Reflections on Motherhood and Life as a Doula

Saturday, November 3, 2012

The power of nature...and an immune boosting recipe!

As I sit here and search for an herbal remedy I have yet to try for this last stage of illness I am at (31 weeks pregnant and fighting the cold/flu), herbs and nature begin to flood my computer, my brain, my heart.  And now tears are streaming down my face.  Silly?  Maybe.  But along with my family and birth, nature and all its healing properties are my passion.  My life.

Homeschooling and this pregnancy...and the holidays...and everyday life have interrupted those few nanoseconds of me-time where I was working on my herbalist certification and opening my everything to what nature has blessed us with.  In no way am I upset with homeschooling, this pregnancy, the holidays, or everyday life at interrupting.  I am just sad that for a moment (seemed long, but so short in the grand scheme) I lost/strayed from something that is so dear to my heart and so healing to my family and myself in so many ways.

But alas, it brought me back to blogging.  Which feels good.  I need to catch up on sleep for so many reasons (to heal myself, to prepare for a birth any day now, to take care of my growing baby) and I am going to head to bed with a last minute remedy that a dear friend just called me with - warm rag soaked in ACV on my chest while I sleep - and hope that I will be dreaming soon. 

Don't you worry though, I'm not going to leave you without a simple recipe for an immune boosting, cold fighting syrup that my family lives on.  Tis the season!

Nurturing Nature's Elderberry Syrup:

1c Elderberries (dried) - I get mine from Mountain Rose Herbs
4c Water
2c Raw Honey (can be adjusted to depending on how sweet you like it)

Add 4 cups of water and Elderberries to a stainless steel pot and bring to a boil.
Reduce to a simmer and let simmer for approximately 25 minutes or until it has reduced to half.
Strain Elderberries (I use cheesecloth) and make sure to squeeze all the juices from them.
I strain the liquid into a quartsize mason jar and allow it to cool to room temperature.  At this point I add the honey - adding honey while liquid is still hot can kill many of the healing properties of raw honey. 
Store in the refrigerator.  The syrup will eventually go bad.  I have successfully stored it in the fridge for up to 4 weeks with no problems.

During the "sick seasons" we all take 1T a day to keep our immune systems strong.  If we are sick, we take 1T before each meal...or just drink it by the small cup-full because it tastes that good and is nothing but good for you.  Enjoy!!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Giveaway: Cloth Diaper Variety Pack - CLOSED

THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED!  The winner is Felicia R!  Congratulations!!
With a big thanks to Bottoms Up Diaper Shop and their awesome variety of cloth diapers, I am able to bring you this Cloth Diaper Giveaway!

Three different kinds of diapers - One (1) Sunbaby Pocket Diaper (one size fits all), One (1) KaWaii Pocket Diaper (medium size 6-22 pounds, comes with two inserts), and One (1) Mama's Simple Solutions Diaper Cover (newborn size, use with prefolds).

Sunbaby Pocket Diaper

 KaWaii Pocket Diaper

Mama's Simple Solutions Diaper Cover

I picked fairly neutral colors for all the diapers, so I think they will be of use for anyone.

This giveaway is only available to US residents. You can enter this giveaway up to Three (3) times. Here's how:

1. Leave a comment on this blog to tell me why you want to win these diapers.

2. Go to!/BottomsUpDiaperShop and 'like' them (and while you're there, leave them a comment to say hello). When you are done, return to our blog and leave a separate comment letting me know that you just liked them or were already a liker.

3. Go to and 'like' our facebook page. When you are done, return to our blog and leave a separate comment letting me know that you just liked me or were already a liker.

Good luck! Entries must be in by July 24th 11:00pm Est. Winner will be drawn on July 25th!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Another Childbirth Prep Course Complete!

Last night I finished another 6 week Childbirth Preparation Course. It is always a bittersweet experience for me. One night a week for 6 weeks I am kid free for a few hours, teaching about what I love most. I develop relationships with amazing couples who are reaching out for the information on how to safely, gently, and peacefully bring their babies into this world. I walk away inspired by the women and couples who are taking back their births.

This class was no different. I consider them all friends and sisters in motherhood and life. I am so proud of the work they are putting into their prenatal care and the experience they are going to have so soon.

Every class presents me with different challenges. Every couple is different and every group of couples are different - whether it be VBACers, First time moms, Hospital Birthers, Homebirthers, or Hypnobabies students...No class or course is the same.

Week 6 is always my favorite. It's the class where any final questions are asked and we sit and watch videos of beautiful births, the types of births I hope they all get to experience. I had planned on only viewing "Birth Day" this class, but when I realized it was only 11 minutes long we added "Orgasmic Birth" as well. I love watching all the videos that my husband is so sick of watching with me.

I hope that I was able to help these women on their journeys to motherhood. I have the utmost confidence that all three couples will achieve the birth experience they desire and walk away feeling empowered.

Only two of the couples were able to make it to the final class.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

What to put in your hospital bag?

I have had many clients and friends ask me about pregnancy, birth, and postpartum.  The number one question out of every hospital birthing mother is this, "What are the best things to pack in my hospital bag?"

I have put together a generic list that obviously can be adjusted depending on the mother and her personal comforts and needs.

 - Your labor/birth outfit.  It can be difficult to talk the hospital staff out of making you wear the hospital gown but if you can, make sure it is something comfy that is easily removed and you don't mind it getting bloody and dirty.  OR if you are like me, you can just give birth in YOUR birthday suit.  :)

 - PJ or sweatpants and comfortable t-shirts or other kind of nursing top.  Make sure these are in your maternity size because it will be quite sometime before you are back to your non-pregnant state.

 - Toothbrush and toothpaste

 - Shower supplies.  Leave the loofah at home and replace it with a nice soft (baby) washcloth for washing those sensitive areas after birth. 

 - Socks and slippers.  Socks because I find the hospital rooms to be a bit chilly, and slippers so you can walk around safely without having to put on shoes.

 - Your own pillow.

 - A snack bag.  Great to have while in labor and postpartum while you wait for the kitchen to be open for mealtimes.  I suggest bringing granola, nuts, fruit bars, crackers...

 - Essential oils.  For aromatherapy purposes.

 - Herbal teas for relaxation and recovery.

 - Chapstick

 - Hairbands

 - Some source of music (Ipod, Ipad, Boombox, Computer...)

 - A book to read

 - And of course your BIRTH PLAN

What else would you add to this list?

Calling All Homeschoolers!

Do you currently homeschool your children?  Do you plan to homeschool your children in the future?

Check out Oak Meadow!  They offer a complete homeschool curriculum for grades PreK-8. 

You can learn all about them on their website, and get more involved in their amazing community on Facebook,

And while you have the chance, hop on over to and enter to win 1 grade level's complete curriculum!  Good luck!  And wish me luck, too!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A "Birth Day" 200-Fan Giveaway!

Hello, my lonely little blog.  I have neglected you, and for that I am sorry.

As I attempt to organize my very busy life, I have been noticing my Facebook fanbase growing.  How fabulous!!  I find brief moments throughout my day (usually when I'm nursing my daughter) to post articles, update my status, and answer birthy questions on the Facebook Page, all the while brainstorming different blog post topics.  I promise that I will start finding the time to actually post these - there has to be someone who can magically grant me more hours in a day.

But my REAL promise is a 200-Fan Giveaway!!!  I will be giving away my favorite birth video - Naoli Vinaver Lopez' "Birth Day"!  It is an amazing video!  Wonderful for any Mama-to be, Birthworkers' lending libraries, and/or to be shown in Childbirth Classes.  This giveaway is only for United States residents.

So share away!!!  Let's get Nurturing Nature Doula Services to 200 fans and beyond!  I want to spread the good word about the joys and bliss of Pregancy and Childbirth!  We CAN make a difference!  We CAN change society's norm!