Tag Archives: midwife

A Post Partum Hormone Inspired Post

You all know about the 3rd day bluesy/post partum/milk-coming-in day? If you’ve had a baby, you probably know what I’m talking about. I know it well. With all three kids, this day was real. Real as. I was warned about how the tears might flow, for unexplained reasons and how it’s hard to get a handle on it, but how it is also beautiful and emotional and hard and possibly a little out of control. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a feeler. I FEEL things. And so for me these days were full on. But I anticipated it.

What I had forgotten about, was the 1 week post baby endorphin high/low. Wow. Hormones man, they are HARD CORE. And so this past Friday it all came rushing back. I have to believe that for me the unknown of ‘going into labour’ has a lot to do with it – that hour by hour, reliving what went down exactly a week before, the ‘is this labour’ questioning, the call to the midwife/birth team, the drive to the hospital and the walking into (contraction-ing into) the delivery room… And then marking (and celebrating) the exact time of birth… Even the ‘settling into the quiet, safe, sacred space of your hospital room’… It all came flooding back.

And so after some tears trying to process this all with hubby, and some more tears upon messaging my midwife (and her always-beautiful replies), and some more tears in the shower (those are great hey?), hubby offered to take me back to where it all happened.

So last Friday at 6:30pm, we piled our new family of 5 into the car and went on our first official family adventure – back to the hospital where it all happened. Hubby pulled up at sunset, I hopped out the car with our 1 week old and paid the maternity ward a visit. And honestly… it was a bit random. Maybe I was expecting some ‘Hi Debbie, how are you, so lovely to see you again, would you like a coffee?!’ with the nurses I had befriended on my lone ranger (hubby-less) stay in the hospital. But it was random. I know, a little disappointing right?

Because it was on the way home, while listening to the CD we played when we brought all the kids home from the hospital, that it dawned on me. While place is significant, and always will be, PEOPLE are where it’s at.

It was my midwife (a hero of a woman, who, after being in her care makes me want to sign up for midwifery school immediately), who loved me, empowered me, lead me, and in return allowed me to lead in birth. It was my husband, who held my hand through it all, listened to my needs, encouraged encouraged encouraged, watched, witnessed, and believed I could birth our daughter into the world with grace and dignity. It was our doula, who was thinking about what I couldn’t think about at that time, whose mind was always on what I needed next, and who carried the journey of labour with me. And our friend and photographer, who I’m SOOO glad was there, to celebrate with us, to capture, to document the real life miracle that is birth (for which I am eternally grateful and will treasure the pictures forever!)

It was them. Sure, I loved my quiet, safe hospital stay with wonderfully supportive nursing staff. But that Team. Oh that Team.

They gave me courage, they believed, they knew, they guided, they inspired and they empowered me (in ones most vulnerable state), to do this crazy, beautiful, natural, wonderful, hard, tiring, unforgettable and mysterious thing called birth.

For you, Susan, Theran, Thato and Rebecca. Thank you. May we all do for each other in day to day life, what you did for me in Delivery Room 3, 16 September 2016.

All pics: Love Made Visible

Let the journey begin…

Debbie Pregnancy Journey

It feels as if my name has been called, I’ve walked onto a stage and I’ve been crowned – a Pure Beginnings Pregnancy Ambassador! And as the music plays, (natural) bath bubbles fall from the sky and Ruby the Rhino, Max & Minky (the Monkeys) and Ollie the Owl have joined me. (To me, this is WAY more exciting than any other pageant).

I am thrilled to partner with Pure Beginnings, one of my favorite organic and eco-certified South African brands, to document the journey of this, our 3rd pregnancy and the birth and newborn life that follows. I can’t imagine a better brand to walk this road with.

Let’s recap…

It was in January that this little life made itself known, and from the minute I saw those two pink lines, I knew this one would be different (least of which, was that it would be a she and not a he, which came as a HUGE surprise after 2 boys!). Waaa… what do I do with a girl?

It was roughly 3 minutes and 47 seconds after seeing those lines that the indescribable, inhumane, unlike-anything-ever-known-to-man exhaustion hit. If you’ve been pregnant, I’m sure you know the feeling. It’s not fun, especially with 2 boys in the house. Wow.


Having had both our boys in Vancouver, I was not new to pregnancy but somehow this pregnancy seemed new to me. Which prenatal vitamins and supplements should I take? Who would my midwife be? How would I find a doula? Where would I birth? How would I birth? It all seemed so different. My immediate thought was to run back to Canada, but alas, that wasn’t a viable option.

clay and ryler at midwives

Over the years in which I have been thinking, researching and getting my hands really dirty (more like oily) in the ‘natural world’, and as I’ve blogged my findings, I’ve become more and more aware (and at times terrified) of how much is going on around us or within us that we simply don’t know or question. Slowly, and (more importantly) consistently, my choice of skincare has changed. While I could be better in the eating department (my month of strict Paleo starts soon – it’s birthday season and the cake is out of control), there are some new(ish) non-negotiables in our house regarding skincare. Having read an alarming article on the horrific number of chemicals found in a baby’s umbilical cord compared to generations ago, I now have a fresh start, and during this pregnancy I want to expose myself (and my helpless unborn) to as little nonsense as possible. Studies have shown that the average woman directly applies more than 200 chemicals to her skin via personal care products every day. Ermmm… that is terrifying… because we have no idea what these chemicals are or what they do.

So what does this change look like? Well regarding pregnancy, my prenatals don’t need to be coated in sugar, coloured pink and look like over-sized smarties. I’ve done enough research to know to take folate over folic acid and I’m upping my number of magnesium baths and probiotics (to avoid GBS). I won’t be bringing aluminium anywhere near my ever-growing breasts (did you know your off-the-counter deo most likely contains aluminium) and the nasties such as parabens, SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate), Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), Ammonium Laurel Sulfate (ALS) and other hard-to-pronounce, no-one-really-knows-what-they-are ingredients won’t be coming near my skin (as much as I can control).

Pregnancy is a beautiful gift. I’ve always thought of it as carrying the most incredible responsibility with the least amount of control. I cannot control the growth of this little life, the amount of amniotic fluid I have, my baby’s sex, eye colour or the number of chambers in its heart. What I can control, is what I expose myself to, what I consume and what I smear on my skin. I can read, research and learn, and with that, make better choices for myself and this little life. I’m certainly not perfect, but I’m trying.

I’d love for you to join me in this conversation, and on this journey!


*WIN* a Pure Beginnings Organic Baby Gift Set! Enter on our Facebook page by commenting on what your fave PB product is and tag a friend for an extra entry! Compo is nationwide and closes on Monday 23 May, 2016.

Baby-Gift-Pack-large-510x600Good Luck!