labor with her second child! I was her nurse at the local birth center. I went on to help her with the delivery of her third child. Chalyn chose me as her back-up doula two years ago. Recently, she gave me the privilege of being her midwife at the birth of her third child. Kelly emailed me while searching for a doula/midwife. She blessed me by allowing me to 'catch' her baby. Raygen met me at a birth. I was helping a sweet lady have a waterbirth, and Raygen was the doula. Raygen has since become an assistant midwife with my homebirth business. Summer met me through the local La Leche League Leader! Summer and I have hiked several times over this past year. April and I met five years ago. She was enrolled in a childbirth class that I was teaching. She has since had three waterbirths and allowed me to be her doula! Amy met me online two years ago. She has become my faithful birthing partner--yes I wake her up at all hours to say: "It's Time!"
These women have given me a gift of friendship that is purer than gold. They came together to celebrate my life, and I was utterly speechless. I am touched by their love. They have filled my life with joy.
The surprise is not over. After dinner, April, Raygen, Amy, and Wendy took me to Cold Water Inn to spend the night together. We had a slumber party and talked into the night!
I loved my birthday surprise. And YES, Jeff knew all about it, and kept it a secret for over a month!
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Last week I went to the unique community called The Farm in Summertown, TN. This is home of famous midwife Ina May Gaskin. Ina May wrote Spiritual Midwifery, and Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. There was a peer review meeting held, and I was honored to participate. Ina May, Pamela Hunt, Stacie Hunt, and Joanne Santana were among the Farm midwives who participated in the peer review discussion. It was such a privilege to share my thoughts on midwifery with what I consider to be the best midwives in the country.
Monday, January 5, 2009
Karaline is ten years old today! She celebrated by baking a chocolate cake with my supervision. She put a lot of chocolate icing on it! We took her out for a 'girl' day! She got her first professional manicure. She enjoyed this royal treatment immensely. She had her haircut and curled as well. We ended her special day by shopping! Her gratitude was displayed by the beautiful smile on her face and the many kisses to my cheek!
Friday, January 2, 2009
I had a wonderful New Year's Day. My friend Summer and I went to Cane Creek hiking. The sky was so blue and clear. It was a grand day. I enjoyed hiking with the girls. They are learning the art of hiking up and down steep hills. The waterfalls were beautiful and so was the mountain overlook. It was a great way to bring in the New Year!
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
I have been sitting here thinking about this past year. I had a lot of joy and a lot of sadness. The death of my grandfather was almost more than I could bear. I mourned his passing, and I am still grieving my loss. This year has been an example of the bible verse 'to everything there is a season' as I had days of joy this year even in the midst of the black cloud of mourning. The happiest days were the days babies were born. I was the midwife to a lot of babies with the biggest being 9 pounds 15 ounces! I found a small measure of peace for my grieving heart by getting closer to nature this year. I started hiking with my friend Summer. Going to the beach in June was healing- I felt like I could stay there forever watching the waves crash into the white sand. Smelling the salt air, feeling the warm sun on my skin, and listening to the waves is balm on a hurting heart. I remember my grandfather taking me to Cape May, NJ during my growing up years. But there I sat at Gulf Shores, Alabama, pondering how quickly life goes by. I watched my girls enjoying the sandy beach. I knew the torch was being passed to me. I knew my job was to be there for my girls, in the same way my grandfather had been there for me.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
I have found that being a wife, mother, midwife, and teacher is a challenge. I have been married to Jeff for fifteen years. I am a mother to three girls, ages 13, 11, and 10. I am a midwife to many women. I had 14 women use my services this past year, and I have 12 women signed on for next year already (and this is only December!). I have homeschooled my children for eight years. I am raising the girls in the admonition of the Lord. We attend worship on Sunday and Wednesday. The balancing act is a struggle; it leaves no time to waste!
Have you ever witnessed a waterbirth? I was the midwife at six waterbirths this year alone. I had two women completely immerse themselves in water. One had seen the Russian waterbirth tape, the other had not. I have found that women need water when they are in labor. Women are drawn to it. Most women want to take a shower, soak in a tub while laboring, or give birth in water. Don't settle for putting your feet into hospital stirrups-----put your feet into hot water instead!