Monday, April 30, 2012

May is International Doula Month!

Happy Mama Monday, friends!

Guess what. May is International Doula Month

A doula is a non-medical professional who offers physical, emotional and informational support to laboring women, their partners and families before, during, and just after birth. Both birth doulas and postpartum doulas are indispensable in the childbirth experience.

Women who have a doula present at their birth are:
  • 28% less likely to require a cesarean delivery
  • 31% less likely to require oxytocin to progress labor
  • 9% less likely to use any pain medication during labor
  • 34% less likely to view their childbirth experience negatively
  • less likely to require instrumental delivery with vacuum extractor or forceps
  • more likely to experience a shorter labor
  • more likely to experience a spontaneous birth
  • less likely to have a baby with a low APGAR score five minutes after birth
If you read my blog at all, you know I absolutely adore being a birth doula. I love my profession. I love the women I'm privileged to call colleagues and all those who've come before us. I love my clients and my friends I've had the opportunity to support in their births. I love learning about birth and babies, and constantly look for more information and future training I can receive to grow in my skills. I truly believe in the gift of service I offer to women, and how precious and life changing it really is.

How will you celebrate the holiday? Exciting things are happening in Tulsa during International Doula Month!

Special Delivery Birth Center - Tulsa is officially home to its very own birth center, Special Delivery Birth Center! Tulsa Midwife, Ruth Cobb and Natural Lullabies Birth Services have teamed up to create an amazing place which will widen the world of opportunities and choices for birthing women in Tulsa. Natural Lullabies Doulas are available to serve clients, as well as offering a variety of other classes and events. I hope you'll take a look at their information and come to the Grand Opening of the birth center on May 5th. What a fantastic way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo along with International Doula Month! Click here for directions.

DONE OK Informational Event - Saturday May 12th, from 11am-5pm DONE OK Doulas will have an informational table set up in the Buy Buy Baby store at 71st and Mingo. Come and meet and visit with Tulsa Doulas, pick up an informational brochure, and view DONA International's latest documentary The Essential Ingredient: Doulas. We'll be right by the registry area, so you can't miss us!

Share Your Story - If you had a doula at your birth or with you postpartum, I would love to hear your story! Email me if you would like your story to be shared on my blog to celebrate International Doula Month.

Like my facebook page (and share it with your friends too!) and follow me on Twitter to keep up to date with classes, informational events, and giveaways held by Honeybee Mama and other birth professionals in Tulsa. It's gonna be a good month, lovies!

Love and Honey,


Friday, April 27, 2012

{my moment}

A moment captured from the week that captured my heart.
A Friday ritual inspired by Soulemama.

The best thing to do when you're frustrated about any aspect of life is to play with your kids. It's a guaranteed way to start feeling sweet when you're really sour. And I don't mean WATCH your kids play; I mean PLAY. After I had felt frustrated with chores and cleaning and reminding children of things over and over and probably a good heaping helping of PMS, we took all the kids to the park and I was invited by my kids to play with them. This is inside the tallest slide at Bentley Park, which is pretty fun by itself, and is even more fun with a sweet little bee on your lap!

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your moment in your comment.
Happy Weekend, Lovies!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Campout Birthday

My Aidan turned six this year. It's insane to think that a whole six years have passed since I set eyes on him for the first time. He's still a baby to me, yet each year on his birthday I have to come to terms with the knowledge that I'm one more year removed from those sweet first moments with him!

Now I get to witness other magical and precious moments. Like the birthday boy counting out the camo cups for party favors for his Campout Birthday Party.

He'd been telling me for months that he was going to have his party at Chuck E. Cheese's. I had to inform him that...that wasn't going to happen. I really just wanted something simple, inexpensive, and something that wasn't designed to cause my children public meltdowns or the need for me to binge drink when I get home.

When I suggested a backyard party, he said he wanted a "Ghostbusters" party. I asked him what that was (pretty certain he'd never seen the movies that came out when I was a kid!) and he said it was a party where they all got to sit around in a tent with flashlights and tell ghost stories. Now, that I can do!

We borrowed a perfect sized tent from some friends and set up the backyard for a campout!

I made seven layer dip with chips, salsa and queso for the grown-ups.

Then I loaded up the party tubs with sodas, waters, and juice boxes for the kids,

and some cold ones for the grown-ups!

Gotta have plenty of chips and supplies in camo bowls!

The weiners on skewers ready for roasting.


Even at six, those boys had plenty of weiner roasting jokes to make by the fire pit. Then of course the dads (and even moms) in the group couldn't help but chime in with a few giggles, after we reminded them that those weren't really appropriate jokes.


There's the only girl at the party, Lillie, our neighbor who says Aidan is her best friend. Aidan and Alec adore her and love looking out for her. She was so sweet in her party dress and pig tails. Bless her heart, though, I think she was a little intimidated by all the boys and stayed close to her mama.

More fun friends - some old pals from Key Elementary Pre-K, and some new friends from Spring Creek Kindergarten.


And a silly brother.


I can't think of a better time for a toad to make an appearance! All the boys scrambled and screamed and pounced until the little guy was finally caught.



There was plenty of jumping on the trampoline, even into the twilight.

He was so thrilled to open each of his gifts and read every card.

And what would a Campout Party be without roasted marshmallows and s'mores? I bought the giant marshmallows that said they were "great for roasting," and they were HUGE.

So huge, that all the kids were covered in oozing marshmallow for the rest of the evening!

Finally it was time for the flashlights and ghost stories!


Mr. Joe, the dad of one of Aidan's friends, was such a good sport and crawled into the tent to get the stories going. He was a huge hit!

And Grampa Roger had some words of wisdom for the Birthday Boy.


All in all, I'd say it was a successful sixth birthday party! Granted, I probably spent just as much on supplies and party favors as I would have at Chuck's, but the memories seem like they'll stick to my soul a little longer.

How on earth will we top that next year?

Love and Honey,

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

haiku wednesday

present. open hands.
welcoming life: good and bad
intertwined. thanks, praise.

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Importance of a Birth Plan

A birth plan is a brief, but detailed document that describes you and your partner’s wishes for how you would like your birth to be handled, and how you would like the staff at the hospital or birth center to care for your newborn. Your birth plan is the most important and crucial piece of information to prepare you for the childbirth experience and to protect your philosophy of birth and medical preferences.

Know Your Stuff
First, writing a birth plan requires you to educate yourself on the birth process and the procedures you may encounter at the hospital, birth center, or even at a home birth. You simply cannot make decisions about whether or not you wish to receive continuous electronic fetal monitoring until you know when and why it’s necessary, as well as the risks and benefits of it. I believe that education reduces fear about the birth process, and this is one of my top goals in assisting women in writing birth plans and assisting them during childbirth as a doula.

Take Back Your Birth
Secondly, birth plans empower families to feel ownership over their birth experience. The information gap between doctors and their patients often causes birthing women to feel they are at the mercy of the hospital staff and must follow orders based on fear of maternal or infant harm. This doesn’t have to be the case. Often, even in the case of emergencies, a mother and her partner can still request procedures be performed in a way that preserves the integrity of their experience. Birth is a rite of passage, and one of the most important events in life. Understanding that you have a choice about every aspect of what happens to your body, your environment and your child during childbirth is revelatory. Keep in mind that this is your journey, and the beginning of your baby’s life, no one else’s. No one should have more decision making power in such an important life event than you! Many clinical studies show that when mothers have a positive view of their birth experience they have less instances of postpartum depression, more success in breastfeeding, and are less likely to view their baby as fussy or colicky.

Communication Is Key
Not only is it imperative that you know your own philosophy of birth and your wishes for your birth experience; it’s equally important to discuss these wishes as well as any concerns and questions you may have with your doctor or midwife, and communicate your decisions to the nurses and staff at your place of birth. Having a simple and organized document printed and at hand gives you a crucial communication tool. I encourage my clients to condense their birth plan onto one page, in table or bullet form, and have printed copies for myself, their health care provider, and two copies for the nurses on staff if they are birthing at a hospital (in case there is a shift change). It also may be helpful to give a copy to members of your family so they are aware of your wishes in case of an emergency, and so they are able to support you in the way you wish to be supported.

How to Write a Birth Plan
Penny Simkin, author of many books and articles concerning childbirth and doula work, shares in her article The Win-Win Birth Plan, “Your birth plan should contain an introduction, your most important issues, fears, or concerns; a general description of the approach to birth you prefer; and sections on normal labor and birth, care of the newborn, and unexpected events (a prolonged labor, cesarean birth, a premature or sick baby, even death of the baby).” As you research and document your wishes for birth, keep in mind that things don’t always go as planned. While you ultimately have a right to make decisions regarding every aspect your birth, do remember that your doctor or midwife, and hospital or birth center staff have experience and expertise that is to be respected. Remaining open and flexible in your expectations and in your tone as you write your birth plan will set the tone for positive communication and a balanced partnership between you and your healthcare providers.

In conclusion, a birth plan creates an incomparable opportunity for a mother and her partner to feel prepared for and feel ownership of their birth experience. A mother should be well educated on the mechanics of childbirth and the procedures she can expect while in a hospital, birth center, or at home in order to successfully write her birth plan. The document not only prepares the couple for the various events that may occur, but also gives them a tool through which they can communicate their wishes to their healthcare provider, doula, family and friends. Developing your own beliefs about birth, while also remaining flexible about possible outcomes is valuable to the relationship between you and your healthcare provider and will also help you have a more positive view of the experience after the fact.

At Honeybee Mama, I'm committed to getting you the tools and resources you need to make informed decisions about your birth. If you need assistance with your birth plan, contact me about my childbirth training manual and The Birth Experience Childbirth Training, or schedule a consultation today!

More pregnancy info!


Friday, April 20, 2012

{my moment}

A moment captured from the week that captured my heart.
A Friday ritual inspired by Soulemama.

I'm so in love with this stage of life when Hippo, Mr. Momo, is Alec's best friend and goes everywhere with him. This week, we actually made Momo a "swimsuit" with a ziplock bag because he wanted to take a bath with Alec. Hippo always wants hugs and kisses at nighttime, and recently feels the need for jammies too. It's very sweet. We were at a local used bookstore last night and Hippo didn't miss any moment of it; he was even given his own Hippo-sized seat when Alec needed both of his hands to play. This little guy, and his animal friend have my heart!

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link in your comment to your moment!
Happy Weekend, Lovies!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Recipe for Family Night {St. Patty's Day Special}

Yes, yes I know St. Patty's Day was a long time ago. Yes, yes I know you haven't heard much from me lately besides haiku wednesdays and my moment Fridays. Yes, yes I'm terribly sorry! I promise that when I'm done with the projects I've got in the works you will be pleased. And no, no I am not burnt out being a blogger and will in fact get back into the swing of things...soon!

Without further ado, I've got to tell you about the fun family night we had on St. Patrick's Day this year. Marc and I are kind of spontaneous when it comes to get togethers at our house, and this day was no different. It all started as a boys' (grown-up boys, but boys nonetheless) poker party on a Saturday night. Originally only serious poker players were invited, then only half of them could come. Then I started to feel left out (since even IF I play poker it's certainly anything but serious) and started inviting the wives of the poker players, and other friends lookin' for something to do, and before we knew it we were having a party!

My littles are uber aware of holidays, thanks to public school, and insist that we celebrate President's Day, MLK Jr. Day, Ground Hog Day, and now, St. Patty's Day. I really did not have the energy to go downtown for all the hubub and parade, so I thought the least I could do was make cookies. I decided on Mint Chocolate Chippers. I sort of invented the recipe, but I promise it's not hard. After my sweet friend Dawn showed up early to the party to cut my bangs for me, I decided to get started on the cookie dough.

Just some refrigerated rolls of sugar cookie dough to begin with. I could have made my own, but I decided to go the easy route!

Andes Mints baking pieces, yum!! I also threw in some dark chocolate chips, just didn't snap a pic.

Good ole green food coloring - I like the gel kind. I'm less likely to get it on my clothes!

And some pure mint extract. I can't tell you exactly how much food coloring or mint extract I used. Just mix until you get the color you want, and probably around a teaspoon of the mint extract.

And mix in your mixer til incorporated!

It helps to have a taste tester. We decided it tasted just like mint chocolate chip ice cream!

I put the dough in the fridge to set up a bit and got started making our dinner. Now, if any of you are friends with me on facebook, or follow me on twitter, you know that about a month ago I posted a LOT about Pioneer Woman's Spicy Dr. Pepper Pork. It's amazing. And delicious. And wonderful. And amazing. And spicy, and sweet, and...AMAZING! First I made her original recipe with buttered noodles, then I made pizzas on naan bread, then tacos, then empanadas, then these nachos.

One layer of chips on a non-stick baking sheet, a layer of pulled pork and 3 cheese blend of your choice, then another layer of chips with various sliced onions and sweet peppers and another layer of cheese. Top off with dollops of your sweet and spicy chipotle adobo sauce from the original pork recipe.

Pop in the oven for 10 minutes or until everything is melty and bubbly, and...omg.

I'm not gonna lie. They were AMAZING. Insane. Everyone gobbled them up. I had sour cream and salsa and guac on the side for dipping and I had a lot of happy guests at my house!
Once everyone had eaten and visited for a while, I got the cookies into the oven. How cute are those little scoops. Mint chocolate chip ice cream, I tell ya!

My little helper, Aidan, donning green for the occasion, collecting the finished cookies to deliver to his friends outside!

Then he found a spot to land and munch.

And we all ate and drank and visited, while kiddos and music played.

That's Dawn, who cuts my hair, and who did my hair and makeup for our wedding, and who is a lovely friend.

That's Rebekah, Aunt Rebekah, who's my ex-step-sister-in-law, which we get a real kick out of explaining to people! Three cheers for divorce and blended families!

And that's Asher, my ever so chunky and delicious nephew, whose name means "happy," and who got into the craft box and started stamping his face with the Valentine's stamps, and who lights up my world when I see him!

Soon, more guests showed who were much more interested in the impending poker game than cookies.

But we kept eating them,

and soon the grown-ups had nearly taken over the trampoline...

and the boys and serious poker players were taking over the kitchen table...

including a delicious, squishy baby I stole moments after snapping this picture!

I took that opportunity to snuggle up with my chunky nephew and read books, and play with the other kiddos.

Eventually the big kids made their way upstairs to watch cartoons and pass out while the grown-ups stayed and played, and I snuggled up on the couch to watch Food Network and get a sweet, delicious baby to sleep in my lap!

As I trailed off to sleep, the party trailed out of the house, and the stragglers stayed up way past my bedtime finishing the poker game. I don't know who won; I just know I woke up the next morning to two empty bags of Pizza Rolls, a family sleeping in my living room and a whole lot of dishes! I think we put St. Patty's Day on the map with that family night.

Cheers (or some other appropriate St. Patty's Day toast)!

Find me at Tulsa Family Doulas

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