by Lani

Giveaway Winners!

May 11, 2014 in Giveaways, Lani, Virtual Book Tour by Lani

We hope you enjoyed our Virtual Book Tour 2014! And we want to tell all of you this Mother’s Day… You Are Beautiful! You Are Powerful!

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A big thank you to everyone who contributed blogposts for our Virtual Book Tour! A big thank you to everyone who participated in various ways through the giveaway entries! An extra-big thank you to those who donated prizes! And congratulations to our prize winners!

Our randomly selected Rafflecopter prize winners are….

Prize #1: Wrap-style baby carrier with tree panel…. April L.

Prize #2: Blood-Water-Spirit charm bracelet…. Jennifer H.

Prize #3: Mini-maternity portrait session…. Janice M.

Prize #4: Tree of life pendant necklace…. Brittany H.

Prize #5: Early-bird access to our spiritual childbirth education webinar series….

Melissa G.

Accalia H.

Shelly L.

Watch for an email from me so we can arrange to have your prizes delivered to you!

by Lani

Healing Heartbreak

May 8, 2014 in Adversity, Book reviews, Fertility, Grief, Lani, Loss, miscarriage, Pregnancy, Virtual Book Tour by Lani

Today’s Virtual Book Tour post comes from Brittney at Notes from a Been-There Mom. Brittney has shared some of her journey on our blog before–the birth story of her fourth baby, born with a cleft palate. Since that birth, she has experienced multiple heart-breaking miscarriages. Those losses have inspired her to partner with me in creating a book for moms mourning miscarriages: Light in the Mourning. You can read more about that project and how to submit stories HERE.

Three weeks before Brittney's first miscarriage

Three weeks before Brittney’s first miscarriage

Here’s an excerpt from Brittney’s beautiful post today:

Day after day, I walked past a copy of The Gift of Giving Life on my dresser. I felt a pull toward it. The book felt like a warm spot it a cold world. But I couldn’t pick it up. The last thing I wanted to read about was the joy of all those moms with beautiful round bellies birthing their healthy babies. (Clearly it had been a while since I’d visited those pages.)

Finally the book won. I decided I’d read all the ribbon stories I’d always skipped but that was it. (Stories mentioning loss are marked with a ribbon to protect the faint of heart like me.) My heart broke as I read stories of mothers suffering; mothers who endured trials I would have thought unendurable. I felt the greatness, strength and beauty of the authors through their words and suddenly found myself in the best of company. I wanted to change their stories, breathe life into their babies and hold them up. Instead, in their respective times of darkness, these women found peace. They found light. I kept reading.

Brittney’s post brought me to tears. I so appreciate her willingness to share her courageous journey. You can read the rest of her post HERE.

 

by Lani

A Father’s Sacred Support

May 6, 2014 in Book reviews, Dads, Doulas, Giveaways, Lani, Marriage, Midwives, Virtual Book Tour by Lani

Today’s Virtual Book Tour post comes from Brooke at Brooke Roundy Photography. Here’s an excerpt:

Personally, my husband WAS my absolute greatest support for both of my births. He was not only emotional support for me, but he massaged my back, provided counter-pressure, was my calming influence (even though he’d tell you that at times he was scared out of his mind ;)), he quite literally held me up when I couldn’t hold myself up. He. Was. Amazing. I did have 3 midwives at my first birth, along with my mom and sister, and then 2 midwives and 2 doulas and my mom and sister at my second birth. But he was my main source of strength and faith.

Here he is with our sweet daughter at 10 days old:

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That guy is actually my big brother. 🙂 Considering how much joy he took in teasing and pestering me growing up, it’s hard to imagine him as a patient, kind, comforting labor support dude, but what do you know, he was! Makes my birth-loving heart proud when I see fathers step up and provide sacred support to the women they love as they work to bring God’s spirit children here.

You can read the rest of Brooke’s post HERE.

Brooke has generously donated a maternity portrait session as a giveaway for our Virtual Book Tour. If you live in UT or know a pregnant lady who does, head over to our Virtual Book Tour page and enter to win!
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by Lani

Transforming Ideas, Changing the World

May 1, 2014 in Book, Book reviews, Divine nature, Jesus Christ, Lani, Motherhood, Pregnancy, Virtual Book Tour by Lani

IMG_5455e_thumb[1]Today’s Virtual Book Tour post comes from Bonnie at Whisk ’em. Bonnie is a “homeschooling mom of 6 with a passion for fashion. And food. And sewing. And fitness. And like a hundred other things.” I met Bonnie online before I met her in person at a Gift of Giving Life Party last year, and I was totally stoked for her when she gave birth to her twins as she had hoped (vaginally). Some of my favorite quotes from Bonnie’s book review:

  • “I believe that this book’s potential to transform our ideas and conceptions about birth is unimaginable!”
  • “If I had all the money in the world, I would buy a copy of this book for every mother and woman I know.”
  • “I couldn’t possible be able to choose my favorite chapter or story in this book but I can say that The Gift of Giving Life completely changed the way that I see and process everything about motherhood.”
  • “I know that the role of Mother is so important and so sacred, that every part of it has a spiritual aspect. . . . As mothers, we are guardians of the gateway between heaven and earth. We have been given both the power and the inclination to create life, with husbands and God as our partners. We can come to know the special connection mothers have with Jesus Christ as we give a portion of our bodies and our blood to bring new life into this world. If we could communicate the importance and sanctity of these truths to the next generation, we could undoubtedly change the world.”
  • “It’s my favorite baby shower gift!

You can read the rest of Bonnie’s post HERE. And check out her Etsy shop HERE.

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by Lani

Comfort for Birth Trauma

April 29, 2014 in Adversity, Attachment, Birth Stories, Book reviews, Depression, Fear, Giveaways, Lani, Traumatic Birth, Virtual Book Tour by Lani

*Today’s Virtual Book Tour post comes from the wonderful Kylie of Satisfied by Sunshine. Kylie is a beautiful soul. As with so many beautiful souls, Kylie has seen the bitter despair of darkness and found her way back into the light of joy. (You can read about her inspiring climb out of anxiety/depression HERE.) For our Virtual Book Tour, Kylie has shared how our book helped her come to peace with unexpected and traumatic changes in her first birth experience. Here’s an excerpt:

And here I realized that the suffering I was experiencing wasn’t because anything I had ‘done wrong’, or should have planned better for in giving birth, but that I was attached to the idea that if birth isn’t peaceful, relaxed, and done a certain way, then it was not what I wanted. . . . And when I let go of what I thought was the best type of birth, what I wanted, and expected I found a well of healing within. It was okay that events did not follow my desired birth plan, but actually were far from it. I did my best to work towards what I thought was best, and in the end God wanted to teach me something better. A lesson of trusting Him. A lesson of letting go of my plan and embracing His, and that lesson was powerful. It prepared me to be willing after all I could do to . . . embrace what was, what is and find joy, and healing in my continued endeavor of motherhood. It allowed me to see the beauty in every birth, every type and every situation. These were the lessons I learned through my own experience and found within the pages of the Gift of Giving Life. Birth is beautiful and spiritual, even when unexpected turns occur in how you wanted your birth experience to be.

You can read the rest of Kylie’s Virtual Book Tour post HERE.

Kylie has generously donated one of the prizes for our Virtual Book Tour giveaways… a gorgeous tree of life pendant necklace. Find out how you can enter to win it by visiting our Virtual Book Tour page.

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Kylie has lots of other beautiful necklaces available through her Etsy shop The Sister Tree. I want them all!

by Lani

Cherie Burton Book Review

April 28, 2014 in Adoption, Adversity, Book reviews, Depression, Fertility, Grief, Lani, Loss, miscarriage, Personal Revelation, Virtual Book Tour, Waiting by Lani

150602_426562187424709_1846303491_nToday’s Virtual Book Tour post comes from Cherie Burton. Cherie is an amazing, powerful woman and mentor/coach of other strong women. Because of her family’s history with depression and suicide, she is passionate about helping others achieve health and emotional balance. Cherie was also Utah County’s Young Mother of the Year in 2011 and considers being a wife and mother her greatest calling.

I loved meeting Cherie last summer. After she contacted me to set up a meeting, I spent some time on her blog reading about the miraculous and beautiful adoption of her Elijah. It struck a strong chord with me for a number of reasons. One being that I began having spiritual experiences with my own unborn son (also named Elijah) almost as soon as my fourth baby was born. I felt his presence among my children often, I dreamed about him, I saw him in vision. Reading about Cherie finding her Elijah stirred my own heart’s assurance that my Elijah wasn’t a figment of my imagination.

I love Cherie’s post about The Gift of Giving Life. Here’s an excerpt:

the-gift-of-giving-life-book-review-1I read The Gift of Giving Life in 2012, shortly after the miraculous private adoption of our magnificent son, Eli. I wept with the women who detailed their experiences with loss, grief and divine compensation. I felt a rising empowerment, a blazing second witness that women are in a very real partnership with The Creator of All as they sacrifice and bear down and descend. And then nobly and beautifully ascend. The Atonement of Christ is demonstrated more mightily through the sacrificial practice of mothering than through any other practice on Earth.

The Gift of Giving Life is a book about power. Woven into each chapter are stories that affirm the massive spiritual powers of wisdom, love and creation embodied in the Feminine. I love that this book addresses so many women’s experiences, from so many walks of life, who have the same underlying belief: That God knows our hearts and our needs as women and will mold a perfect plan that, through birth and rebirth, will take our souls and bodies to heights and depths we could never before fathom. I have learned that it is not just the experience of giving birth physically that empowers a woman to call herself mother. It is the praying, the losing, the weeping, the waiting. The pouring of her heart and soul into a vision and promise that only she and her Creator can hold form for.

You can read the rest of Cherie’s beautiful post HERE.

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by Lani

Mrs. Tips and 20% off!

April 24, 2014 in Birth Stories, Book reviews, Giveaways, Grief, Lani, Loss, Virtual Book Tour by Lani

the-gift-of-giving-life-book-review-1Today’s Virtual Book Tour post comes from Yvonne at Mrs. Tips. A little bit about Yvonne from her “About” page: “I’m a 31 year old SAHM who sometimes WAHM making fun things for my etsy store I have with my two sisters (SwedishSisters.etsy.com). I am enthusiastic to be alive and I love life!” I’ve only met Yvonne once in person at our new moon gathering in January, but I have to say that if anyone could be called a “sunbeam,” it’s Yvonne. She’s a ray of light and joy!

I loved reading about her third birth experience and how The Gift of Giving Life helped her through the hardest part: a shoulder dystocia. And I also loved reading about how the book gave her the sensitivity to help a friend as she grieved the loss of her baby. Here’s an excerpt:

As I continued to read the book after Cassie’s birth, I was able to share with Krystal chapters that I felt would help her through her grieving process. I asked her later if I was remiss for just e-mailing her a chapter I had read (I scanned it and e-mailed it to her as a pdf) without knowing if she really felt up to reading anything like that in the moment, and she told me that what I had sent her was perfect. She needed to know that it was okay for her to feel the full range of emotions she was feeling.

I learned from those grief chapters what NOT to say to a grieving parent and what to DO for a grieving mother. I think the sensitivity I gained from this book has helped strengthen our friendship. I felt more confidence in mentioning Kale in our conversations rather than being afraid to talk about him in an effort to protect her emotions as I may have done before reading the chapters in this book that dealt with mourning the loss of a child. He is not a taboo subject when we are together.

Robyn’s essay on grief is one I myself have shared with friends grieving losses. It’s a wonderful resource.

Click HERE to read the rest of Yvonne’s post. And then head over to our Virtual Book Tour page to see how you can enter to win some awesome prizes.

We’d also like to announce that we’re making it even easier for you to get loads of entries

The Gift of Giving Life will be 20% off from now until Mother’s Day on Amazon!

A friend of mine gave copies of the book to her mother, mother-in-law, and grandmothers for Mother’s Day last year. Think of all the wonderful mothers you know whose hearts would be warmed by The Gift of Giving Life. Buying the book earns you four entries into each of our prize giveaways and one entry to our spiritual childbirth education class giveaway! Head over to Amazon and take advantage of this super deal.

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by Lani

The Errand of Angels

April 22, 2014 in Adversity, Angels, Birth Stories, blessingway, Book, Book reviews, Giveaways, Lani, Loss, Mother Blessing, mother-centered baby shower, VBAC, Virtual Book Tour by Lani

Today’s Virtual Book Tour post comes from Meg of Naturally Meg. I had the honor of meeting Meg last summer at a Gift of Giving Life Party I hosted at my parents’ house. Robyn and I are on the right. Rachelle, one of Meg’s “angels” for her last pregnancy and birth, is on the left. Meg’s the one with the beautiful baby belly:

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So it warmed my heart to read in Meg’s post today about the support and love she received as she brought that baby into this world. Meg is a beautiful soul. And she also happens to be a cancer survivor. Her journey of battling and overcoming cancer is so inspiring. You can read about it HERE.

I love Meg’s post for our Virtual Book Tour. It’s all about the angels who have aided her in her motherhood journey. Here’s an excerpt:

The errand of angels is given to women.

In my experience of having babies, losing babies, bed rest, infertility, and postpartum recovery I have been so very, very blessed by many angels. Sometimes it’s been friends who are near and dear to me and other times it’s been women who have come out of the woodwork and been absolute miracles in my life. There have also been some very sacred times where it has been women spirits who I can not see but I have felt their calming influence as I’ve gone on my own journey of womanhood and motherhood.

You can read the rest of Meg’s beautiful post HERE. Then head over to our Virtual Book Tour page and enter to win some of our awesome giveaway prizes!

by Lani

Start Telling Your Stories

April 17, 2014 in Adversity, Birth Stories, Book reviews, Grief, Lani, Loss, Virtual Book Tour by Lani

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“Read the book and start telling your stories.” -Ashlee Miller

2014-04-17 08.47.28 amToday’s Virtual Book Tour post comes from Ashlee Miller. Besides being a personal development trainer, Ashlee is a:

  • Vibrant mom of two fantastic boys and one beautiful girl who teach her how to love and live.
  • Happy wife to her husband (and business partner) of almost 15 years.
  • Teacher of faith-based results, natural healing, inner peace and prosperity
  • Student of the scriptures and other good works
  • Lover of delicious food, any kind of of travel, reading, and the beach!

Ashlee’s post is about stories and journeys, coming to terms with loss, and transformation and rebirth. Here’s an excerpt:

The thing about birth, is rarely do our stories just involve those last few hours of pregnancy and then the delivery of a brand new baby.  For most of us, our stories begin long before that as we overcome our excuses, our fears, our false beliefs about birth and ourselves.  We each are set on a path with different experiences and no story can be the same. Every story has triumph and conflict and there are both sad and happy endings.

My story includes more miscarriages than I can remember and three beautiful births.

Read the rest of her post HERE! Then share Ashlee’s post on facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest to earn entries toward our awesome Virtual Book Tour prizes!

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by Lani

Virtual Book Tour 2014 Begins

April 15, 2014 in Book, Book reviews, Giveaways, Lani, Virtual Book Tour by Lani

We are excited to announce the start of our 2014 Virtual Book Tour! From now until Mother’s Day we’ll be sharing posts from readers around the Internet discussing The Gift of Giving Life. We’re also giving away some amazing prizes! Visit our Virtual Book Tour page to read more about the prizes and enter the giveaways!

For today’s Virtual Book Tour post, we’d like to share excerpts of reviews our readers have posted on Amazon.com, Deseretbook.com, and other sites around the web. Have you posted a review yet? You can receive three entries into our charm bracelet and tree of life pendant giveaways by posting reviews at Deseretbook.com and Amazon.com respectively. We love hearing what our readers think about The Gift of Giving Life! While you’re at it, share your review on Goodreads too! Now on to the good stuff…

the-gift-of-giving-life-book-review-1“Despite the fact that I am nearing the end of a Masters semester loaded with an intense reading load I found time each day to read just a little more, because I needed the boost that it gives, and the light. If I was wealthier I would purchase crates of the book and pass it out to the many women I know.” -Piper, blog review

“This book is truly amazing. I would recommend it to any woman. It addresses natural birth, epidurals, c-sections, miscarriage, adoption, infertility, and so much more. The overwhelming feeling that I took away from this book is how truly divine it is to be a woman. . . . Such beautiful and uplifting doctrine! Read it!!!!!” -Shiree, Goodreads review

“This was one of the most spiritually nourishing books I’ve ever read (besides the scriptures of course. 🙂 I love how it likens natural childbirth to the atonement, where women literally have to go through the valley of death in order to bring life into this world. . . . I can’t recommend this book enough! Love love loved it!” -Amanda, Goodreads review

“I read this book before I was even married, and the peace that I felt as I read was incredible. I love the authors, and their willingness to share personal stories, and to sacrifice so much to give women all of this wonderful information. . . . I was so happy to see it on Deseret Book shelves in Utah County! It is one that I will be reading more than twice, and it is definitely worth the price.” -anonymous, Deseret Book review

“I was hesitant to buy this because it just looked like birth stories (which it is), but its also so much more. . . . Beautifully written and something I will definitely recommend to others.” -Cameo, Amazon review

“I cannot recommend it enough for anyone who is pregnant. . . . It has made me truly realize how spiritual this act is that I am partaking in. The weight of my responsibility, the sacrifice I will make, etc. It is a hefty book, but I highly recommend it to anyone LDS or not.” -Gina, blog review

“The beauty of this book is that there is something here for everyone. You can find beautiful essays about natural home births, beautiful essays about scheduled c-sections, and everything in-between. It’s all here. All are welcome and I think all will come away from this book edified.” -Bridget, Goodreads review

“As a Mormon woman, the way in which these birth experiences were framed made sense to me on a spiritual and theological level, however I don’t believe you have to be Mormon to find inspiration and peace in these pages.” -Krisanne, blog review

“I read this entire book in the two months prior to giving birth to my first child. I am an incredibly anxious person and as we went through the scare of possible pre-term birth, and then the preparations for a natural birth, I was able to find peace through reading these stories. . . . I have already loaned it out once, purchased a copy as a gift for another friend, and will recommend this book to many women for years to come.” -anonymous, Deseret Book review

“I so rarely bestow a 5 star rating on a book. But, when I realized I only had 30 pages left of this book I started to bawl. That’s how much I didn’t want the book to end. Not even 500 pages of stories and essays could satisfy my desire to keep reading. I love this book.” -Tannie, Goodreads review

“I was starved for a book that didn’t view pregnancy and birth as secular and solely physiological. This book brought real comfort to me because it strengthened my faith in a positive delivery, and increased my trust in a Higher Being instead of solely in myself or a healthcare provider. . . . I cried almost every time I read it.” -Christa, Amazon review

I never tire of reading our reader feedback. 🙂

Now watch and share this video to earn an entry in our tree-panel baby carrier giveaway!

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