Where have you been?

I have gotten this A LOT lately.  “Where have you been? You are not answering my calls or texts!”

 

Off and on since last October I have been working at a busy rural birth center in Wisconsin.  I have absolutely NO cell reception up here where I am at!  Who would have guessed that there would be a 100 mile circle right here where AT&T does not cover?!

 

SO….If you have been trying to get a hold of me please understand that I am not just ignoring you!  I am simply not getting any calls or texts at all!  I am checking my voice mail a couple times a week from the land line here so you can leave a voice mail or simply email me!  Of course my ‘contact me’ page works well too!

 

What am I doing up here so far away from my awesome family?  Chasing this crazy dream of becoming a Certified Professional Midwife!    I am utterly blessed with a totally wonderful family who takes care of everything while I am away.  My beautiful daughter who steps into my role while I am away is leaving us this year to start her own home.  I will be done just in time for her to launch.   It is a great year!  We are planning for a beautiful union the end of May!

 

I started out up here last fall working with an amazing team and it worked so well (they seem to really like me) they asked me to return this year and so I committed to stick with them for several months.  Since Jan 25th I have been here mainly and only going home to see my family for about 3 days every other week. I will be home the full month of April then will be back here for most of May and June.  Being apart from my family has been the most difficult thing as they are truly my heart and soul!  However, my desire and calling to fill the role of midwife is so strong that I know this is what I need to do to move forward in life.

 

I am sad this has reduced my opportunities to serve families as their doula but it is opening doors for me to do so much more.  Come July I will be home full time again and should not be doing any more of these extended trips.

 

I have formed friendships with these amazing women that will never be broken and I am so thankful for that!

 

I greatly appreciate all the wonderful families who have been so supportive of me and this crazy journey.   I look forward to sharing some great news soon so check back later this spring.

 

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

 

Sabrina

 

 

Media outlets

I was happy to have the privilege of speaking with a local reporter about natural birth!

You can check out that page by clicking here.

The new low intervention birth program at one of our local hospitals drew the attention of Sarah Shahriari, a local news anchor for a talk radio program.  She invited me to speak about my role as doula and natural birth in general.  We had a wonderful conversation about why some women seek a more natural birth and what inspired me to work in this field.  You can read her words and hear a small portion of that interview HERE.

My ultimate passion in life is sharing the good news that all women have the power within themselves to birth naturally.  It takes education (awareness) and a will to do so, however, with the right team and tools anyone can do it!  I am here to help you to realize the potential you have with in yourself to truly embrace the entire birth experience and cherish it for what it is.  You have this primal power within yourself to do this lost art of birthing your baby naturally.  I am just here to make you realize this and bring this out in yourself.

Anytime I have the chance to share this information I am excited.  When more women learn that they have options and find the right team to achieve their goal the more babies there are that come into the world gently.  Babies deserve to born gently into this world with a team who understand that transition needs to be gentle and respected.

If you are seeking a natural birth at home or in the hospital and have any questions at all please contact me.  I would love to connect you with the right team to support you in your desires.

Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful day!

2016: My year of greatness!

Well here we are, 2016.  I recall when I was a child I couldn’t even imagine seeing this year.  It is surreal to me that I am living in it!  I always knew I would pursue my dream of making a living doing something I love.  I am almost there!  This road of mine to become a CPM has been a real roller coaster.  I’ve learned more about my own limitations (yes I have discovered I actually have them)  and people than I ever imagined.  Last year was a wonderful year yet also a difficult one as I had to come to terms with my health issues and learn how to live with serious health challenges that I had ignored for far too long.  It was a year of learning and digging myself out of a hole.  All the while there were very great things happening in my family that made 2015 so special in so many ways.

 

It was exactly 3 years ago that I began my serious pursuit of becoming a CPM.  I have forged paths that many said I could not. At this point I can see the end in sight and I am so thankful for where I have been, what I have been through and where I am now.  I have pushed myself to my limits and now know how to work within my challenges.  I have discovered that I am great at what I do and that women really value my contribution to their lives.

 

I am so blessed to have met so many wonderful women this year and to have gained wisdom from sister midwives who have decades of experience.  I have traveled the country more than I ever thought I would in pursuit of this dream. There are genuine women who are honest and true to their cores, like myself, in this work and I am so happy to have discovered them and had the privilege of working with them!  I am so thankful for upfront and honest mentors who are transparent and open with me.  I have found what I began looking for 3 years ago and now I am able to flourish and finish what my heart is set on!

 

There is so much happening here in my life.  My oldest daughter will be married and they will go on a dream honeymoon.  We are gaining a wonderful son who fits perfectly with us.  I have so much to be thankful for yet so much work still to be done.  I embrace the work and look forward to the rewards of my labor.  I will never give up on my dreams!  I want to encourage you to never give up on your dreams either!  Open your mind to great things happening to you and you will soar.  Set higher expectations and watch yourself exceed them!  2016 will be great for you too!

 

 

They are listening to us.

I am so blessed to be working with women at a time that one of our local hospitals has decided to listen to the women in the area and are now giving them more choices for birth in their facility.  One of our local hospitals, Women’s and Children’s Hospital of University of Missouri Health Systems in Columbia, MO, has begun a new Low Intervention Birth Program including hiring CNM’s (Certified Nurse Midwives).  Some people think this may take away from the number of home births in the area, but I see it differently.  I see this as an awesome opportunity for women to get a chance at a low intervention birth and have their insurance pay for it.  Insurance companies are still not the best at covering home birth, even with skilled, legal midwives. This causes a big problem for those families who may not be able to pay for the service out of pocket.   What the hospital is doing is great for these families.  They will at least have a much better chance at a natural birth.  This local hospital has taken great strides in trying to meet ladies in the middle in offering them more choices in birth.  It is still a hospital and I am sure there are certain protocols that will dictate how much a family can request, however I see it as a middle ground and a great option for those who may not be able to go the home route.

 

This program is more than the hospital saying their birthing department is a birth center.  This really is a different type of program.  The rooms are much larger and the beds are real, queen size beds just like you would have at home. They have beautiful huge tubs for laboring.  They even have nice birthing chairs and stools.  These rooms are really different.  Not only are the rooms different but the provider is a midwife.  A nurse midwife but still a midwife.  She is backed up by one of the most natural-birth friendly doctors in our area.  This team really does support women to have natural births and I am so happy they are now present in our local hospital.  I hope this program is a success and many women take advantage of it.  It is not a threat to home birth, rather it is a wonderful opportunity to those ladies who cannot have a home birth.

 

Thank you Women’s and Children’s Hospital for hearing what women want and offering more options in your facility!

 

 

 

 

I’ll miss you!

I am leaving the state for 4 weeks to further my education and training.  I am sorry if you need support or assistance while I am away.  I will be answering emails, text messages, and phone calls, however it may not be as immediate as I typically respond.  I will be working in a very busy practice.  I’m so excited for what is happening and look forward to being able to more fully serve families in my local area.

 

***ETA on Oct 22:  I have been at my location for a week and a half  and need to update everyone to say that I have absolutely NO cell reception here, where I am!  I am so sorry if you have been trying to get a hold of me and I am ignoring you!  I am getting NO calls or texts at all, I only have access to email and the internet.  I am missing everyone!  I am learning about being homesick!  I have never been away from my family for more than a couple of days and this is SO HARD!  It will all be worth it in the end though!  So if you need to get a hold of me email or do so via my ‘contact me’ page.***

 

This road to become a Certified Professional Midwife is not easy, there are many twists and turns, but I will get there in time!  I am so excited for every step as it moves me closer to being able to work with families full time.  I greatly appreciate the support shown to me from families I have had the privilege of working with!

Recently, I missed you

It seems that there was a problem with my website in the last couple of weeks.  I apologize if you attempted to contact me via my contact page, the email was not delivered to me.  I am sad to have missed your message so I am asking that you will try again to contact me if you are still needing information!  I make every effort to respond to inquiries with in 24 hours and did not realize messages were not being delivered.

 

Thank you!

Up and at it!

When you have a gift and a calling it is hard to deny it.  When you go through hard times and people tear you down it is hard to overcome that and believe in yourself again.  It has taken me several months to pick myself up from a really disturbing experience.  It makes it really difficult when those who you really admired and respect turn out to be so very harmful to you with very wrong motives.  It is shocking how toxic people can effect you so badly mentally and health wise physically!  Well NO MORE!  I am DONE with believing the lies that I have let drag me down since last Nov!  I am moving forward full steam.  I have decided that I am worth pursuing my dreams and to complete my training with well qualified midwives who will have my best interest in mind – not only their own.  I am so excited for what I have been doing and the plans for the next year!

 

I spent a beautiful week at The Farm in Tennessee in June as my jumpstart to get back into serving women.  It was so hard for me to be away from my family for 7 days but invaluable for the connections I made with midwives from all over the world.  What an amazing experience to spend time with others who love to serve women.   Learning some of those more advanced skills, I had not really had the chance to practice previously, really helped me to feel even more confident moving into the final steps towards getting my certification.

 

I learned so much about myself in the last year: my limitations, my vulnerabilities, my strengths and my ambitions and motives.  I am more clear headed right now then ever as I have addressed health issues and wrong mental beliefs.   I will never again let down my guard when I see clear warning signs that I am headed for danger.  I had many warning signs that I was headed for trouble and I ignored them all.   I was working too hard for what I wanted.  It has been said that when you work so hard for things you are actually pushing them further away.  I now know that to be true.  Going at a slower pace allows your dreams to come to you more easily.  I am living this now and I am so thankful for the things I have learned and experienced this year.

 

I am so very excited for what is to come and hope to share more journeys with you all here.  Thank you for reading my blog and for the support so many of you have shared with me in person, via email or text.  It is greatly appreciated!

 

 

Crash and Burn

 

I debated whether or not I should even share this here but feel the need to do so as an explanation as to why my ‘break’ is longer than I had ever anticipated.   I have absolutely NO intention to let this or anything else keep me from achieving my goal of being a Certified Professional Midwife.  However, I also need to do what needs to be done right now or else I will not ever have the ability to take care of anyone else ever.  This is humbling for me.  It is good for me too.  It is just a little speed bump in the road of life! I promise I will be back to serve families through their pregnancy and birth before too much longer.

 

So back on Labor Day last year I crashed.  Not a vehicle crash but the effect on me has been pretty much the same.   My adrenals crashed.  I was at the point where my body simply refused to go any more.  I was pretty much bed ridden for a week.  That is not me! Even a fever of 103 does not keep me bed ridden!  I push on and always have, no matter how I feel.  I felt worse than I ever had and I have had some really nasty sicknesses!  I had been pushing my body way too hard for way too long.  You see my passion to work with all you beautiful mommas out there is so strong I was willing to do what ever it took to become a Certified Professional Midwife.  The sad thing is that I also must hold down a full time job to pay the bills while I am training.   Over the past few months I have been trying to sort out my health. As soon as I realized, on Labor Day, that I had a real health crisis going on I wanted to fix it.  I got on some adrenal support supplements and rested as much as I could off and on for the next month or so but did not really address the big stuff in my life that was draining me.  I continued on, feeling better, and it was not until I had another serious set back in the last month that I realized this is much bigger than I realize.  I am learning now that the brain fog, attention issues and overall unwell feelings on top of all the other very serious symptoms I was experiencing were signs of a very real and serious problem, but I just ignored them all until my body has forced me to deal with this head on.

 

Looking back this all started when I was a very little baby as I had serious health complications which required hard core pharmaceuticals. Then as a single teen mom I never learned to take care of myself.  Working my own way through school and life.  Not to mention all the other crazy things that I dealt over the years.  I have had severe asthma, which almost took my life in 2007, but the drugs I depend on to live have contributed to my current condition. When people ask what recharges me I’ve never had an answer, as doing anything for myself is just selfishness, there are many other people to care for!  I am having to relearn everything I knew about how to take care of myself.  Over the course of my life many times people would ask me how I do all I do, and I would be confused and think, “I’m just doing what needs to be done, I am not pushing myself.”  I often wondered why people did not do more than they did.  I literally never took a day to myself.  When I did have free time and I spend that 30 minutes on the internet or something I would scold myself for wasting time.  It all amounts to the way I have always done things is killing me, mainly my own mindset.  I have to learn to SLOW down.  Last year I was loving what I was doing in serving families but I was ignoring all the warning signs that I was hurting my own health.  As sad as I am about this I am realizing I have to get this under control before I can start midwifery work again. As I have to continue to hold down a full time job to pay the bills in the meantime I do not know how long it will be.  I pray it’s only a short few months or less.  The good thing is that I have implemented many changes in the last week and I am already feeling much better for it.

 

The good news is that I expect to be a much more healthier and vibrant woman after I do all the things I need to do to address this issue! I am determined to seriously address this issue as I have many more years of an amazing life to live!  I have MANY grand babies I need to meet and many children to marry off.  I am happy to address the issues I face because I always grow and change for the better with hardships that come my way.  I have faced so much in my life and this is just another thing to make me better in the long run.  I have a plan and it requires time and major life adjustments.

 

Adrenal fatigue may sound small but it is something that effects every single hormone and chemical regulation in our bodies.  When this is off it will bring everything else down.  The world we live in does not help.  If you are like me and have the ‘nothing will keep you down’ attitude, THAT will not help!  I have always had low body temp, 96.4, and apparently that is a sign that your body is not functioning well. I have always had low blood pressure, another sign.   About 14 years ago I developed hypoglycemia and have always been very sensitive to sugar, always having to be careful of what I ate or I would feel horrible.  This is yet another symptom that there was something else wrong deeper inside me.  When you go to a Dr they just band-aid the symptom, rarely are they looking for the deeper issues.  The one thing that throws Dr’s off with me is that I am not a really heavy woman.  I have extremely high metabolism so I have not put on the weight that most women do when they have these issues.

 

The sad part is that I likely have had this for quite some time and my midwifery work on top of my full time job and huge family and building a house just tipped me to the point of CRASHING.

 

 

Rest and Advocacy for birth options

For the last couple of months I have had a nice rest from traveling the highways and bi-ways of central Mo. It has been so nice to be with my family, except for those hours I have to go to my day job.   We have finished our dream home and moved in.  There were a few all-nighters just before the final inspection and appraisal, where we all worked to finish things up, but it’s done!  The inside at least.  Every day I walk through this house in awe and amazement that our family built this ourselves in a short 7.5 months.   I am so blessed with such a hard working husband and wonderful children.  We will be able to gift our old home to our oldest son and that feels so good.  We still have a lot of work to do on the outside property, a patio and sidewalks, etc.  Even with working full time, finishing up this house, moving and tending to the daily needs of a family of 10, I still feel so RESTED!!  I cannot believe I was doing as much as I was for the past 2 years.  I am understanding now why my health took a nose dive this past summer and fall.  I was pushing myself way too far.  I have learned one thing and that is I cannot do that to myself again.  I have plans to begin work with families again in the near future, however I will approach it much differently, based on what I’ve been able to learn from this sweet time of rest I have been blessed to have.

 

Now it is time to get to work supporting my fellow midwives at the state Capital!  There are groups who would love nothing else than to eliminate midwives and homebirth all together.  We must keep a vigilant focus on what is happening in the legislator right now.  We have a bill,  HB 521, that would license midwives in Missouri.  As much as I’d rather see no regulation or license put on midwives, this bill is much better than the alternative, which is becoming illegal again.  HB 521 would set up a Board of Certified Professional Midwives under the Department of Professional Registration and Licensing.  This would allow midwives to be responsible for overseeing the licensure of their peers.  A board of professionals that understand the profession at it’s core.  If we sit back and do nothing we will face the very real possibility of the Physician groups pushing something through that would either 1) make us completely illegal altogether, or 2) would require midwives to carry 1 million dollars worth of malpractice insurance, something most OB’s do not even have to have by state law.  This is why I want to encourage you to show your support for midwifery.  It is so important that every family, who supports women to have the choice in who their care provider is, to contact your representative to let them know.  It does not have to be long or complicated, just a short message saying you support homebirth midwives.   Direct them to Kurt Bahr’s midwifery bill: HB521.

 

Here is the list of those who are ion the committees hearing our bill who need to know we support midwives and homebirth in Mo:

Austin
Beard
Burlison(chair, Springfield)
Carpenter
Cornejo
Fraker 
Frederick 
Kratky 
McCann Beatty 
Peters
Ross
Sommer
Swan
Walton
Wiseman

Representative Kurt Bahr, who is the primary sponsor of this bill!

 

This is the list of representatives who supported bills that would harm us in the past:

Franklin
Crawford
Solon
Lichtenegger
Entail her
Lauder
Conway
Haefner
Swan
Mims
Nichols
Zerr
Black
England
Newman
Brown

 

If you live in any of the districts represented by these people it is imperative that you contact them asap to show your support.

 

Midwives serve women all over the world as the primary care giver during pregnancy.  It is time they are recognized as competent care givers here in the US.

 

Some other things you can do:

 

1. Join Friends of Missouri Midwives

http://www.missourimidwives.com/

2. Contact your representative and senator. Keep in touch with him or her throughout the session. Talk to them about why having access to midwifery is important to you. Write them letters and make phone calls. Become known to them as the wonderful home birth family that you are in their district. Send your legislators birth announcements. Talking points to make with your legislators are below.

To find your legislators, please use this link:

http://www.senate.mo.gov/legislookup/default.aspx

3. Come to this year’s Cookie Day (February 10th, 2015). Bring your children. We need a good turnout. If you can’t come, could you make some cookies that could be sent down for you?

 

I am so excited to be able to be at Cookie Day this year.  I love talking with our legislators to let them know we appreciate their work and their support.  Cookie delivery begins at 9am and then there will be a rally in hearing room 2 at 2pm.  I am looking forward to meet up with my families at 11 am in the rotunda.

 

My life’s passion is bringing families choices and empowerment in their pregnancy and birth.   I dearly love everything about this work.  Although life throws some curve balls and our bodies may impose limitations we do not like (me anyway, lol) I will still push on toward the needed work to serve families.

 

 

Taking a break

In the past couple of years I have attended many births, of many different women, all over the state of Missouri.  I have spent MANY hours traveling to meet these women and work with them.  Many middle of the night pull overs as I’m racing to a birth that may be 2-3 hours away from me, LOL!  I dearly LOVE this work and empowering women to birth their way! However, we all have limitations and I have to admit I have come to my own.

I appreciate the opportunity of apprenticeship given to me by a wonderful mentor who has more knowledge than I may ever have in this work!   As I transition to a more full time practice it requires more out of me than I am able to give at this time.  I have a very large family and have stretched myself a bit to thin this year.  We are trying to finish up the building of our home.  My dear husband has put in countless hours and I need to help him tie in the final details of getting this done. I also need to focus more on my academic preparation for certification and need to free up some time to do so.

It is with a sad heart that I will be putting on hold taking any new families at this time.   In having a little more time I hope to get more updates here on this blog and have the time to share much more information to help you women have the birth you desire.

My passion for reaching and empowering women is just as strong as ever!

I will be ready to serve women again in the not to distant future!