Friday, September 27, 2013

To My Angel Baby

We talk about being a mommy here all the time. We talk about pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, and just being the best mommy we can be to our children. But what about the beautiful children that we don't get to meet? 

What about those precious babies that become angels before we get to see if they are going to have our eyes or their father's lips?

Losing a baby is something that is not talked about enough, and the unimaginable pain of it is something that needs to be supported.

Nicole, I'd like to thank you for sharing your letter to your angel baby with us today. I pray peace, love, and healing for your loss.

For those of you who have experienced the loss of a baby, I pray that this letter can encourage you in some way. May you all be blessed.


Dear Sprout,

Today was the day that your father, your brother, and I were "due" to meet you, see your face, hold you in our arms. April 18, 2012 was the predicted date that you'd enter this world.

I can barely wrap my mind around the fact that it's been 32 weeks since your heart stopped beating. It's been 31 weeks since we found out you were gone. It sounds so recent, and somehow, it seems like forever ago. I sit here, tears falling softly down my face, as I remember how beautiful my life was with you in it, and how devastated I was when you left.

Somehow, though, I feel strong. I wonder how long that strength will last.

My goal for today, while I celebrate your Auntie Allie's 13th birthday, while also observing the life you barely began to live is simply to smile. I hope to fight back tears and carry on with the day. I want to embrace the joy you brought us, as I embrace your father and also your brother. We have gotten through the loss so far, and I know that we can continue onward.

While I am sad that your'e gone, I know you're in a better place. I know that you never suffered the cruelty that this world can bring upon a person. You lived, so briefly, in a serene, calm place, and then ever so quietly went to meet our Maker.

I know that He has held you in his arms, even though I was unable to hold you in my own.

I know that there's a purpose in all of this- in your short life inside of me and the eternal life you began living, what I deem to be "too soon," and while I often sit and wonder what it is, I have decided to let it go. Someday, I will know. Until then, I will just embrace the fact that you happened to me- to us, and that it was a perfect and beautiful gift.

In a way, I suppose I should thank you, too, for giving your father and I the chance to become parents once more- for giving Spencer the opportunity to be a big brother to your little brother or sister, who we currently call Bo. It breaks my heart that there is no way that the two of you could exist in this household, on this earth, living this life together, but again, I know that someday, we all will be reunited as a family. I know I will live my earthly life imagining, from time to time, the day that the reunion comes true.

Baby, sweet baby, I miss you. I love you. I thank you for giving us the opportunity to know you exist and to love you forever. I carry you with me always.

Someday, Sprout, I will hold you.

Love, Your Mommy


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Will Somebody Please Slow This Down?


Yesterday evening I picked up the kids from my friend's house after I had been attending a birth all day, and I was met with something I was completely and utterly unprepared for.

Vienna had a loose tooth!!

Wait. What?!?!

She's ONLY 5! I thought we had at least a year before she started this! What the heck?

Then I realized - der. She DID just start kindergarten, and she will be SIX in January for pete's sake. It's
really not that out of the realm of possibility for her to have a loose tooth.

Bu.....bu.......but.......she's my *baaabyy*! How can this be happening already??

Good grief. I think I'm going to have a harder time with this whole growing up thing than I originally thought. And I've always known it would be tough for me. Dangit.

Next thing you know she'll be getting her period and we'll have to buy her a bra. Then she's gonna graduate high school and move out and.....and......there's absolutely not a single thing I can do about it. *Sniff*

I knew we signed up for this when we had her. I just didn't realize it was gonna all happen so friggin quickly, know what I mean?

Ok, ok.

I'll stop whining about how my kid's growing up too quickly. I'm sure you all know how I feel.

I guess I'm just gonna have to put my best foot forward and celebrate these things with her as they happen and pray that hubby and I are raising her to be strong and independent and to make the best decisions for herself when she does actually move out and get a life of her own. Which really won't be for quite awhile. I'll have time to adjust to that concept when it comes ;)

In the meantime, I'll just enjoy her sweet newly-toothless grin and kiss and hug and love on her as much as possible.

Ahh....precious childhood


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Just In!

Check out our new products that are available! They are so new, in fact, that they aren't even on the website yet! Come on in and get some today!

Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Products

Iowa Hawkeyes Spirit Piggy Paint!

Hip Peas Baby Body Products

Monday, September 16, 2013

Childbirth Professional Day - Meet Debbie Hayden-Miller

1. What is your Childbirth Profession?
I am a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)

2. Describe your profession and why someone would want to choose your profession for support in pregnancy and/or childbirth.

Midwife means, “With Woman”. A midwife provides primary care for women through their lifespan. Midwives have served women and their families for thousands of years, and provide a more personalized approach for care during pregnancy and childbirth.

As a midwife, I am lucky to share in the birth of a family.

3. Why did you get started in your profession?

I fell in love with childbirth with my first pregnancy. I took childbirth classes and enjoyed them so much, I taught classes for the next 5 years. At that time, I decided I wanted to do more so I went back to college to become a registered nurse. I always planned to go to school for midwifery but put my education aside while I raised my family. When the last of my children became teenagers, I returned to school for my Master’s degree in midwifery. It was a long journey, but oh, so worth it!
4. In detail, what is your personal childbirth philosophy?

Childbirth is
~an intimate, magical, spiritual moment in a woman’s life.
Childbirth is
~and should be treated as, a natural normal event in a woman’s life, not an illness
Childbirth is
~a sacred celebration of new life and should be protected from unnecessary interference.

All women should have the option to birth in a comfortable, secure and supported setting.

5. If you could tell all pregnant women in the world something, what would it be?

Having a child will change your world. It is a time in your life you will never forget. Each pregnancy will be differently important. Take care of yourself while you are pregnant, you have a precious little bundle growing inside of you, and what you do affects your baby.

6. How long have you been in your profession? Are you certified? If yes, by who?

I have been a registered nurse for 22 years and a certified nurse midwife for 2 years, 10 months. I am licensed, as a registered nurse (RN) and certified nurse midwife (CNM) in South Dakota and Minnesota. I am certified by the American Midwifery Certification Board.

7. Do you have a business name? How can people contact you for pregnancy and childbirth support?

My business name is Laughing Waters Midwifery, PC. I can be contacted many ways.
Web page:
Email directly from the web page or email me at
Phone number: 605-351-8041
You many also find me on Facebook

8. Where do you practice?

I am located in Sioux Falls. Currently all care will be done in your home if you live within 30 minutes of my office. Out-of-town clients will have appointments at my office. Your baby will be born in your home, you can select a water birth if you desire. I plan to travel no more than 2 hours away from Sioux Falls.

9. Events

Please join me for:

“Tea with a Homebirth Midwife”
Educated Mommy
207 W. 37th St.
Sioux Falls, SD 57106
September 17, 2013, 6:30 pm
January 21, 2014, 6:30 pm
April 15, 2014, 6:30 pm

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

To Stay Home or Not To Stay Home...That is the Question

One thing that all mothers have to come to terms with at one time or another, is whether or not to go back to work after baby comes. It can be a heart-wrenching and scary decision, no matter what decision is made. 

If you are a mama that has decided to go back to work after baby arrives, I would like to invite you to come to our "Going Back to Work" group this Saturday morning at 9:00 a.m. You can register for it here.

If you are a mama who is breastfeeding any age child (or will be soon!), we would like you to join us for our breastfeeding support group this Thursday at 6:30 p.m. You can find out more about that and rsvp here.

Now, in the spirit of going back to work, and deciding if you want to go back or stay home, here is an excerpt from La Leche League's 'The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding'.

Take One Step at a TIME

If you are awaiting the arrival of your baby, you are probably thinking about what you should tell your employer regarding your future plans. From experience, many mothers insist: "Do not make any commitments before your baby is born." If at all possible, keep your options open.

You do not want the specter hanging over your head of having to return to a job by a certain date because of an agreement you made while still pregnant. Most businesses offer a maternity leave, and will hold your job for you for a specified period of time after the baby is born. By all means take advantage of whatever leave is available to you, and give yourself that time to assess how you will feel about leaving your baby. For someone to expect you to promise away your future and that of your baby before you even have a chance to meet is tantamount to signing a blank check - no, it is worse.

Exploring OPTIONS

In 'OF CRADLES AND CAREERS', Kaye Lowman explores many aspects that are available to women who refuse to make an "all-or-nothing choice" between their careers and their families. her book includes stories of women who have "reshaped the workplace in order to make it more responsive to their need to work and their desire to have a family." She goes on to explain:
Whether a woman's need to work is financial, social, or emotional, the desire to be a parent may be equally strong...The career woman today understands her baby's need for her and the importance of being a meaningful part of her baby's life. And she realizes how much she herself will lose if she misses out on the opportunity to mother her own children...Careers can be put on hold; babies grow up and are gone. It was a wise and thoughtful Mother Nature who brought babies into the world needing to be breastfed and cared for, reminding us that mother and baby are very much a unit for many months after birth and that they need to be together. To try to ignore or circumvent this physical and psychological need is to tamper with one of the most fundamental and basic elements of human nature.
Some women make one decision before their babies are born and find their attitudes change once they become mothers. Such was the case with Joy Cohen of New York:
I have worked with children for eleven years: as an early childhood teacher, as a teacher and therapist in a therapeutic nursery, and as a psychotherapist caring for seriously disturbed children and their families. 
When I was pregnant, I believed that I would be ready to resume my part-time psychotherapy practice after three or four months. I couldn't have known then the power and intensity of my baby's and my need for each other. I wanted to give myself totally to this new and wonderful adventure called mothering. Slowly but surely I did just that.
Those first few months passed quickly, and I began to feel pressure to resume my practice. The children and families with whom I had been working were anxious to continue. My friends and family encouraged me not to give up my career.
My own cultural stereotype of the woman who can easily manage family and career during her children's early years was being challenged. The only stimulation I felt I needed was the stimulation of my baby nursing at my breast. I wanted to savor every minute of my new life and this delicately unfolding new relationship. I felt a crisis of the heart upon me. 
Fortunately, I did not have to work for economic reasons, and my husband said that he had confidence in me and that he would be supportive of any decision that I made.
I had previously arranged to have my mother care for Michael during my sessions. When I told her that I didn't want to go back to work and felt the baby strongly needed me, she told me that I was making a big mistake. I was pained that my mother couldn't be as supportive as I would have liked, but if I have learned anything from helping people know their feelings, it was to acknowledge and trust my own.
After much soul-searching, I decided to stop working with my clients. The separations were difficult and sad for everyone. I tried hard to stay connected to my own heart and knew that what was best for me would ultimately be best for all concerned. When I knew I would not longer have to be away from Michael, I breathed a long, deep sigh of relief. The internal and external work had been difficult, but as I nestled in to nurse my baby with the knowledge that I would not have to be away from him until we were both ready, I knew that it had been necessary work from which I had grown deeply as a mother and as a person. I knew that I had made absolutely the right decision.
For some mothers, even working part-time interferes with their ability to mother their child. Elizabeth Golestaani, from Iran, is one such mother:
Until recently, I had always thought part-time work - say two hours three times a week - was the ideal for the mother of a small child. Add to this the great demand for my English-teaching skills here in Iran, and I was under a lot of pressure to return to work. So I did - and what a mistake. It took me a long time to accept the fact that I'm not Superwoman and that in my case working even part-time is too much. I kept thinking that soon i would get more organized or my toddler, Sa'id, would need me less, and then all would be well. 
The idea of "giving up my career" was so scary! I kept wrestling with my thoughts and emotions. Then I received the January-February issue of NEW BEGINNINGS. In it, I read an article by a mother who had been in exactly the same situation. She wrote about how important it is for one to acknowledge and trust one's feelings, and that helped me enormously. 
I was finally able to decide to do what I believed was right for me, which was to stop accepting teaching commitments while I have a small child. I still had to finish out the university semester, but just having made the decision changed my attitude so much.
After just two days, I realized my feelings and behavior towards Sa'id had changed. I was less irritable, more loving, and the angry scoldings were replaced by hugs and listening and eye contact. Life seemed so good again.
I hadn't realized my teaching had such a bad effect on my mothering until my decision to stop. It was hard telling everybody "no more," but I kept reminding myself "Sa'id first." For me, staying home allows me to be the kind of mother I want to be.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Describing and Drawing

So, a few months ago we started a group for young/teenage/single moms in the community at my church. I have been super blessed to be a part of the group, and act as leader/mentor to the young moms that attend.

I have a passion for working with moms, and this has been the perfect opportunity to help moms in a unique way, to share God's love with them, and help them navigate the crazy, dumbfounding, doubting, wonderful, amazing, and blessed journey we call motherhood.

Even though these sweet moms are all very young, some still living at home with their own moms, working their way through high school, jobs, looking at colleges and what that really will mean for them, they have blessed me in ways I couldn't have imagined before. We have a small group so far, but it's slowly growing and I think that it will eventually grow into a wonderful resource and support for many area young moms. 

At this month's meeting, we did a little activity on communication.

We paired into groups of two, and one person in each group took a picture I had gotten out of the kids' coloring books. I gave the other person a blank piece of paper and a pen. The person who had the paper and pen could not look at the picture that their partner had.

With our backs to each other, the person with the picture had to tell the person with the blank piece of paper how to draw what was in their picture without using descriptive words, or calling something in the picture what it was. For instance, if they were describing a face, they couldn't use the term "eyes". Instead they would have to be more generic. They might tell the draw-er to draw a large circle. Inside that circle, draw two evenly spaced smallish ovals (or circles, or however they wanted to describe them) about 2/3 from the bottom. 

...or something like that....

So we set off to draw what was described to us.

Then we switched spots with new pictures. The drawers became the describers, and vice versa.

It was so interesting being in both positions.

Afterward we talked about how it felt to be the describer. Some words that were used were "frustrating", "annoying", "tedious", etc.

Then we talked about what it was like to be the drawer. "I just wanted to see what she was talking about!" was said by more than one in attendance.
I think the "smiley" face was added after the drawer realized it was a butterfly ;)

Then we talked about how this can be compared to talking with our kids. I mean, we are on *such* a different level than them! When we are trying to teach them something, show them something, or explain something to them, it can feel very frustrating, annoying, and tedious when they don't get it right away. It can feel like we are banging our head against the wall and nothing is getting through. It can feel like we are simply just spinning our wheels.

But what are they feeling?

They are probably feeling the same things we are and that they "just want to see/know what we are talking about"!

Not only that, but when your kids are trying to communicate with you and you just don't know or see what they are talking about I'm sure it's just as frustrating for them.

So, I would like to encourage you today to slow down and take the time to communicate carefully with your kids. I know all too often I rush through things and expect them to know and retain what I talked about. The reality is, they need more of me. More of my time, more of my patience, more of my compassion, and more of the direction I can give them.

If I take a little more time now, and continue to work on communication with them, maybe we'll get into some good habits that will really help out when they get older and need my open communication and understanding more than ever.

Come to think of it, I should probably start practicing this in every relationship I have - with my hubby, parents, siblings, friends, clients, co-workers, etc. Because really - life is all about communicating with every person you come in contact with. If we take the time to realize that sometimes we need to take more time and communicate in the way whomever we are interacting with relates to, our lives will likely be much more blessed.

Also? Relationships with the people I love are worth the time. Every time.