I am a certified Holistic Birthkeeper and Doula & Lactation Counselor with H.E.R.B.A.L. (Holistically Empowered Rebel Birthkeeper Academy of Learning). I chose to be certified through HERBAL because I respect unasssited birth and appreciate the indepth training beyond a doula's so called 'scope of practice'. Popular doula certification agencies don't 'allow' their doulas to use essential oils, recommend herbs, or even show a mom how to use a fetoscope.
I am a stay at home, homeschooling mom to my 5 children on our 'wanna be' farm out on our tiny piece of Beulah Land. We have a milk cow, goats, rabbits, chickens, etc I love herbalism, teaching, playing the piano, making gift baskets, building my library & writing (a new journal is my favorite gift).
From July 2014 to April 2021 (6yr 9 mo) I gave birth to 6 babies, each shaping my view of birth.
My goal is to support families in having an educated, prepared, autonomous birth. There is so much to learn & 'unlearn'. Your birth space & who enters that space, matters. Having as close to an undisturbed birth as possible means allowing the mother to follow her intuition apart from outside fears & rules that disrupt her instinctual responses & hormones, allowing the natural processes of labor to unfold. I hope mothers gain a deeper love for their babies, their husbands, God, and themselves.
I do not expect my clients to have the same beliefs as I do nor do I have a goal to force my beliefs on my clients.
I put this out there so clients know what I believe, respectfully, as birth is a spiritual event.
I am respectful of my clients & their birth space.
I am a conservative Fundamental Baptist Christian.
My philosophy of birth does not give credit to ancestors, spirits of dead loved ones, mother earth, gods, horoscopes, witchcraft, etc.
On the Christian side of things, I also do not believe in the Supernatural Pain-free Childbirth teachings of Jackie Mize. I do not partake in Speaking in Tongues.
I do not believe in vaccinations or circumcision as a new testament believer.
I have experienced 5 hospital births (including my stillbirth) & 1 unassisted home birth. Each one of my hospital births subsequently diminished in interventions as I learned more, prepared more, and encouraged myself more. I do not judge you based on what birth you're having. My calling is to educate & encourage you towards a better experience. I want to be the person I wish I had for my first five pregnancies. If I can make a difference in one less intervention, it can have a lifetime affect on a mother. I trusted doctors and the modern method of birth management. I expected to go along with what they told me, that everything would be fine.
My 1st birth of Sara
My most traumatic experience. I was told I would be induced at 41 weeks. The only thing I really declined was a flu shot in pregnancy. Otherwise, I was free game. Induction sounded great to me but it ended up with me being treated like a literal guinea pig under the observing eyes of student practitioners. In the night I arrived, the dilation process began. After a few hours I was told how well I was dilating and that they were going to break my water. After they broke my water, the synthetic contractions were unbearable. I was told to be quiet after screaming, that I could not get out of the hospital bed. I was begging for the epidural, I was 7cm. I was throwing my head around like a lunatic, and had burrowed myself in between the mattress and cold metal frame of the bed. I felt like a mental patient. Finally came the epidural and I thought my problems were over, but it caused a drop in blood pressure & my baby's heartbeat to drop. My baby wasn't taking well to increased Pitocin. The room flooded with nurses & doctors, bright lights, and an oxygen mask put on my face. They ended up screwing a pulsometer into my baby's head (she still has the scar). It thankfully did not end in a cesarean. When it came time to push I felt I blew every blood vessel in my head. They ended up cutting me (episiotomy) which took weeks of painful recovery, I could only pee if sitting in water. I experienced postpartum depression and did not breastfeed.
My 2nd birth of Philip
My 2nd pregnancy I wanted a natural birth, blaming my 1st experience on the induction. I quit prenatal care towards the end, to avoid them 'telling me' I had to be induced. When I hit 40 weeks I took castor oil & labor started that night. I labored as long as I could at home. At the hospital I was already 7cm. After the IV I started to get a little anxious. I took a hot shower, played some music, turned on the tv. I was then 9cm and close to pushing but I was afraid of pushing & asked for the epidural. My nurse was very rude, would roll her eyes at me. I reached a calm state laying on my side, gathering myself only to hear my nurse tell me I needed to change positions and get ready to deliver the baby, I was putting him through distress. I still wanted the epidural, but was offered narcotics which didn't help, so I was given the epidural. Being drugged out, I only remember watching the tv and being so out of it when he was born. I cried as they stitched me up, the same tear from the first, as I imagined I would have the same problem peeing again (thankfully it was not) Later in my room, I had an intense attack in my back where epidural was, that had me screaming for help in the hallway. I tried to take a shower, nurses told me I couldn't get in the shower because of the IV & hookups. I went to my hands & knees on the floor and they gave me something by mouth and I calmed down. I still don't know what that episode of pain was. Breastfeeding, again was a failure.
My 3rd Birth of Timothy
My 3rd pregnancy I was more determined to have a natural birth, and hoped that comfort tools would make the difference that I didnt use before. I again avoided prenatal care at the end to avoid induction and this time I had more courage to trust my body and did not do castor oil. I went to 42 weeks 4 days and started having contractions and went to the hospital. It was still early labor so I told them I was going home. I had to sign papers to be released because I was so 'overdue'. The next night I was in active labor and went back to the hospital. I was the gossip of the L&D, they didn't think I was coming back. I had my essential oils & diffuser, counter pressure, and Red Raspberry Leaf infusion. I was mostly confident until the IV. The nurse blew out my blood vessel in my hand and used another spot. Anxiety started to rise. I gave into the epidural during transition. The anesthesiologist was so rude and in a hurry, she injected too much drugs into the epidural, even the nurse commented on the poor job. My blood pressure dropped so low my heart felt it was stopping. I believed I was dying. The room flooded with nurses & the doctor gave me a drug to stabilize me. I told him to do a C-section to save the baby, I thought I was done for. But I felt better and labor stalled for the rest of the night. They finally convinced me to do Pitocin and he was born 30 minutes later, he got stuck (shoulder dystocia) for a couple of seconds, so the doctor painfully over reacted and put his hand in to get his shoulder. My son was only 9lb 5 oz but was the gossip of the L&D different nurses wanted to see this 'overdue' 'toddler size' baby. With my red raspberry leaf infusion, I believe it made the difference for my milk supply being better. I breastfed for 6 months.
My 4th birth of Hope, my Stillbirth Story you can read here
My 4th pregnancy I switched to a midwife and was planning a home water birth. I came to realize I'm not strong enough to refuse an epidural in the hospital setting and I also blamed the IV experience with my 3rd, so I dove headfirst into homebirth. Sadly, I was told my baby passed at my 28 week appointment and I was sent to hospital for a D&E. I was given Cervidil and dilated as expected. At the end I asked again for the epidural but after the nurse left, I felt like pushing and gave birth with just my husband.
My 5th birth of Leah
For my 5th pregnancy I used the same midwife and planned a waterbirth again. I didn't really study birth much more than watching home birth videos and trusting in my midwife. The night I went into labor, our water had been shut off (which had never happened to us before, but I believe God proved I was still trusting in a midwife or water birth to be the solution) I went to the hospital and felt I betrayed my midwife. I wasn't as prepared and only took 1 quart of RRL. Same as my 2nd & 3rd, I progressed with confidence until I reached transitioning. My husband had left the room to run to the car and I once again asked for the epidural. I recognized the anesthesiologist from my 1st birth and felt relieved that it would finally be an epidural that worked. But it didn't, it all leaked out the injection spot. I was stuck on my back telling the nurses the epidural didn't work and I must get up. I started yelling. They got ice to test the feeling in my legs. "can you feel this?" YES! I got up and turned over on my hands and knees in the bed, they could see all the drugs leaked out from the epidural. I was told "when it's time to give birth you have to get on your back when the doctor comes" I kept to myself. I asked for a song to play and to their horror I roared out my baby right there as I was, they were frantic deciding who to catch the baby. They cut her cord too soon because of my position and then they felt I was hemorrhaging (I felt fine) so some nurse started yanking on the umbilical cord side to side to manually deliver my placenta but she ripped it. A piece was retained and she had to use a cold metal claw to go in and scrape me out. Breastfeeding was successful but it took painful months of uterine recovery.
My 6th birth of Isaac
So after my 'natural' hospital birth on my hands & knees I finally came to a point where I realized no one is going to deliver my baby but me and no one is going to 'make things better' The hospital only made things worse. This is when I began studying birth everyday. I took the HERBAL holistic birthkeeper course, Indie Birth's 13 Moons, Matrona, & listenedd to many podcasts, lectures, & freebirth videos. I read my Bible cover to cover and encouraged myself in the Lord. My birth was straightforward and empowering. You can read my freebirth story here.
Affirmation of Faith
The greatest affirmation of faith is knowing you are saved, knowing you are a child of God, knowing you are on your way to heaven. This video explains how you can have that settled in your heart today based on faith alone in God's Word.