I lent out so many copies of this book

November 21, 2017 in Birth Stories, Book, Book reviews by enjoybirth

I’ve bought so many copies of this book! Some I gave out as gifts, but most I lent out and my friends loved it so much I let them keep it and bought myself a new one. This time I bought two, one to keep permanently (I like to write in my books) and one as a lender I’m sure I’ll have to replace again.

It is that good. Full of wonderful birth stories and advice for pregnancy and birthing.

I love this book so much.

To read The Gift of Giving Life buy your copy at your local LDS bookstore, or buy it on Amazon, where we have it at holiday pricing right now!

 

 

A great book for everyone!

November 14, 2017 in Birth Stories, Book, Book reviews by enjoybirth

The Gift of Giving Life Review of the Week

I didn’t read this book until my four children were born and I had a hysterectomy. I found healing and light at a time when I was wondering my own divine nature and where I belong.

This book is a great resource for everyone who wants to understand who they are, and the majesty of your life. Whether you were born or have in any capacity acted as a mother (that should cover everyone in the world)

To read The Gift of Giving Life buy your copy at your local LDS bookstore, or buy it on Amazon!

Buy the Gift of Giving Life Here.

We love our readers. We wrote this book for you!

We also love getting feedback from you about the book. It is so great to read reviews of our book on Amazon. To say thanks, we are going to highlight a review a week.

Best book ever!

November 7, 2017 in Birth Stories, Book, Book reviews by enjoybirth

The Gift of Giving Life Review of the Week

Oh my goodness! This book is incredible! If you only read one book about pregnancy, this should be it. It gives a whole new perspective on pregnancy and being a women.

Everything is from a spiritual point of view. It’s insightful and answers so many questions.

Love, love, love!

To read The Gift of Giving Life buy your copy at your local LDS bookstore, or buy it on Amazon!

Buy the Gift of Giving Life Here.

We love our readers. We wrote this book for you!

We also love getting feedback from you about the book. It is so great to read reviews of our book on Amazon. To say thanks, we are going to highlight a review a week.

My favorite birth I didn’t attend…

October 30, 2017 in Angels, Birth Stories, Doulas, Dreams, home birth, hospital birth, Intuition, Sheridan by enjoybirth

Awhile ago Robyn posted about a birth that changed her heart.  It made me think about a recent birth I didn’t attend, at least not physically.

One of my dearest friends started as my Hypnobabies student many years ago. She asked me to be her doula. I attended Mia’s birth and it was a fine hospital birth. Not quite what she had hoped for, but there was love and joy there.   Wendy and I as her doulas, her husband, her mom and nurses and the doctor.

Then she asked me to attend Luca’s birth. A fun, joyous homebirth filled with angels and miracles. Wendy, Angela and I as her doula, husband, midwife, assistant, her mom and daughter, ancestors and angels too. I had a powerful spiritual experience at her birth.

When she was pregnant with her 3rd I knew I would be invited to her birth. However, I didn’t know if I would be there. I had a cruise planned for when she was due.  We were good friends by now and I certainly wanted to be there to offer her love and support. I also knew it would be an amazing spiritual birth and angels would be attending and I wanted to witness it.

I “knew” I wouldn’t be there. 

I attended her blessing way which was amazing and filled with love and well wishes. I had written a letter from God for her and it alluded to some things that made me wonder if she would have the homebirth she wanted and again I felt that I would miss the birth.

The week before I left Andrea started getting pressure from her midwife to do natural induction techniques as her liver levels were starting to look weird. Andrea felt strongly not to do that. I supported her, though I sort of wanted her to do them so I could be there for the birth. But I trusted her intuition!

The night before I left a friend and I took Andrea out for dinner. We discussed her plans and how she had gotten another blood test and was waiting on the results. We all agreed that things would work out the way they needed to, that Andrea just needed to keep praying and following the spirit. She trusted her care provider and God and all would end up fine.

Hospital Induction!

The next morning, as I was doing last minute preparations to leave for my trip, Andrea called me. Her midwife had called and said she needed to go to the hospital and get induced that day. Her liver levels were getting dangerous and homebirth was no longer an option. I had about an hour free and was able to go to her house and talk to her while she was trying to figure out which OB would take her and her insurance, pack, etc.

We had a spiritual moment together as the Spirit witnessed to both of us that she had been right not to do natural induction methods, that this baby needed to be born at the hospital and this was the least dramatic way for this to have unfolded.

Angela and Wendy showed up just as I was about to leave and we gathered around and sang Be Still My Soul and we prayed together for Andrea and her baby. That was a precious moment and I left knowing she was in good hands and that I would be there in spirit. That she would feel my love and that I had played the role I needed to in this birth in the past hour.

I left this full size painting with her, which she brought to the hospital. It reminded her I was there in spirit!5112141_She_Will_Find_What_Is_Lost_-_Brian_Kershisnik

It was so challenging for me, because by the next day as the boat left port, the baby still hadn’t been born. On the boat that night, I had a dream that I was at the birth and that all was well.   I was on pins and needles until the next time we had internet access. I was so relieved to hear that indeed a baby boy had been born safe and sound and all was well.

Blessings

I was able to be at church the Sunday they blessed baby Arrow and to hear rejoice in her testimony of following the Spirit when it comes to birth. That we can make our plans and that we need to be flexible and follow the spirit if plans have to change.

The birth was amazing, there were angels, there were miracles and while I am sad I physically missed being present at the actual birth. I still was able to be there in spirit and to be a part of her birth experience.

Because birth is not One Moment in time. It is a journey.

Thanks for letting me share about the favorite birth I missed.   I would love to hear about any experiences you have had about being at a birth, when you weren’t actually there.

(I have only missed 2 other births as a doula. 1 was an emergency cesarean and I arrived when the mom was already in surgery. The other I attended the 1st 24 hours and then left on a trip and my back up doula was able to be there for the birth.)

Love this book so much and so grateful for the positive outlook it gave on birth.

October 25, 2017 in Birth Stories, Book, Book reviews by enjoybirth

The Gift of Giving Life Review of the Week

This book is phenomenal!

I never knew motherhood, pregnancy and labor could be such a spiritual journey. It made me realize how divine motherhood is and how special each birth is! Love this book so much and so grateful for the positive outlook it gave on birth.

To read The Gift of Giving Life buy your copy at your local LDS bookstore, or buy it on Amazon!

Buy the Gift of Giving Life Here.

We love our readers. We wrote this book for you!

We also love getting feedback from you about the book. It is so great to read reviews of our book on Amazon. To say thanks, we are going to highlight a review a week.

by Robyn

Echo Squires: A Pioneer Birth Story

June 26, 2017 in Birth Stories, Church History, LDS History, Robyn, Uncategorized by Robyn

Echo Lavinia Squires, Edward Martin Company

So, I want to apologize for neglecting the blog.  My husband and I were called to serve as the Trek Coordinators for our ward trek to Martin’s Cove, Sixth Crossing and Rocky Ridge this July.  We were given a late start, like the Martin and Willie companies and so we have been a little busy. We have been deep in preparations and while it is a lot of work, it has been a tremendous blessing to learn the stories in more detail and be filled by the indomitable spirit that these Saints had.

I wanted to quickly share a birth story I found while studying the efforts of the rescue party for the Willie and Martin Handcart Companies.  Patience Loader recorded the birth of a baby girl:

I well remember that when we campt in Echo Canyon that Sister [Sarah Cattlin] Squires was confind in the morning[.] she had alovely baby girl and thay named her Echo [Levinia Squires.] the morning she was born the father [Henry Augustus Squires] was run[n]ing around camp enquiring of everybody if they had apin to give him to pin something around the baby but I don’t think that he was able to get one[.] the breathren fixed the wagon very warm and comfortable for Sister Squires and boath her and baby ar[r]ived safe into the City.

There is also more to the story that John Jaques, who was a member of the Martin Handcart Company, recorded about Robert T. Burton, one of the rescuers:

The next camp . . . was in a small canyon running out of the north side of Echo canyon, a few miles above the mouth of the latter. Here a birth took place, and one of the relief party generously contributed part of his under linen to clothe the little stranger. The mother [Sarah Squires] did quite as well as could have been expected, considering the unpropitious circumstances . . . The little newcomer also did well, and was named Echo, in honor of the place of her nativity. She is still a resident of the territory, is a happy wife and mother, and lives in the north country (November 26, 1856).

It should be noted that Robert T. Burton’s job was to record the distribution of supplies which he cared for meticulously.  He did neglect to record that he literally gave the shirt off his own back to the little baby. His granddaughter later told the story, “After he had distributed all the clothing, Robert noticed a mother whose newborn baby did not have sufficient clothing to keep it warm, so he took off his own homespun shirt and gave it to the mother to cover the baby.”

Robert T. Burton, Rescue Company of 1856

His biography states that was just one example of how he lived his life with generosity. Some of his final words to his children were the reminder to “be kind to the poor.”

Kindness is an echo, isn’t it?  May we all look for an opportunities to “echo” service today.

 

Sources:

Tell My Story Too, page 431.

https://history.lds.org/overlandtravel/pioneers/1873/robert-taylor-burton

https://history.lds.org/overlandtravel/pioneers/19316/sarah-minnie-catlin-squires

https://history.lds.org/overlandtravel/pioneers/41265/echo-levinia-squires

https://history.lds.org/overlandtravel/sources/17824106200553894265-eng/archer-patience-loader-reminiscences-transcript-ms-6218-p-57-92?firstName=Echo Levinia&surname=Squires

 

 

A Necessary Addition to any Pregnancy Library

March 12, 2017 in Birth Stories, Book, Book reviews by enjoybirth

The Gift of Giving Life Review of the Week

I wish I had had this book when I was expecting my first child and I am so grateful to have it now that I’m expecting my fourth.

Outside of the Scriptures I have never read a more spiritual book that touched my heart, mind, and soul to this extent. I have had such a softening of my heart and expanding of my knowledge of temporal and spiritual things both related and unrelated to pregnancy, labor, and birth.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough to all expectant women. It can also touch and strengthen the lives of their partners in wonderful ways.

To read The Gift of Giving Life buy your copy at your local LDS bookstore, or buy it on Amazon!

Buy the Gift of Giving Life Here.

We love our readers. We wrote this book for you!

We also love getting feedback from you about the book. It is so great to read reviews of our book on Amazon. To say thanks, we are going to highlight a review a week.

I Gave Birth with God Right Beside Me

January 11, 2016 in Birth Stories, Cesarean, Sheridan by enjoybirth

Cesarean Births can be just a spiritual as Vaginal Births.  We love to share all kinds of birth stories on our site, to encourage women to create sacred spaces within their births.  If you have a story to share, please let us know!  We would love to add it to our blog.

Kirsten shares her sweet thoughts with us.   I love that she prayed and asked for a specific desire and was blessed with a beautiful experience.

I have felt like Heavenly Father himself was there, next to me, putting His hand on my shoulder. A physical warm spot on my shoulder from a hand being there. I have specifically heard His encouraging, kind, and loving words as I was laying on the operating table knowing exactly what He was telling me as if I heard someone just talking to me. As hard as it is sometimes being pregnant, my absolute favorite moments in my entire life have been those moments where I gave birth with God right beside me. I have never felt closer to Him, heaven or the veil so thin as in those sacred moments.

Before the recent birth of my 4th baby, I thought a lot about Christ’s mother, Mary, and her sacred role. I have prayed to feel some connection with her, hoping to receive inspiration on how to be a better mother through her and her example. Her bond with her Savior and son fascinates me. I have always wished I could meet and talk with her about what it was like having the Savior as her son. So, before my C-section I prayed for this. I prayed for her presence. During my surgery, I felt her spirit there. I felt her courage and peace as well as my Heavenly Father’s. It was a beautiful thing I will never forget.

I understand she was a chosen woman but like me, is a mother who just tried to do her best with the help of the Spirit. I try even more now to do the same.

by Robyn

VBA2C Birth Story

September 8, 2015 in Adversity, Birth Stories, Book, Cesarean, Doulas, Faith, fasting, Fear, Gratitude, hospital birth, joy, Love, Obstetricians, Prayer, Robyn, Savior, Uncategorized, VBAC by Robyn

Kylie 4 crop

 

My friend, Kylie, was kind enough to let me share her birth story here on the blog.  I came to know her through ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network).  Interestingly enough, I came to a place last year when I was contemplating closing our little ICAN chapter.  Not much had been happening with it and I felt like I needed to simplify.  It seemed like the obvious thing to let go of.  And then, I prayed to ask Heavenly Father which direction I should take birth work right at that time and ICAN is what He asked me to put my energies into. So I held on. A few month later our little chapter began to explode.  Our attendance tripled and we experienced seven VBACs in less than a year.  I had the privilege of going to six of these births as a doula.  One of which was Kylie’s birth.  Kylie is beautiful inside and out.  It was a sacred experience to be with her and Adam on that special day.  My heart is full as I contemplate God’s hand in all these blessings. -Robyn

 

So to start I feel it’s appropriate to share the births of my other children.

1st child: emergency C-section When I was pregnant with my first child, I just planned on your typical birth experience that I thought everyone had: Hospital, epidural, no eating, IV, eventually pushing, and having a baby. The day before my due date my doctor swept my membranes and I went into labor 7 hours later. When I got to the hospital I was already 5cm dilated and it still didn’t hurt much, but since the anesthesiologist was there, I got my epidural. My son’s heart rate dropped a few times (partially due to epi, and lying flat on my back and not moving), and they might have given me a small dose of Pitocin. Only 3 short hours later we were ready to push! I was excited and nervous. When they told me to push, I realized I couldn’t even push because I couldn’t feel anything. I think at that point I started to realize I might not be able to do this. The Dr. got vacuum extraction and after only 4 attempts at that I was whisked off to surgery (my son’s heart rate had dropped below 40). I didn’t get to touch my son for over an hour. I fell asleep after surgery, and when I woke up I held him for a few min and then fell asleep again for a few more hours. At the time I felt fine emotionally. I was a little sad I was separated from him a bit at first, and I didn’t get to nurse him till the next day, but it didn’t really strike me as a “traumatic” birth experience until a few weeks later. I cried and mourned the loss of a vaginal birth that would never be mine to cherish. I was told I shouldn’t try a VBAC since my diagnosis was CPD (Cephalo-Pelvic Disproportion: too small pelvis).

2nd child: Scheduled C-section With my next pregnancy we went for a planned, repeat C-section. Off and on I struggled with wanting to try a VBAC, but I didn’t want another emergency C-section. I was scared of going through everything just for the same result. My pregnancy was easy, low-risk, and we planned the C-section for 2 days before the due date. I secretly prayed I’d have the experience of feeling a contraction or two. The night before the scheduled cesarean, I started having small contractions. 6 hours later, while we were being prepped at the hospital, the monitor showed I was having contractions every 5 min. I was happy. I knew my baby girl was ready to come that day. Everything went perfectly. I couldn’t have asked for a better scheduled cesarean birth experience. I got to touch and hold her just minutes after being born and only 15 min later I got to breastfeed her successfully. She never left my “ear sight” and my husband held her the whole time they stitched me up. It was a healing experience compared to my first birth and I really did enjoy it. It was all excitement and no drama. I really felt at peace with our road of cesarean births ahead of us.

Kylie pregnant

The VBAC Journey begins: A few months before our next pregnancy, things started to come up. Three things specifically happened within two weeks that made me decide to research the VBAC route. One, I met someone who introduced me to ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network). Two, Adam said he could see us having 5 kids. (Not that we will for sure, but that idea was exciting for me, because I’d always wanted a lot of kids!). And three, I came across an article on FB about a woman trying to get a VBAC at her hospital and they used some research saying that having a lot of repeat cesareans was actually really dangerous to the mother. I had never heard that having 5 C-sections was dangerous. I had talked to 5 doctors and not one of them ever told me the specific risks related to repeat cesareans. And I had told all of them I wanted a lot of children. I was confused and frustrated. I started researching and sure enough found out that I did NOT want any more C-sections if I could avoid it. I then found out that it was possible to VBAC after 2 cesareans if you could find a supportive provider. I did find a supportive provider and hospital (45 away) through my local ICAN chapter. I researched, studied, read, prayed, and fasted to make sure this was the right choice. I feel like I was divinely led to reconsider my birth options. And time and again the thought came to my mind, trust in the arm of God, and not the arm of flesh. Which, to me, meant I needed to trust the choice Heavenly Father was guiding me to make, and not rely only on doctors/professional advice.

Kylie 2 crop BW

VBAC Birth Story: Throughout my pregnancy I continued to research and pray. I hired a doula (a professional birth assistant) and she taught us the Bradley Method of Natural Child Birth. I did some Spinning Babies techniques and did pelvic rocks multiple times a day. (In the meantime my doula and doctor worked together to help 2 other women have successful VBACs!). As my due date drew closer I was getting more excited and nervous. Then my “due date” came and went. We went to Bear lake for a family reunion the week following my due date (and even went down to Orem, Utah the day after the reunion ended)! And still no baby. Luckily my doctor was patient and willing to wait with me. We decided my due date was 5 days off, but that still put me “overdue.” I was starting to feel a little impatient, but was still glad to wait so that my baby could have as much time as she needed to develop in there. I wanted her to be ready as much as I was!

Then on Aug 10th at 2:20 am I felt the first contraction. I started timing them and they were ranging between 7-10 min apart. I woke Adam up at 4 am and he started cleaning the house while I tried to rest. Then my kids woke up and we decided to go for a walk. We walked past a breakfast joint near our house and decided to go get breakfast! It was delicious and just what I needed. My contractions started getting worse as we walked home and my water broke on its own around 1 pm. I called over a babysitter and finally my doula arrived. I told her I checked the “purple line test” for dilation and it was to the top. I cried saying I didn’t want to have my baby in the car! She assured me I wouldn’t and we loaded up and made the 45 min drive to the hospital. Contractions got worse and I knew I had entered transition labor. When we were almost to the hospital I threw up that beautiful breakfast I ate. We pulled into the hospital entrance and Adam ran in to get me a wheel chair because I said I couldn’t walk that far. They got me into a check in bed and went through procedures and I was starting to feel this was unbearable. But I was 8 cm dilated! Then they got us into our birth room and I tried a yoga ball. All I could do was sit on it and lean onto the bed. Adam helped me cool down by pressing a wet rag to my forehead and on my arms. It was the most intense thing I’ve ever experienced. I literally would start to say “oh, no…” every time another contraction started to come. My back labor was intense and I just wanted rest. I was also a lot more vocal during labor than I thought I’d be! At some point my hospital gown came off and I was ah natural except for my sports bra! I did a few different positions but always stayed in the bed.

At one point her heart rate dropped a little and the nurse said I might be complete and need to push. She checked me and I was complete except for a tiny lip of cervix left. She pushed it out of the way and the pushing stage began. We tried the squatting position a few times but I turned out to be too tired to keep pushing like that, so we moved to a side laying position. I pushed on both sides and did squatting again once more, but ended on my right side with Adam holding my upper leg. I was scared of the pushing stage at first because that’s where things went wrong with my first labor, and I was scared it would hurt more. But it turned out that it felt so good to push because it made my back labor go away. And the harder I pushed the more it went away! Everyone told me my pushing was very effective and they could see her head pushing against me every time. At some point after we had been pushing for forever I asked why no one was offering to help me! Are they really going to let me do this all by myself?? And my doula said, “You’re doing it! YOU’RE birthing your baby.” And I realized I was. No vacuum extractors this time. No forecepts. No C-sections. And after an hour and fifteen min of pushing she was born. Her head came out and then both shoulders at once with arms by the sides (causing me to get a 3rd degree tear). But she was out (a full 11 ounces bigger than either of my babies)! They set her right on my stomach. And I got to hold and touch her and watch her give her first cries. All new experiences for me. (I’m crying as I type this!). My husband and I both cried. We experienced the biggest high of our lives. I had felt the most intense physical pressure in my life, but I experienced the most joy I’ve ever experienced in my life. Nothing can compare.

I gained a testimony of God’s creation of women’s bodies. I know nothing was wrong with my body and that God had made my body to do an amazing thing. I believe in and love my body more than I ever did. He made me strong enough, both physically and mentally to have an all-natural birth so that I could witness His marvelous hand, and grow closer to my Savior and closer to my husband.

Kylie crop BW

 

So Much More than Just Birth Stories

January 15, 2015 in Birth Stories, Book reviews by enjoybirth

We love our readers. We wrote this book for all of you!

We also love getting feedback from you about the book. It is so great to read reviews of our book on Amazon. To say thanks, we are going to highlight a review a week.

 I was hesitant to buy this because it just looked like birth stories (which it is), but its also so much more. In talking on a deeper level about the spiritual side of birth instead of the factual: this is my story’s facts. This book dove head first into the feelings and emotions that a birth created. Beautifully written and something I will definitely recommend to others.

To read The Gift of Giving Life, buy your copy at your local LDS bookstore, or on Amazon