No matter how much time passes since the birth of a child, a mother (in most cases) never forgets the birth of their child.
On this day 2 years ago I was (im)patiently waiting for my body to do what it knew how to do, bring a baby earth side!
The day started off normal with waking up, getting Layla ready for the day, taking her to school, getting some work done. Then we headed off to what would be our last midwife appointment. I was so excited to see Kathi as I was SO ready for her to tell me "oh yes darling, this baby is coming tonight!". But that wasn't the case (of course). In fact, she had mentioned that there was another mother further along in birth (actually contracting..all I had going on was a missing plug - insert eye roll emoji) and with the other two midwives out of town for a conference she pretty much told me to "hold that baby in"! I was like ok, now I know this isnt the day. After hearing babes heart beat, strong and healthy we counted our blessings and went on our way. Of course I had a major hormonal meltdown in my husbands arms the moment we got back into the car with all the feels that I was going to stay pregnant forever. Any pregnant woman at full term (plus a few days) knows exactly what that feels like! He loved on me, wiped my tears then took me to my favorite place to cheer me up...Oryanas! Our local co-op. At this point everyone and their mother knew me in that store because I was in there 2 times a day getting my pregnancy essentials...raw coconut water, lemonade, radishes and pickles. So of course they were all wondering "when is that baby going to come!". I remember saying a few times, "never! the baby is staying in there forever!". As I walked over to the produce isle, Sean the produce manager was sharing a birth story from one of his kids encouraging me to "hang in there", I remember getting a tightening feeling all over my belly several times. I blew that feeling off because 1. I figured it was just braxton hicks and 2. I just kept thinking this baby better not come tonight because my midwife might not make it!
On top of our Oryanans family, our families back home were blowing up our phones asking us what the midwife said, when the baby is coming, how I am doing...you know, everything a loving, anxious family member does..I couldnt take it anymore! I remember wanting to throw my phone in the lake because I was sick of the phone calls and questions. Can we say hormonal? Shortly after I got done cramming another molasses cookie into my mouth and wiping yet more tears from my eyes, my momma called. I didnt want to answer because I was so upset but I did and as soon as I said "Hi" she said "oh that baby is coming tonight I am on my way up". She said something about my tone of voice made her know it was happening. I begged her not to come up yet because I wasnt making any progress, and my midwife was already busy with another birth. I didnt want to explain all that to her because shes a worrier, what my sister and I like to call "black ice"! I didnt want that energy around me because I was already having a pitty party for myself. But I had to because my mom lives 3 hours away from me, she didnt want to miss the birth...and neither did I! She was the one who was to be in charge of Layla during the birth and I really needed her there.
You know that saying "mom knows best"? Well its so darn true!! After hanging up with my mom now knowing that her and my sis are on their way to TC (to come sit around and knit sweaters with me because there is NO WAY this baby is coming) Justin and I made our drive from town, back home to get more emails and work done. I remember it was a beautiful sunny fall day. I made him pull over on my favorite strip of our road to take some photos of me and the pretty fall leaves. After we got home we went straight to work. Both got on our computers and started busting out more emails. Then all the sudden, there it was again, that tightening feeling all over my belly. I again played it off...because subconsciously I didn't want my midwife to miss my birth! I wouldn't have known what to do without her there! So, back to emailing I go. About an hour later I spontaneously got up and vacuumed my whole car out. My husband, with a strange look on his face just laughed at my pregnant antics and kept on working. Once my car was clean enough, I went back to more emails. An hour later I got yet more strong feelings in my stomach and remember mentioning to Justin "Um, Im not sure but I think Im having contractions?" The first 10 times I said that he blew me off, just saying " oh your fine, Kathi said the baby isnt coming for another week." After wanting to punch him in the face for even insinuating I was going to be pregnant for another week, I got out my app and started timing the contractions. At first they were every 30 minutes or so and then they got closer. At this time my mom and sister pulled into the drive way just in time to get Layla from school. When they got home, things started to pick up pace. I truly didnt think too much into it because I didnt want to go into labor knowing my midwife might not make it! [I should mention, the other laboring mother lived about an hour from where we did so, add an hour to my midwives travel time..I couldnt even go there mentally! I was too freaked out she'd miss my birth]
As we were all gathering around the kitchen while my mom made chicken noodle soup, the contractions started getting closer together. At this point I knew that my body was getting ready to going into full blown labor. We waited a little bit longer because we didnt want to sound alarms for no reason. By that point I was having to stop and breath through contractions when they came. It was about 6:30 when my mom suggested to my now very present husband that he call Kathi, so he did. After speaking with Justin, Kathi asked to talk to me. As soon as I said hi, I had a contraction and couldnt talk. Once it was over I finished up my convo with her, handed the phone to my husband and kept waddling around my house. At this point I didnt know my midwife was on her way because everyone kept things very mellow for me. I figured she wasnt going to be there till tomorrow when I was in real labor because the mom ahead of me was going to be having her baby that night, not me. Luckily the momma in the labor line ahead of me delivered about an hour before we called our midwife! While waddling around I remember seeing my yoga ball and thinking "oh yesss come to momma Im going to bounce this baby out of me!" As soon as I sat down on the ball, I felt the babys head move back up. Alarm bells sounded "NO BABY WRONG WAY DO NOT GO BACK UP!!" I quickly got up and wrote that yoga ball off for life! "I will walk this baby out then! Im not sitting until the baby is born!" Thats exactly what I did. I walked the whole first part of my labor, not sitting for one second. By this time contractions were every 7-10 minutes apart and it was getting intense. I didnt want to get checked at all so they just monitored babes heart beat and continued to let me do my labor dance. Midwives are truly amazing, intuitive women! They dont get enough credit!
It was about 8:30pm at this point and things were really picking up pace. I took a shower to try to relax and it helped but my body was doing its thing. I remember finding such peace in my bedroom, away from everyone else. My husband was SO amazing this whole time...now that he actually knew I wasnt kidding and that this baby was coming! He stayed by my side for every single contraction but one, when he went to light all these candles in our room around the birth tub. He remembered!! Brownie points for life for that one. In the moment when he was gone for that one contraction, I remember feeling SO SCARED! I didnt want him to leave my side so he didnt the rest of the time. By now, I found such comfort and peace laboring on the toilet. I sat there for literally an hour. Something about the toilet, like a birthing stool, the positing my body was in was magical. It really helped move baby down. There came a point where I remember feeling like I was going to barf, thats when my midwife came in to ask me if she could check me because she thought I was close. Little did I know then, but getting sick is a sign that the actual birth is super close. She got me off the toilet (noticing I had my "bloody show") and made my lay down on bed to check me. I HATED that because it hurt like crap! And being on my back was the LAST place I wanted to be. She checked me quickly and with surprise to everyone I was completely dilated! As soon as I stood up I went into transition....lets just say that was past the point of pain...I dont think there is a word to describe that intensity. I remember "howling like a wolf at the moon" as my mom put it, cursing several times and screaming at the top of my lungs. Transition is no joke the most intense part of labor. Well, it was for me anyways.
My midwife gave me the go-ahead to get into the tub at that point. I didnt want to get in any sooner than that because I remember reading along the way that the tub and its warm relaxing environment could slow labor down. The voice inside my head was screaming "oh hell no we are not drawing this process out any longer!!" so I waited till I was fully dilated to get into the tub. It felt like forever but from the contraction that got me through transition to the next contraction, I was trying to get undressed but ended up getting the zipper to my hoodie stuck and being what felt like trapped in a straight jacket as a child was trying to come out of me...horribly weird feeling! Justin reached around me and literally stripped my hoodie right off with no time to spare! Finally I was in the tub, but I hated it! I wanted to get out because I thought it made my labor hurt worse. I gave it one contraction, screamed the whole way through it, then after remembering and hearing my midwife say it will hurt less if you dont scream, I tried her silent technique and it worked. I was in a good rhythm where I was laboring and breathing. As the baby kept moving down, my one leg kept going numb and to be honest that was much more annoying that the contractions themself. There was nothing I could do to make that numb feeling go away as the baby was on my nerves [literally]. So I just dealt with it and sucked it up. But what a sight to see...a pregnant lady flailing around like the exorcist with one leg hanging out of the tub...pretty funny to think about now! I tried all sorts of positions in the tub but the most comfortable for me was sitting on my bum with Justin behind me on the outside of the tub. (No, I didnt want him in there with me.) All the while, Layla (after getting over the fact I said the F word louder than shes ever heard) was right there at the bottom of the tub waiting to see if she had a baby sister or a baby brother to love on! At one point she even dosed off on the bed during the pushing stage. Thats how peaceful birth can be!
For the next hour I sat just like that working with my contractions to help the baby come out. The pushing part took way longer that I expected. A whole 50 minutes total. With Lay, I pushed for 15 minutes and out she came. So, naturally I was excepting the same. But every childs birth is different! The most strange part about the birth for me was feeling the baby go back up after I pushed. Again the alarm bells were sounding saying "WRONG WAY BABY, WRONG WAY!!" But my magical midwife worked her skills and so calmly explained to me that the baby going back up was making more space so my body wouldnt get injured during the birth. That was a hard concept to try and comprehend given my state! After I got the hang of how to work with my contractions, in-between one, I remember reaching to feel the babies head, still inside and in its sack of water. SO INCREDIBLE! I remember saying "I can feel HER head". Intuitively, at that moment I knew she was a girl. After about 45 minutes of pushing, her head crowned. Once that happened, the water broke. Josie was almost born in the caul! On the next push her head came out and there was no way I was letting that head go back in so I kept pushing. I remember Layla saying the baby has its hands by its face! Which made sense to me seeing how I felt all movement way down low last few weeks of my pregnancy. Babies heads rotate when they are born. So, when Josies head was born, it naturally rotated. Once it did she happened to be wide eyed looking straight up at Justin. That is the moment he tells everyone when we speak of our birth story. So incredibly amazing!! With another push, her shoulders were out, then her whole body. Before I knew it I was holding my 6 pound 12 ounce baby GIRL!! The whole time we thought she was a boy because my pregnancies with both girls were SO different. So, naturally we had no girl name picked out and only 1 pink outfit! We delayed cord clamping until the cord was white meaning all the blood had gone to the baby. Justin cut the cord and then Kathi handed her to her daddy. Such an amazing moment seeing my husband hold his baby girl for the first time...brings tears to my eyes!
Over all, the birth was 4ish hours long. I was adjusted by my chiro 2 days before so my body was in perfect alignment for birth. The average birth of a mother who is adjusted throughout her pregnancy is between 4-5 hours. Thats some good to know info!
I could literally go on for hours about birth and how magical it is and how special everyone who is involved with the birth process is. I could not have done it without the wonderful team around me. My two midwives, Kathi and Kathy, my momma, my husband, my sister and my big girl Layla.
I am so happy I chose a home birth to bring my sweet little angel earth side. My recovery was amazing and I felt great. Nursing happened naturally. Everything was perfect. It was so amazing! I cannot wait to do it all over again if I get the opportunity with baby #3!
If you are curious about home birth, talk to mothers who have had a positive experience! Home birth is not for everyone. My body, mind and baby were great candidates for a home birth. We were blessed to have no complications and a text book labor and delivery. I owe that all to my Lord. How amazing is it to be a woman!
HAPPY SECOND BIRTHDAY JOSEPHINA FRANCESCA!! WE LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!
eAs some of you who have followed me for some time now know, 7 days after I turned 20 I gave birth to my beautiful daughter Layla.
At 20 you are suppose to be finding your way in life, not trying to raise a child. BUT [ for the record] raising a child was the result of my actions and...she is by far one of the BEST blessings in my life.
Laylas dad and I were so young when we had her. We still had yet to figure out who we were as human beings. So needless to say, when I decided to move back in with my mom shortly after Lays 3rd birthday...we both were not emotionally ready to deal with child support, court fees, attorney fees, SHARING Lay, ect...it was a disaster.
I remember some days when she would go with her dad literally feeling like I was going to die from a panic attack and anxiety. Not being able to be around your child 247 like I was use to for her whole life up until this point was so gut wrenching.
After the custody nightmare was over, a whole year later, there was [of course] a loop hole in our court order that made him and I have to agree outside of court on some dates for parenting time [I hate that phrase]. We were literally forced to go face to face after months of not being able to look at each other without wanting to rip each others heads off.
Coming from a divorced family I knew how horrible sharing her could be. I was week on week off with my mom and dad and it literally killed me [but made me stronger]. So moving forward, I knew what to avoid in order to preserve our daughters innocence and how to provide her with a stable co-parenting relationship. Which my mom and dad encouraged me to do even in the heat of our custody battle. THANK YOU MOM AND DAD!
Crazy how divine the Lords plan is and how everything is a lesson to teach us something. Even the not so enjoyable experiences we encounter in life.
It was NOT easy but we "maned" up, shook hands and said our sorry to one another. From that day on, it was the beginning of a healthy relationship for not only ourselves but our sweet precious daughter who just happened to be trapped in the middle of our custody nightmare.
SO MANY KIDS and adults go through this...and a lot of the time it is horrible for everyone involved. But I am here to show [and prove] to you that positive co-parenting is something that can and should be achieved. It makes life so much more enjoyable and worth living when two people can be adults for the sake of their future relationships and the children involved.
It is do-able but it takes time, patience and understanding. Not to mention an amazing support system which I was so blessed to have. Again, thanks mom and dad and grandma and aunties and uncles! I literally could not have done it without them picking me up after falling time and time again.
Now I am lucky to say, we have both re-married and are now happier than we ever were before trying to force our relationship to work.
Laylas new step-mom is one of the most amazing woman I've ever met. Not to mention her family who as also welcomed Layla with open arms and endless love. I am so blessed for someone in my daughters life that loves her, spends time with her, and fulfills all her needs when she is with her dad. I literally could not have hand picked anyone better to be such a significant role in my daughters life.
Our positive co-parenting is something we both work very hard at maintaining and it has made all the difference in the world for Layla. Its not always easy, but it is always worth it.
If you are someone who is going through this, first off understand you are not alone....although it [might] feel like you are. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and that light is SO worth being patient enough to get to.
All my love,
Back when I was pregnant with Layla, I read this article that claimed children who are exposed to classical music in the womb tent to be more intelligent as children and adults. So when I found out I was pregnant (both times), I quickly went on YouTube and found a classical music playlist, plugged in my headphones and played hours of classical music to the girls while they were in utero.
Wanting to continue this exposure once the girls were born, I turned right to Baby Einstein products to meet my needs. When I find a brand I trust, I tend to become a "lifer". Needless to say, for years now since Layla was a baby, we have loved Baby Einstein products.
No one understands the magnitude of a child's first birthday better than Baby Einstein. So, to help celebrate their 20th birthday, Baby Einstein is showing their fans how to throw the most genius first birthday ever!
Over on their website, you will find tons of great ideas, free printables and activities that are perfect for babes first b-day bash. They are also doing a giveaway where fans can win a prize package worth $460 [US] dollars!
It's so easy to enter. All you have to do is follow their Instagram account, share your favorite Baby Einstein moment and use the tags #wearebabyeinstein #giveaway. Over on their pinterest page, you will find even MORE inspiration.
Don't miss out on your chance to enter the giveaway! Two more winners will be announced before August is over, so enter now for your chance to win!
I really wish I would have thought about this adorable theme for Josephinas first birthday, but there is always time for that with baby #3, right?
From Bach to Beethoven, Mozart to Chopin. Baby Einstein keeps your baby positively engaged with its range of classical tunes.
It's pretty awesome how big of an impact you can have on a developing fetus from what you eat, to the sounds and energy you expose your baby to. What an incredible gift to be given!
I encourage you all to check out Baby Einstein. I'm forever a "lifer" and I'm sure you will be too!
All my love,
She wouldn't wait for me to take them out of the package!
The "Take Along Tunes" is our FAVORITE! This is our 2nd one :)
Our "Discovery Music Activity Table" is one of the BEST ways to keep miss Josie still while I prep/cook dinner every night.
I wrote this review/blog post while participating in the Kids II Blogger Campaign and received monetary compensation and/or free products to facilitate my review.
Lets face it, we can try as hard as we can to have every day be a good day...but reality is we all get caught up in a funk from time to time. Don't fight these funks. Instead, embrace them. Acknowledge the emotions you are feeling and let them flow. There is an opportunity for growth in everything we experience.
For the past 6 months I have been devouring every bit of info I can get my hands on that relates to personal and spiritual growth. Ive learned so much and have witnessed a transformation within myself. My new knowledge was recently put to the test when I found myself in a funk for no apparent reason. Everything that could make me happy in life is right in front of me, so why do I feel depressed, sad, and lonely?!
I couldn't answer those questions so I just decided to embrace them. Feeling the feels but not holding onto them. Just letting them come, then go like a cloud passing by. I didn't own those feelings because I knew deep down that if I did, I would become sad, lonely and depressed everyday instead of just for a fleeting few moments of my life.
The old me would become my thoughts...the new me now, knows better than to let that happen. After letting all the emotions I was experiencing come and go, I decided to change my perspective. I decided every time I would have a negative thought I would replace it with a thought of something I love, am grateful for or something that makes me happy.
Once you start to focus on love and happiness instead of negativity and sadness, you will transform your life! You too have the chance to transition back to your child like state of being ( unadulterated love and happiness) that is all inside each and every one of us...even as busy adults!
Top 5 ways to un-funk your funk:
1. Sit down and write 100 things you are grateful for
2. Transition your thought process from negative to positive
3. Watch funny YouTube videos- laughter is magical!
4. Reconnect with nature and disconnect from social media/technology
5. DANCE LIKE NO ONE IS WATCHING (my favorite)
From my growth, comes an opportunity to teach. What a blessing! Remember that you are a divine being with the power to do/create/be ANYTHING you wish to be! Don't ever let someone tell you otherwise.
All my love,
As I am sure you've heard, fresh juice is now "trending." How awesome for something so healthy to be viewed as something so cool!
I have been juicing (almost) everyday for the past 4 months and Ive never felt better! I encourage you all to give it a try! You don't need an expensive juicer, just one that works.
Some benefits from juicing:
Strawberry Beet Juice:
8 large carrots
3 stalks celery
1 small piece tumeric root
1 large (l like it spicy) piece ginger
1 peeled green apple
1 peeled lemon
2 peeled cucumbers
This recipe is great for kids too! My youngest daughter Josie guzzled her glass down. If you give it a try, let me know how you liked it!
Remember, your body is your temple. Honor it with great pride.
All my love,
A few weeks ago, I got an email from a news reporter at 9&10 Norther Michigan News asking me if I would like to go on LIVE TV to talk about TruSelf Organics!
After I got over the initial shock of it being LIVE TV with filming to start at 5:15 am, I was so excited for the opportunity to talk about one of my passions, TruSelf Organics!
If you follow me on snapchat (supermodelmama1) you got to see some behind the scenes footage and pictures.
I do have to say, although I fumbled through my words in some of the segments and used the word "and" (nervous reaction?) a lot, I was really proud of myself for having the cojones to be on live TV!
A BIG THANK YOU to our wonderful employee for spreading the word about TruSelf Organics and getting us this once in a lifetime opportunity to teach others about the love yourself movement all over norther MI where we hand make bottle and fulfill orders...Right here in Traverse City.
Below is the whole segment if you wish to watch :)
As always, LOVE YOURSELF...and go hug a tree, walk on the beach, get outside! Its the best day of the year #earthday.
Hey everyone! Hope you are all having a great day!
As I was sitting here sipping on bone broth trying to heal my body from whatever made me so sick today, I thought it might be a good opportunity to share with you all the amazing health benefits of incorporating this tradition food into you and your families diet!
When I woke up this morning I just knew I was going to get sick...and that I did. No one likes throwing up, blah! I thought I was in for a long day of that bowling ball feeling head and...yes, more barfing. After our amazing sitter arrived and was able to care for Josie, I took a much needed nap. When I awoke I was feeling anything but back to normal.
The first thing that came to mind was to warm up and sip on some bone broth. That was the best thing I could have done for myself today! It instantly settled my still queazy stomach and helped to restore some energy back into my body.
Because every mother knows, Mommas don't get sick days!!
Bone broth is something that we have been making and incorporating into our diets for years. Its truly one of those super foods!
What is bone broth?
Bone Broth is what is left over after you simmer a mixture of soup bones (or a carcass of a chicken or turkey) , veggies, vinegar and filtered water.
Unlike "broth" that you have probably grown up being accustom to, bone broth contains a higher amount of minerals and is extremely nutrient dense and the best part is, its super cost effective to make yourself!
When I don't have fresh broth made, I *cheat* and buy a couple boxes of Pacific Bone Broth (which is what i drank today)
Now, with everything I will ever recommend (especially for bone broth) I strongly encourage you to buy ORGANIC bones, preferably from a local farmers market or a local farmer.
What bones do you use?
We have used marrow bones, chicken feet (which makes the most gelatinous broth), and joints...ALL of which have came from very well sourced, organic and pasture raised animals.
Nutritional Benefits of Bone Broth
I know at one point Ive made a youtube video about how to make bone broth so be sure to check that out! But if you don't have the time, here is what you will need to make your own bone broth at home:
1 whole free-range chicken, joints, or marrow bones (2-3 lbs)
2-4 chicken feet
4 quarts cold filtered water
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
Just add all the above ingredients into a large stock pot and let simmer for 12 hours (or longer if you are able to keep an eye on it)
Once the broth is simmered, set aside and let cool. Once your broth is chilled, divide your broth into mason jars. Make sure to not fill them up all the way or else once the broth freezes and expands, it will crack the jars...and if you follow me on snapchat (supermodelmama1) you will have witnessed my tragic attempt at freezing almost a gallon of home made broth and having 3/4 of the jars break on me...sooo sad! Anyways....
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER and I hope I have empowered you to try to make your own broth at home or have directed you to a good source of pre-made broths!
Thats all for now :) Stay health, happy and positive!
All my love,
I remember as a kid making crayons with my mom and how much fun it was to spend one on one time with her! So the other day when I was really needing to just stop and smell the roses, Josie and I took the afternoon to make crayons! It was a lot of fun and it reminded me how lucky I am to have children to do these things with. I love being a mommy <3
One thing I have started to do in the morning is to wake up and have several large glasses of water. I allow my body enough time to absorb the water even before I have my morning coffee! It took some getting use to but once I explored (and experienced) the benefits of drinking water first thing in the morning, it was enough for me to adopt this new practice!
Upon waking in the morning your body is dehydrated because it has gone 4-8 hours without ANY water!
The best thing to do when you first wake up is to not only be thankful that your feet hit the floor and your eyes opened but to drink several glasses of water!
You want to make sure that you are drinking non-flourinated water. If you have city water I suggest investing in a good water filter for both your drinking water and your shower water (your skin absorbs the fluoride and chlorine thats found in city or tap water...but thats a whole new blog post).
This is an old Japanese ritual that some refer to as Japanese water therapy. Seeing how our bodies are made up of roughly 75% water, all of our internal cellular and chemical functions use water. The benefits are endless but...I have to mention that too much water can kill you...so moderation people.
The benefits I've experienced since adopting this new habit have been:
1. Increased metabolism (which aids in healthy weight management)
2. Less brain fog
3. More energy
4. Clearer skin- YES!
If you are like how I use to be and think water is boring because it has no flavor, start adding lemon, mint, cucumber, a hint of salt or whatever else you wish to add to it! I like to have several mason jars full of cucumber/lemon water in my fridge at all times. Plus, that way I can track how many ounces of water Im consuming throughout my day.
I encourage you guys to give this a try! We all could use more water every day...and our bodies thrive off of it because we are made from it!
Love yourself enough to treat your body right...and to keep it hydrated!
All my love,
Sorry its taken me this long to get this up on the blog! OMG i love this recipe...and its something i made up!
Regular sangria is super sweet to me and although this recipe does not have the yummy liquor normal recipes do, this is the "SMM Sangria" :)
What you need:
1 part bubbly water (i use lacroix)
1 part kombucha
1 part wine (i prefer a red, always!)
1/4 cup frozen fruit of your choice
Mix together, share and cheers! This recipe can be tweaked in so many ways! Have fun with it and share how you've prepared this recipe in your own way!
All my love,
Hey all! Im Amanda! A believer, wife, mother and a Love Yourself Lifestyle coach. Welcome to my blog. Enjoy!