Reflections on Motherhood and Life as a Doula

Saturday, February 26, 2011


I feel like I go through all the "symptoms" of labor when I am waiting for a client to go into labor. 
I am nesting like you wouldn't believe.  Unfortunately my kids aren't cooperating, so it is turning into a meltdown frantic kind of day.

Part of me wonders if the nesting is because of the connection I have with laboring women.  The other part of me just wonders if it is because I know that while I am with a laboring woman, somebody will probably be at my house watching the kids - and I get so embarrassed if it is messy.

Either way, I'm nesting.  Uncontrollably.  I am hoping this is the only symptom I experience.  With one of my other clients, I knew when she went into labor before she called me.  I started to get really crampy and within minutes, my phone rang.  At least in the future I won't think something is dreadfully wrong with me, and I can just go ahead and take that as a sign to start getting my things together for the birth.

I am so looking forward to this upcoming birth.  Any day now, another beautiful baby will be in the arms of his beautiful mother.  What a wonderful life I have, being able  to witness this and help these amazing, powerful women enjoy their birthing experiences.

I think I need to put down the cleaning supplies, brew a cup of tea, and share some quality time with my amazing kids.  The beautiful thing about what I do, is that I can share my experiences with my kids.  They love to hear the stories of the babies growing in their mommy's bellies and how the babies come out into this world.  Not only do I get to share the miraculous stories with them, but I am able to reflect on what it is that I do.  Awesome!

Before I brew that cup of tea, I think I'm gonna pop on some tunes and wash the kitchen floor.  :)

Friday, February 25, 2011

One Moment

One Moment.

One photo.  No words.  A moment I want to capture and remember forever.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Getting to know you (in a sing song voice)

You've met my kids through their birth stories and our every day life stories, but I am going to take this opportunity (while they are both sleeping) to avoid cleaning my house and introduce you to my amazing family that puts a smile on my face and love in my heart.

I'll start at the bottom of the totem pole - so to speak.

Meet Indiana Jones
She is our Border Collie that we rescued while living in Austin, TX.  She is really smart, really energetic, barks a lot, and smells REALLY BAD.  I read a "birth" quote once that said, "Once you have a baby, your dog becomes just that...a dog."  And that is what she has become.  I love her very much and she has been a blessing on our family.  But seriously, she smells.  And all she does is lick, lick, lick.

Meet Delaney Jo
Haha, I just love this picture of her.  A pure look of annoyance on her face.  Delaney just turned 7 months old yesterday!  This year is flying by so fast, it's scary.  I can't seem to hold onto these baby moments. 
Delaney, Laney, D, Angel Face - is just starting to get her first taste of non-mamma's milk.  She really enjoys the smoothies I make (bananas, kale, apples, strawberries, blueberries), but I hate that she is growing up so fast, so I only give her some every couple of days.  She loves to nurse, but is distracted easily.  She is wearing 9 month clothes now and fits in the medium sized diaper covers and large sized cloth prefolds.  She has the softest, cutest little behind that I can't stop squeezing.  In the past couple of weeks, she has mastered the army crawl and has started to get her knees into it as well.  She moves fast!
She does not like that I am a doula.  In fact, she doesn't like that I am a human being who needs bathroom breaks.  If it was up to her, she would put a diaper on me and super glue us together.  She definitely is not a fan of me walking more than 3 feet away from her.  She loves her Daddy (as long as I'm holding her, or am out of sight).  She also LOVES LOVES LOVES her big brother Stephen.  She just laughs at him all day long.

Meet Stephen Daniel

Stephen, Stevo, Bugaboo, Stevo Burrito - is almost 3 years old (in June)!  I can't believe how old he is!  He has so much energy.  He runs on full blast until he is passed out in his bed.  He's a pretty good eater, keeps it pretty healthy, but enjoys an occasional cookie or two.  He loves choo choo trains and tractors and dump trucks.  He loves to play music and to sing along.  He has his ABC's down and can write the first two letters of his name all by himself.  He can count to 20 - but he always skips the number 15.  He has been potty trained since 20 months old, but he told me the other day, that he wants to try going to bed at night without a diaper.  I'm so excited for him!  What an accomplishment!  He loves to play with other kids, but plays by himself so well.  He has his own unique way of learning things, and he marvels in his own accomplishments.  He is also very destructive.  :)  He loves to take things apart.  He loves to help us cook dinner and when he wakes in the morning before everyone else, he creates some of his own concoctions...all over the floor...  But I love his creativity.  He beats down on the dog, picks on his sister, wrestles with his Daddy, and cuddles with his Mommy.  He is all I ever hoped for in a son.

Meet my husband Michael

I have to secretly take pictures of him, because he hates the camera.  This is my hardworking, supportive, amazing husband.  My rock.  My life.  He works nonstop to support our family.  He loves working in the yard when the whether is nice.  He finds just about any excuse to get outside and enjoy nature.  He puts his heart and soul into our garden to keep our fridge, freezer and pantry stocked full of good fruits and veggies to last us all year long.  He has so much fun playing with Stephen, but is a good balance of discipline as well.  He is still in awe that he has a baby girl.  I don't know where I would be in the world without this man.  He is truly incredible.

And....Meet me.  Meagan Jo

A mom.  A wife.  A friend.  A sister.  A daughter.  A doula. 
I work hard, and I'm proud of what I do.  I give a lot of love.  More love than I ever knew was possible to give.  And thanks to my family and friends, I get all that love back...tenfold.
I love my life.

In case there was a misunderstanding...

There was a lot more to this post that I have erased - mostly because it was personal and none of your business.  :)  I felt it would be healthy for my to write it out and get it off my chest...and then delete it.  So if this post makes no sense to you,  just keep in mind that it was for my own therapy.

I find that as I focus on raising my children and keeping a somewhat put together home for my husband, I "neglect" family and friends.  I go through spurts with my family.  A week on and a week off.  My family - mostly meaning my mom, my sister, and my mother in law - are my saving grace.  I can call them about anything I am thinking or feeling, and they don't judge.  I take that back...they might judge, but they are family, so they're not allowed to stop loving me.  :)  Now throw in my life as a doula.  I am spending all of my time focusing on my growing family and these beautiful people who have asked me to be present at their births and help support them.  I love every minute of it.  But it is even less time that I spend trying to get ahold of friends.

Now, I'd say 99.9% of people that know me, know that I HATE talking on the phone.  Write me a letter, text me, or come see me.  I don't do phones.  They make me nervous - I have no idea why. 
The closest of my friends, I talk to maybe 6 times a year.  When we see eachother (or make that dreaded phone call), we pick up right where we left off and its like we see eachother every day.  To me, that is true friendship.  I don't need to check in with them, I don't ever worry that they are mad at me, I usually forget birthdays - I try to drop a message within 2 weeks - and sometimes I don't show up at important events.
I don't ever just "show-up".  Even if I know something important has happened, I have an odd respect for others' I wait for an invite.  And if I don't get one, my feelings aren't hurt.  BECAUSE, I am focusing my attention on my growing family.

Note:  My mom and sister are probably reading this right now, going....WHAT?!?!  My sister and I talk on the phone at least 3 times a day, I go over to both of their houses completely unannounced and stay for as long as I like, I crash my sister's parties by bringing my whole family (at least we bring our own food to eat)...  Again, family is a little different.  Haha, I used to call my mom and say "Hey!  Are you home?"  "Yes, why, do you want to come over?"  "Sure!"  "When will you be here?"  "I'm in your drive..."

My point is this:  This is me.  Take it or leave it.  If you are my friend, know that I love you more than you will probably ever imagine.  I just don't show it in your average "friendly" ways.  My babies and my husband always come first, and I just assume everyone else feels the same way about their families.  I try to be respectful of others' feelings, but I'll warn you right now, I DO NOT know how to keep my mouth shut.  I demand respect for myself and for those I care about.  If I don't feel like you are being respectful, I open my big fat mouth (and probably say things that are not respectful as well - hey at least I'm being honest) and tell you.  And yes, this mouth sometimes jeopardizes other relationships.  I sincerely feel sad about those jeopardized relationships, but I can't regret speaking the truth about my feelings and emotions.  Could I say things in a more gentle way?  Yes.  And I'm working on that.  I definitely have some huge changes to make in my life, and I don't deny it.  But this is me.  And after a friendly conversation, a sorrowful time, or an argument, I will always tell you that I love you.  Because I love you. 

Consider me whatever you want...but I expect to hear it back.

Monday, February 21, 2011

We're All In This Together!

I spend most of my days as a mother, stressing about whether or not I am making the right decisions in raising my children.  Most of my decisions are based on instinct, but a few are educated.  No matter what I decide on, I always follow it up with research.

I am disgusted by the responses I am seeing to posts about studies being done to better understand the health and well-being of our families.  We are bashing eachother as mothers and playing the "I'm right, your wrong" game.  This isn't a game.  This is about women going through life changing events that shape the rest of their lives; all while they are helping to shape the lives of innocent little people.  We should be speaking TRUTH - for the sake of our babies.  We should be respectful and demand respect.  We need to set a positive example for the little ones who are watching us so closely.

All I ask, is for mothers to try their best.  Because that is all we can do.

My response to my recent repost that caused so much off-topic bashing and controversy:
Cesarean Sections
When it comes to moms who have had a cesarean section, I believe there are three types of us.

-The Necessary Cesarean - She does not defend her surgery, her doctors or herself.  She knows that what happened, needed to happen - and that at that point, preventing it was out of her hands.

-The Unnecessary Cesarean Acceptance (I believe this is the category I fall under) - She recognizes that her ignorance, and/or fear, and/or lack of support is what prevented her from delivering vaginally.  She accepts the fact that it was unncessary and places blame where she feels it need to be.  She does not defend her surgey, her doctor or herself.

-The Unnecessary Cesarean Denial - Whether she realizes the surgery was unnecessary or not, she defends the decision.  She defends the surgey, usually denying that it did any damage to her or her baby emotionally and sometimes physically.  She defends her doctors, putting them on a pedistal of information giving saviors.  She defends herself by not admitting to the ignorance, the fear, and/or the lack of support.

No matter what category we fall under - WE ARE NOT FAILURES!
It is OKAY to be ignorant or fearful.  We learn from this.  It is OKAY to trust our careproviders.  We just need to trust OUR bodies too!  But, we also have to respect out bodies.

What I Believe to be Truth:

Cesareans are not "good" (except in cases where absolutely necessay - which is about 7% - and I'm really exaggerating that high of a #).  They are dangerous to BOTH mom and baby.

Bonding - Can you have a good bond with your baby after being separated for minutes to days?  Absolutely!  But what mother in the world wants her baby bonding with hospital staff, other family members or an incubator before she gets to?  No mother does!  No wonder why some mothers have such a hard time connecting.  They aren't less determined.  They are mammals who are missing out on that crucial moment of discovering their baby!  The smell, the feel, the taste - it's not the same when your baby has already been bathed and cradled by someone else.

Breastfeeding - Of course it is the best way to nourish your child.  Interruption and separation can really interfere.  Some people conquer it and some don't.  I have no good reasons why.  A mother who makes a true effort is just as good as a mother who was able to overcome the difficulties.


If we are doing all that we know how to do to better our children's lives, then we are succeeding.

When we see someone else's post; instead of being defensive or bashing, try to find the TRUTH in it.  Be respectful.  Accept your own faults and shortcomings.  And maybe, just maybe we can learn something new.

Note:  I learned something (not new, but opened my eyes) from a friend's post.  Initially I got defensive and took offense to it.  But as I read it over and over again, I accepted the fact that my son's circumcision was a result of my own ignorance.  I am so thankful that she posted it because now I know I can protect any future sons of mine from it.

We are not failures.  Just mothers trying to do what's best for our children.

Let's support eachother in that.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

End of Nurturing Nature Tea Giveaway

Using's random name picker, we have picked the winner of the Nurturing Nature Tea.  Congratulations Sarah Haren!  Contact me via Facebook PM with your address so that we can get your tea in the mail.  Hope you enjoy it!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Winter Blues?

Ahhh.  The joys of the whipping bitter cold wind, the knee deep white stuff getting in my shoes, and the stir crazy feelings of being permanently trapped in the house.  I love the outdoors, but not in this weather.  As if the cold and wet isn't enough, the sun rarely shines (and when it does, its usually colder than usual outside), and funds are always running low because of the wonderful holiday season that put us in the spirit of spending more than we have.  Oye - yes, I just said "oye".  What does a mother do in situations like this?  Well, I'll tell you.

I suck it up and I wake up in the morning and say, "The sun will come out, not tomorrow, but in a few more months".  And I smile at my children (who I swear are smiling back at me through the tears) and start to clean the house.  A messy house NEVER helps with the winter blues, so first things first, house gets cleaned.  I have yet to figure out how it got so messy overnight (eh em, my husband) for me to have to reclean every. single. day.  But its messy, so therefore it is our first project.  Stephen always tells me he is going to help, but somehow every morning, he sneaks over to the TV with his cereal bowl and turns on PBS, desperately waiting for Curious George to come on.  At this point I let the dog into the living room to clean up the other half of Stephen's breakfast that he drops on the floor.  The dog is VERY helpful when it comes to cleaning (minus the clumps of hair and muddy footprints all over my carpet and sofas).  Delaney on the other hand, not so helpful.  She wants to be carried constantly, and I'm a baby wearing mama, so this is not a challenge for me.  But, she is not a fan of my constant bending over to pick things up - and I'm not a fan of cleaning on my knees in order to not have to bend down so far.  We are trying to compromise.  I have one of those saucer seat things for her...she pretty much hates it because she knows that as soon as I put her in it, I'm going to walk away.  She enjoys playing on the floor with toys, but so does Stephen, and he likes to drive his cars over her face.  She doesn't like that.  Eventually, after a lot of crying and screaming and pouting and whining, the house gets somewhat cleaned, and we can truly begin our day of fun.

I call this fun, because I get my first break.  Delaney takes her morning nap (we hope - as long as Stephen doesn't have any meltdowns during the nursing/nap process).  We now begin Mommy and Stephen Art Extravaganza!!!  I pull out finger paints and markers and crayons and construction paper and cotton balls and scissors (yikes!) and need I say more?  We make a GIANT mess and enjoy every minute of it.  I absolutely love craft time with him.  He is so creative and artistic!  I have yet to get him on board with finishing up and cleaning up - a temper tantrum usually happens in the middle of this - but we're working on it.  And then its lunch time.  If his temper tantrum woke up Delaney, sometimes we will make a special trip up to Daddy's work to get Stephen a "special" lunch (usually something junky that I shouldn't be feeding him, but its an excuse to visit Dad and it gets us out of the house for a few minutes).  If we are lucky enough to have Delaney sleep through the chaos, we usually eat a sandwich - peanut butter and jelly or grilled cheese - with some fruits and veggies.  I love lunch time.  It gives me a few moments of peace, and sometimes it gives me a chance to jump on the computer and see what the rest of the world is doing.

After lunch, we watch Word World.  I'm sorry to all the anti-TV parents out there (I used to be one), but it is an incredibly educating television show and sometimes it can stretch out my few moments of "me time" or it gives me a chance to nurse Delaney and prepare myself for the dreaded...Nap Time.

When Word World is over, Stephen knows it is time to take a nap.  99.9% of the time he tries to talk me into letting him stay up and watch Barney (yuck!), and 32% of the time, I give in.  Through lots of screaming, kicking, hitting, biting, and banging his head against the wall, I make it very clear to Stephen that I love him very much...but its still time to take a nap.  He pees, I give him a cup of almond milk, and eventually he falls asleep (or he just sits in his bed and reads books).  Now, if it is a good day, Delaney has made it through ALL of this, and I finally have some real ME time.  This is when I blog, facebook, make phone calls to clients, fold laundry...but heaven forbid I pick up a book.  Delaney has a little alarm clock in her head that only responds to Mommy picking up a book.  I don't even get to read a sentence.  The second I pick it up, she is awake.  Heck, if I even THINK about reading a book, her eyes open.  Anyway, I enjoy my few moments of quiet.  If Delaney didn't sleep through the craziness, we take this time to tickle, make goofy noises, and play peek-a-boo.  I love getting one on one time with her.  She is going to be such a beautiful young lady.  She is precious.

Stephen wakes up from his nap, Daddy gets home from work, Delaney attempts to take another nap (usually with no such luck), one of us makes dinner (I usually start it and Mike finishes because of a crying child), we eat dinner and look forward to 8 o'clock.  Stephen goes to bed - usually without a fight!  :) And Delaney goes to bed.  This is when most parents have a sense of relief and sit down to spend some quality time together.  But not in our house.  Delaney is just playing a trick on you...she's not really going to bed.  You see, she doesn't go to sleep for the night, until I am sleeping next to her.  Sounds sweet?  Yea, in a way it is.  But pretty much not.  I chug a glass of chocolate milk and sit next to Mike while we try to fit our entire day's experiences in about 30 seconds and she starts crying.  Good night - yes, every 8:30.  I'm starting to think that I am 56 instead of 26.

Winter blues?  I have a solution.  There is no such thing in our house.  Have children.  They will take up every waking moment (and even sleeping moment) - but my God, they make that time so precious.  Perfect.  I will forever be sarcastic and complain about my daily life, but I wouldn't have it any other way.  Can't wait for baby number 3!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

It's A Giveaway!!!

I think it is about time we joined in the fun of giveaways!  Our website is donating tea for this giveaway!  The winner can choose from the pregnancy blend, the nursing blend, or can get some of each!  Check out the products page on their website to see which one (or both) you would like.

You have the chance to enter this drawing up to three times!
1 - Go to and 'like' the page.  After you have 'liked' it, leave a post on the page stating which tea (or both) you would like to win.  If you are already a fan of the page, leave a post stating you are already a fan and which tea you would like.

2 - Follow this blog!  After you "click" the follow button, leave a comment telling me that you are following me.

3 - Suggest our facebook page to friends! After you have liked our facebook page, click "suggest to friends" under our profile picture and spread the word so others can join in the fun!  After you are done suggesting, leave a comment on this blog stating, "I suggested you to my friends!"

Don't forget to make sure that I know your name so I can announce the winner at the end of the giveaway!  The giveaway will end on Monday, February 7th @ 8:00pm Eastern time.  The winner will be announced the next day.  Winner will be announced on this blog and on our facebook page.
Have fun and I can't wait to hear from you!