I always say that every difficult process in life deserves a doula.
Bad hair cuts.
And now, renovations!
Honestly though, I really shouldn't complain. My husband has been a pretty good doula so far. One of the main reasons people hire a doula is because they know birth. Well, the hubs knows bureaucracy and contracting - he may not know it all, but he knows enough to hold my hand through the process and make me feel confident.
I also have some of the most encouraging friends, family and colleagues! Truly, I have my dream "birth team" with this project!
The "labor" has begun. The foundation crew worked all of last week to make repairs and prevent our babe from falling in on herself! B&B House Leveling and Foundation Repair were great to work with. They even let us stand in the kitchen while they jacked up the house to see if we could feel it move. It wasn't quite Six Flags, but it was pretty neat!
We spent part of the weekend working on paint colors. I am TERRIBLE at "seeing" colors and what goes with what. When we built our house a few years ago, I cried tears. Actual, real life tears - over PAINT COLORS.
This time is different, though. This time I had the help of my dear, sweet friend, Shanas Harris of The Balanced Life. She has held my hand through a lot of planning. AND, her mom is a certified paint doula! Did you ever know there was such a thing? Well, there's not, but if there were then you'd hire Shanas' mama. I cannot wait to get this place freshened up with paint. Of course, we have to get approval from the city since our baby is a Historic Landmark.
This week is already shaping up to be super exciting! Demo - it is the week for DEMO! I'll eventually show you guys the official before and afters, but for now, you get to just see the mess. Check out this video of my new friend, Kendrick from Harris Accoustics. He and Lionel worked HARD at gutting this terrible bathroom for us. I should probably take them some cookies one day soon!
It is definitely fun to see things happening! Check out the bathroom by the end of demo day 1.
This blog wouldn't be complete without bragging on my husband a little more. He spent his Saturday ripping old, cracked concrete out of the ground and replacing the flower beds in the entryway of the house. It is looking more inviting already!
And last, but definitely not least, here is a video of my husband looking for a surpise under a thick layer of sheet rock! Can you guess what we were looking for?? Can ya? Can ya?
Shiplap! We were looking for shiplap! Admittedly, I watch way too much Fixer Upper. And I looooove me some shiplap!
We could only ask ourselves one question in this moment.
What would Chip and Joanna do?
Well, that's all for this week, folks. I'm excited to see demo progress and get to the point where we're ready to put humpty dumpty back together again! Stay tuned for more updates, and feel free to follow my Facebook Page to check out some sneak peeks.
You heard that right, we're expecting! Well, not in the same sense as my Birth Boot Camp students and doula clients. But, we are expecting something grand!
I'm so excited to announce that I will be operating out of a new location. We closed on this beautiful house, a historic landmark, TODAY! There's a lot to be done before it officially opens, but I'm so excited for the adventure. We start the renovation process this week!
Located on Grape Street near Hendrick Hospital, the space has several bedrooms that will house various wellness professionals offering counseling services to massage therapy and more. And of course, I'll be teaching my Birth Boot Camp classes to pregnant couples and running my doula business from the facility. It will be so wonderful to have all of these great services in on location in Abilene!
We'd like to share our new "baby" with the community, so we'll have space available for other classes catering to the needs of Abilene families. If you need a place to teach, you've found your home! Parent centered support groups can also find a meeting place here. Additionally, the location will be available for anyone planning a fabulous baby shower or bridal shower. This lovely venue will be perfect for your event!
I truly cannot wait for the day that we are up and running and sharing coffee around a beautiful farm table. It's happening. Something WONDERFUL for Abilene moms and their families!
I plan to share this journey with you along the way, so stay tuned. You'll hear about the the process of renovations, information about the professionals who'll be practicing here, and so much more! In the meantime, here are just a few pictures - feel free to share your style and decorating opinions in the comments!
I am so excited to share a birth story from one of my past students. They took one of my Birth Boot Camp class in 2016 and I could not be more excited for them!
I felt the very first contraction of my life at exactly midnight on June 21st. About 30 minutes after I had fallen asleep I woke up to a sudden intense pain in my lower abdomen. I had taken Birth Boot Camp natural childbirth classes, read books, and watched so many movies that explained the "early labor" signs that went on for hours and sometimes even days that this is what I was expecting. I had never felt a single contraction up to this point and wasn't even sure that's what this pain was as I was expecting something pretty mild at first.
This pain was not very mild. It was 1 day before my due date so I assumed this was the big show anyway and started timing my contractions. They were immediately between 3 and 8 minutes apart. I woke up my husband and texted the midwife that this was probably it and I just wanted to give her a heads up. She told me to try to get some rest and if I couldn't to take a warm bath or try a rice sock. I attempted to go back to bed, but the pains were too strong and I quickly accepted that I was not going to get any sleep this particular night.
By about 1:30am I was running a warm bath and trying to conquer the quickly intensifying contractions. It helped quite a bit, but you can only stay in a bath for so long. I got out of the tub and tried to lay back down in bed. The contractions were getting closer and longer and I was growing more and more worried about making it to the birth center (about 1.5 to 2 hours away from my house) before a screaming child made his way into the world.
My husband was still trying to sleep and I was worried my moans would disturb him so I moved to the kitchen to make myself a rice sock and camp out on the living room couch for awhile. The rice sock was making my pain worse somehow, so I slumped on the couch doing whatever I needed to in order to get myself through each contraction until my husband walked in and said, "do we need to call the midwife?". I nodded my head yes knowing that this labor was moving much faster than I had anticipated and we needed to get on the road ASAP.
We loaded up our bags, called Kelly (the midwife) to let her know we were on our way, and jumped in the car at around 3:30am. My husband had to dodge a few deer and talk me through some pretty intense contractions, but he got us to the birth center safe and sound probably by 5:30am (at this point I was not at all concerned with the time).
As soon as we got inside, Kelly checked to see my dilation, station, etc. I was 7cm dilated at this point so I was quickly helped out of my pj's and into the birthing pool. The warm water felt SO good and between that, my husband holding my hands and Kelly applying back pressure during my contractions, I was getting through each contraction relatively well. I remember Kelly asking if I wanted some juice and in the middle of all my pain I still asked, "what kind?" before accepting. I heard everyone laugh, although my silliness wasn't registering at that point and I was just happy it was grape.
I don't remember the exact order of things, but at some point I felt a small "pop" and heard Kelly ask if my water had just broken. It had. Then she told me I would start feeling "pushy" soon and to just do what my body said to. Almost immediately after she said this, I felt exactly what she was talking about and started to push. I pushed for awhile, but didn't really feel like anything was happening. I was getting a little discouraged at how long it was taking (which in reality wasn't long at all) and worried that I wasn't pushing hard enough.
I guess Kelly could sense this so she kept asking how each pushing contraction felt. Once Fox was down far enough to feel the top of his head, Kelly told me to reach down and feel him. At first I was apprehensive because I was so focused on what I needed to do in order to just deliver him, but when I felt his wrinkly little head it was such a motivation knowing he was so close. In a few more pushes, his head was out.
I did feel a burning/stretching sensation, but it wasn't unbearable. And then in (I think) one more push, his entire little body was delivered and he was in my arms. It was the best feeling ever! I could not believe I finally had my baby boy in my arms and I actually did it. It was such a fantastic feeling to know I was blessed with this beautiful little boy and this amazing husband and we were now a family of 3.
It was 8:40am and I was one happy mama. My birth experience was truly amazing. I had a short labor for a first time mom, but it went by even faster. I never felt the dreaded transition and never felt like I couldn't go on (although I did get a little discouraged toward the end). I was supported by so many great people. I am so thankful for the experience I had because I know not every birth is so amazing.
I do think it's important to add that I did tear when Fox was born and this was the worst part of my experience. Tearing was not something that was even really on my radar leading up to the birth, but I did know that it was a possibility. It wasn't until I was trying to pee before my herbal bath that Kelly informed me I most likely tore and that's why peeing burned SO badly.
After the herbal bath, she checked the degree of my tearing and prepared to suture. This was more painful than the entire birthing process as I had third degree tearing in 4 different areas. Kelly informed me that she could not suture this level of tearing and I would have to be transported to the hospital for surgery. I was obviously devastated that I would have to go to the hospital and be away from my brand new baby, but I knew it had to be done as this was the worst pain I had ever felt in my life.
After cuddling Fox for a while longer, we headed to the hospital and learned that I had to be admitted so they could perform the surgery the next morning. The surgery went well and I was able to head home to enjoy our new baby and start the recovery process.
I am so thankful for my husband, Kelly, Hailie, and the staff at the birth center for everything they did to help us achieve an amazing birth and recovery.