coffee date

If we were going on a coffee date I’d tell you what’s on my heart…

I’d tell you that I am not crazy about the class I’m taking right now. It’s on the book of Psalms. It’s a required class since I am attending a Christian University for nursing school. I’d tell you that I enjoy how close it has made me feel to God but that the class itself I’m over.

I’d tell you that I have a new nephew. I’d tell you that he is super adorable and has the same little elf ear point that Evelyn had at birth (and she’s since grown into). I’d tell you loving another newborn that is not my own and is not my patient is a totally new feeling of love I’ve never felt before.

I’d tell you that my mom is doing amazingly after finishing her radiation in mid July. I’d tell you that her hair is growing back super fast and that she looks beautiful.

I’d tell you that we took a famiy vacation to the mountains and it was, at the time, exactly what my soul needed. Fresh air, sunshine, and freedom really did this body good.

I’d tell you that being a mom has been hard this summer. My kids are growing and learning and becoming amazing humans and with all that growth and learning comes challenges. I’d tell you that they push all the buttons I didn’t even know I had. I’d tell you that I keep praying for constant patience and love. It’s getting better, but it’s been hard.

I’d tell you that emotionally, I’ve been struggling. Things have been hard lately and I can only hope that I’ll learn from it all. I only ever want to come out of hard times stronger and more resiliant with a better sense of who I am. It’s happening. Slowly.

I’d tell you that a sweet little boy, precious little man, has grown his angel wings far too soon. I’d tell you that my heart is breaking for his mama and daddy, two amazing friends we’ve known and loved for a long time. Saying goodbye to your child is something no parent should ever have to do. I’d tell you I find myself in constant prayer for them, for peace, love, comfort and healing. But my heart is still so sad.

I’d tell you all of this, over coffee and a box of kleenex because crying has become therapy. It’s been a long time since I have been feeling this emotional. At first, I want to fight it. I want to shove all these feelings into a deep hole so I don’t even have to think about it, but that ends up hurting more and does me do good. Welcoming the feelings, ALL the feelings, is healthy. It’s not easy. In fact, it’s really hard. And even more, sharing all this is hard. But I felt that I had to. I can only fake my feelings for so long before people can tell I’m not being myself. I hate when even I know I’m not being myself.

I’d tell you I get it. I’d tell you that I care about you, that your feelings are valid and I’d give you a hug.

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What’s up?

It’s been awhile since I actually wrote something with decent substance and I am not promising that this will have any of that, but I’ll certainly try.

A few weeks ago I floated to another hospital and was able to witness an amazing, unmediated, beautiful birth led by a midwife I had not yet seen deliver a baby. My mind was blown. Mom was trying to push on her side and baby was unhappy. The midwife gently suggested she adjust her positioning and just like that baby was happy again. The mom let her body do all the work. She pushed when she felt like it and rested when she needed to. Then, she realized her body could not stop pushing and less than a minute later the baby’s head was born with a nucal cord x1. A few seconds later baby was out and up on mom’s chest. I took over the camera so dad could cut the cord and I caught it on film for him. Every time I see a birth, my heart literally explodes with joy and excitement. I know birth is not always like that, but it is BECAUSE of births like this that my passion is fueled and I am reminded once more that yes, Sarah, this is where you belong.

My mom is doing ok. She is on a new chemo med that is not nearly as hard on her body. She still gets really tired but has had a lot more energy to spend time with the kids and work in the classroom. This is all so encouraging. Looking back to when this all began on October 24th, it’s hard to believe almost 5 months have passed since the diagnosis.

School is going alright. I don’t feel like this semester is better than last semester, which is strange because the load is not harder. I have been struggling with one of the professors but I *think* we are finally on the same page. I always wish I was doing better grade-wise, which is me just being too hard on myself. I am doing FINE. As and Bs are great! I just want more As than Bs and sometimes it’s just not in the cards. I’m learning not to be so hard on myself, especially with the load I have while in school between work and family.

My son, Logan, turned 5 a month ago. We got him registered and accepted into the school of our choice for kindergarten which is pretty crazy and exciting! Evelyn is a ball of fire as usual. She still doesn’t sleep through the night and is starting to show her girliness more with more diva and sass. You can follow me on instagram if you want more current, daily updates.

Have a great weekend!

the month from hell

It’s no surprise that I have been MIA the last several weeks and usually I’d say that is because of school, which is true, but not the whole story. School has been crazy-busy. Less than two weeks and I’m done with this semester! Micro is going really well and AP is not so bad either. Overall, great class, great professors, just tons of work.

The rest of the story is a personal one. I stopped writing my personal blog almost a year ago and I really don’t miss it. This is a great space for me to write about what I want to my readers to see and sometimes it’s personal. Just over a month ago, my mom was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. This news has rocked our family. She is young, healthy, fit and has the best attitude of anyone I know. We are very close and thankfully, live 5 minutes from each other. Maybe at a later time I will go into more detail of what the last month has been like but for now, I will leave it at “the worst month of my life-the month from hell”. My anxiety, which was already heightened with stress from work and school, reached a new level and I have had to take steps to get that back under control. I feel much better now. Two weeks ago tomorrow, my mama had a double mastectomy. Probably one of the scariest days ever, next to the early days that Logan spent in the NICU. Not knowing and waiting. We had a great support system here for all of us. Today, she is doing great. She is healing well, though still quite sore. This is not the end. It is just the beginning. There will be at least one more surgery for reconstruction and there will be treatment. Treatment for cancer. I never imagined I’d have to say that, especially about my mama. But it is what it is. So here I am, busting my ass to get through the rest of the semester, take care of my family, and support my mom and dad as they go through their own hell, cancer.

on life (currently)

Again, I want to welcome all my new readers! I had no idea the impact my post on home birth would have and I am so grateful for all the positive feedback. Nearly 1000 views in one day! I broke a record you guys!! Thank you!!!! I am assuming that any negative thoughts are being kept to yourself–that’s fine. I respect that. If you know me personally, then you know the last thing I want is to hurt anyone. However, there is a place for this conversation and I encourage you to share your thoughts, no matter what they are. As I said, it’s a very touchy subject. So welcome. And thank you for being here!!

A few weeks ago I decided that this midwife-to-be needed to share more personal posts. This is one of them. An update on life. 

Last week I worked 3 nights in a row. Around 5am one morning, we had a very precipitous birth come in! Baby came as I pushed the delivery table into the room and mama was still on the bed she was brought up on from the ER. It was incredible! The adrenalin rush of everyone finding their place and job was amazing to watch. The midwife was actually there, which I feel is rare for a night time delivery which is so fast! Dad told me they thought baby would come in the car, but thankfully they made it in time.

I went home, slept and came back only to have ANOTHER precipitous birth! Mom was at 4cm complaining of pain and pressure. Then like that she was crowning! The other tech made the delivery table just in time for baby to come, delivered by an amazing nurse. He had a nuchal cord X1 and I have to be honest–I just learned what that meant! Nuchal cord means that it’s wrapped around the neck and X1=1 time. This made me recall a mama we had awhile back who had a non-reactive stress test. Baby heart tones were poor and she was nearly 41 weeks. She was taken to the OR and baby had the cord wrapped around SIX times!! YES…SIX!! Baby was fine. 🙂

Anyway, after two precips in one day, I was ready to roll! I am on a birth high!! I am so happy to be in this profession and cannot wait to learn more. I was thinking to day that, after a month off, I am ready for school again! Hahaha…I am thankful for a summer off with my kids though, and once I start class in August I know I will be so busy I will be wishing we were back to the time off.

I’ve been marathon-watching Big Love. I love watching shows about weird and interesting lifestyles. I watched it way back when it was still on but missed several seasons so I started over. I love the family dynamics.

Evie is down to nursing one time a day. I am feeling so much peace about it! I did not think it would be this easy. I think the thought of weaning was more saddening than the actual act of doing it. It feels natural and I’m letting her be the guide. Tonight, she nursed once side but refused the other. And so it goes…

let’s get personal

I will be sharing more personal posts. I had a separate blog, but stopped writing there nearly 6 months ago and I don’t miss that space. I don’t feel like it’s a space I can go back to and I feel very comfortable here, in this space, in this area of passion aimed solely at my goal of becoming a midwife. But midwives have personal lives too. My journey there is not just my own. It belongs to my husband who sees me through the struggles I endure through difficult classes and triumphs with me when I get an A on an exam. It belongs to my children who are the sole reason for my passion in this profession. My son’s pregnancy and birth kick-started this adventure. My daughter gave me hope in my body and strength as I birthed her without an epidural. My family is a huge part of this process because without them, I would not be here today, writing in this space.

Evelyn turned one almost 2 weeks ago and a week prior to her birthday, we had the most beautiful photo shoot., capturing our bond together while breastfeeding. I never made it to 3 months with my son, so meeting the one year mark in our breastfeeding journey was huge. For the last few months she has dropped a few nursing sessions and we were mostly nursing before and after sleeps. My supply decreased as she led it. Working nights has absolutely KILLED my supply. It has no idea what to do with being awake and not nursing, then being home sleeping during the day and still not nursing much. And just like that I can feel that we are coming to the end of our breastfeeding journey very soon. I can feel her growing up right before my eyes as she, rather than gaping her mouth open towards me, she pauses and smiles up at me then turns herself to get off my lap. She has said no ever so sweetly to nursing. And I am sad. I am so so sad that this is ending. I am proud, though, for making it more than 12 months. But sad that I knew this would be coming sometime, just didn’t think it would be this soon.

Ironically, I left my pump at the hospital I float to and have no way of pumping for comfort. I will offer when we get home and see what miss E says. I’m hoping she will help her mama out, but she may not that is okay.

What are your tips/advice for weaning?

Why?

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Holding an 8 week old baby while I’m 36 weeks pregnant.

It’s been two years since I started my journey to becoming a midwife. In the beginning, and even still, when I share my passion with close family and friends, many conversations begin with questions like “why? why do you want to become a midwife? what is a midwife? will you make any money? So are you a hippy now?” and so on. I’ll start from the beginning.

For as long as I can remember I have only ever wanted to BE a mother. Kids are asked all the time what they want to be when they grow up and while I fashion ideas of becoming a vet and an English teacher, I never felt the same deep drive in my gut about those professions compared to the feeling of becoming a mother and now, a midwife. Being a mom is a job. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The pay is not monetary but through hugs and kisses and first words, first steps, smiles, high fives and I love yous. Being a mother is priceless and becoming one is the most life-changing thing I have ever experienced in my life, ever.

B and I married just 4 days after I turned 24 and my forever goal had been to be a wife and mom by the time I was 25. I was already a college grad, had a steady job, a handsome new husband, and two rowdy dogs to boot. Life was perfect and before we knew it we were staring at two pink lines only 9 months after saying “I do”. We were thrilled. I was speechless and as my pregnancy progressed and we passed those crucial milestones my heart would grow 10 times over every time we heard his heart beat and every time we saw his sweet Irish cheeks on the screen. I was 14 weeks pregnant when I turned 25 and I could not help but BEAM. My dream was coming true and not just whenever but when we WANTED it to happen. I know that for so many this is not the case and I know how blessed we are to have conceived so quickly. I do not take that time and gift for granted.

During my pregnancy I read about everything baby-related, as most new mamas do. I read about every kind of cloth diaper, the best birthing classes, all about his current growth and where he was every week. When he could hear us, when he could taste the food I ate, when he could respond to outside sounds and even when his daddy could feel him roll around. WOW. While I certainly did my fair share of complaining about pregnancy symptoms (aches, pains, tired, sore breasts, etc) I never once wished it away and even as I type I can honestly say I loved being pregnant. It was such an incredible time of growth for me as a person (literally and figuratively) as well as for B and our relationship. I joined a baby board (The Bump) and began to build friendships with thousands of other women all over the world. I loved having a place to find out if something I was feeling was normal or not (usually it was). I read magazines and took prenatal yoga classes. I wanted to know every single thing there was to know about pregnancy and childbirth and even as the my belly grew and my due date came and went I still felt like I knew too little.

We chose to go with an OB for our prenatal care. A small practice of four other OBs seemed like the perfect place for us. I would see each one countless times throughout the pregnancy and get to know each of them so that on the day I went into labor I’d know who’d be helping me birth my son. Only a few times did we have some scares but nothing critical. We watched The Business of Being Born and I was blinded for a moment and could not believe I had waited 29 weeks to watch this movie and now I felt stuck with an OB. Cue pregnancy hormones. After a week or two of cooling off I knew that the doctors we had chosen really cared about us, about what our birth goals were and that there was a mutual respect between us. The day I went into labor, my favorite of the four OBs was on call and did an amazing job helping me bring my son Earthside. No episiotomy and no cord clamping until the blood stopped pulsing. We did have internal fetal monitoring which I never wanted but it was necessary after a scare with Logan’s heart rate dropping very fast and so we could avoid a c-section. I never once wished we’d had a midwife because the exact same things would have happened, at least in our hospital. The midwife refers to the OB on call if something goes array and I am certain that after consulting the OB the midwife would have still done an internal monitor.

Anyway, since going through my birth experience, which also included an epidural after 12 hard hours of back labor, I really wanted to keep learning more. I could not get birth and babies out of my brain. I knew that I was not ready to have another child yet so I just kept reading. And the more I read and the more friends who’ve had babies and the more I’ve learned since working at the hospital I just feel like I am going to explode with excitement from it all. It’s that same feeling I felt when I thought about becoming a mother. The same feeling that would take my breath away with joy in knowing that I was going to be a mom is the same feeling I have now. It’s going to take me YEARS before I am practicing midwifery on my own but I am okay with that. I would rather do all the work now so that 10 years from now I will have reached my goals and will be catching, or helping others catch, babies. But that is not the only thing you do as a midwife. Midwives also do yearly exams, treat patients with female related issues, and so on.

There is nothing more incredible then that of giving birth and I want to be apart of that most incredible experience with other women for the rest of my life. I have started to keep track of the number of births I’ve attended.  As I learn more I’ll share more. Thanks for taking this journey with me.