Babies in Bloom Birth Story: The Birth Of Our Sonshine

A birth story graciously shared from one of our birth center families…

On Saturday evening, I was sitting on my kitchen counter waiting for dinner to finis cooking, crying my eyes out and texting my midwife because I had decided our Sunny changed his mind and would never be born, that I would be like that South American woman who was pregnant for 20 years (calcified pregnancy). It has always been my mantra that baby will be born at the perfect time for him but those last few days of pregnancy as many already know are so physically and mentally exhausting. I was SO done!

Sunday morning, we all awoke before the sun per usual thanks to my two lively Wild Flowers. I didn’t have much of an appetite and felt completely restless! I had a lower backache so I decided to soak in the bath for a while and hey since I was already there I might as well wash my mane, too. I noticed I was having very irregular contractions but I had been having those for about two weeks so I ignored them. We decided today was a great day to clean out the garage and spent all morning organizing and sweeping. At nap time we all laid down to rest, I had sort of been in a strange fog all morning and was sure I was just really tired. I couldn’t sleep. I noticed I was having more and more contractions, more than I had had in the last few weeks. I wanted to get excited but I felt nervous instead and then decided I’d just be in denial. Jason had been watching me like a hawk all day and I kept telling him to “stop being a freak” but he could see all of the things that I couldn’t (he’s basically a birth and breastfeeding professional at this point). And even though it was football Sunday with his favorite team playing, he made the beautiful suggestion of going to get milkshakes at my favorite place, all hail In-N-Out Burger. It’s been a little family tradition of ours that when I’m in labor we go eat at In-N-Out and then magically a baby appears a couple of hours later! But it didn’t matter because I wasn’t really in labor. By the time we got back home though I was having to shift my focus on breathing through my contractions so I suggested IF this was the real deal maybe we should take a walk around the neighborhood. We strapped our hyperactive sugar crazy Wild Things into our snazzy double stroller and started walking. We didn’t make it far, maybe an eighth of a mile, so I had another great idea! Lets go back home and cook dinner. I was slicing chicken and preheating the oven so J lovingly brought a fan down to help cool the kitchen (me) down. Then the swaying started. With each contraction I was having to move with them, in my mind it was like the movement was breaking through the wall of pain. By this time I was trying (failing) to cook dinner in order to shift my focus away from my labor, my shirt was off, I was in my favorite skirt, and swaying with a piece of raw chicken and a knife in my hands in front of a fan. But it was fine because I wasn’t in labor. Jason wanted me to text our midwives but I didn’t want to. So…he did. And our friends to watch the girls if needed, and our birth photographer. That guy had it all together!

After dinner was finished baking, which no one ate because apparently it was the worst dinner I have ever made so the girls at PB&J’s instead, I was hanging out on my birthing ball in the living room. Painter arrived at my knees and climbed into my lap and hugged me while we rode the waves of a few more contractions together. The love and power I felt in those moments really energized me. I’ll cherish that memory forever.

With my new burst of energy I had my best idea yet, My hair was still pretty damp and in a messy bun from my bath earlier in the day. Obviously this was the prime time to blow dry it! I carried my birthing ball upstairs and busted out my blow dryer which I haven’t used in four years and went to town. Shifting my focus away from my contractions while swaying on my ball and blow drying my hair. I wish I had a picture of that, really.

Jason got the girls into the bathtub. With my hair dry and the way I wanted it, I moved into our bed. I could hear the girls giggling in the bath tub and wished I could be in there with them too. I love them so much. Which reminded me of my favorite birthing story from Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin. In the story the mother thought about all of the people she loved and appreciated while she was working through each contraction. I really loved that idea and decided that was a great thing to try out. Labor was getting challenging and I was very tired. With my next contraction I was rocking from side to side with my eyes closed really focusing, “I love my family. My children and my husband. My marriage. I am so grateful to be able to give this gift to my baby. I am so happy to meet my son soon. I am so grateful for my midwives and their support.” I repeated these over and over in my mind until my contractions would subside.

The girls came in to kiss me goodnight, Vaughn looked at me and said “You can do it mom, I love you!”.

I love them, I love them, I love them.

Labor was getting more intense and I was starting to feel nervous again. Jason arrived at the perfect moment. I moved over to my birthing ball and held onto the bed while I swayed through the energy of those contractions. Jason was reading my birthing affirmations, timing my contractions, texting my midwives, and bringing me a lot of peace. This guy. The perfect Dude-la.

At some point our friends arrived and were watching TV downstairs which was reassuring because the girls could stay asleep in their own beds. So grateful to not have to worry about them.

Here is the realness. Birth is hard. Labor is hard. As I find out each time I give birth, you do not have to be a Super Woman with super powers. You are able and capable as a Wombman. There is a strength within each of us that we can not channel until we are right there in the thick of it. It’s a power that is thousands of years old that lives within us and it is pure magic.

In between contractions I was very aware and lucid, Jason and I were chatting. “I can do this right?” I kept asking him. I had read a quote that I loved once, it went something like..your contractions aren’t stronger than you because they ARE you. I was thinking about this through my next contraction. My focus shifted then to “I can do this”. I repeated that to myself in my mind and out loud for the next several minutes. Jason said to me, “Lashel says we can go to the birthing center whenever we’re ready.”

I waited for another five minutes and then I realized that IF she did really say that…then I must really be in labor….AND  I  must be fairly close to birthing him….if she said that.

“Okay.”

Jason grabbed our bags and hustled down to the car and came back upstairs to get my ball and help me down the stairs. When I got to the bottom of the stairs I see our friends hanging out on the couch (I’m so tired I really wished I was doing that too) and I give them a thumbs up. We made a pit stop by the front door so I could work through another contraction and then slowly got outside and into the car. With my eyes closed I kept trying to keep my body relaxed. I started to feel discouraged because all of the sudden my contractions which were pretty intense then became managable. And then we were there! The birth assistant arrived shortly after we did and unlocked the doors for us, as I was getting out of the car one of our midwives arrived and walked in with us, I looked at her..”I am so glad to see you.” And I was.

We walked into birth room number Two. It was dark and quiet, it was perfect. Safe.

I put my hands on the bed to ride through another contraction and

POP

my water broke. And then I felt something strange but familiar and totally out of my control. He was coming and my body was pushing him out.

“I can do this, I can do this, I can do this”.

I climbed onto the bed and stayed on all fours, I couldn’t imagine being in any other position (which is interesting because I have said before I have no idea how women birth this way and I could never see myself doing that..but I was).

“I can do this, I can do this, I can do this”

“You ARE doing this!” my midwife said. Was I really?

“This is really hard.”

It was really, really hard.

Jason was kneeling on the other side of the bed, our faces smashed together. That was the only  way I was able to get through the most intense moments of my entire life. It was easily the most challenging few minutes of my life, even having given birth before, every birth is different.

In between these massive waves that were helping me get closer to meeting my son, I had a thought and said to Jason “I CAN NOT BELIEVE OUR BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHER IS MISSING THIS! WE PAID SO MUCH MONEY!”

Our wonderful midwife was coaching me through each contraction, I loved her so much and was so grateful for her especially in those moments, I needed her voice. “He has blonde hair!!”.. oh my god, I have another blonde baby. Hearing those few words filled me with love and happiness and the final burst of energy I needed to welcome our sweet boy into this world.

Then our birth photographer arrived. Oh my god, she arrived!

“I can see his face!”

And then the whole energy of the room shifted. I could physically feel the power in the air. The love and strength of every woman who has ever been. Leaning on my rock for strength feeling the intense energy vibrating through the air and my heart that felt like it was literally bursting with love, I roared my son into existence.

I could not believe it. I looked around at each women in that room, looked at my husband, looked at my new son.

My heart had burst wide open, shattered into a million pieces in this moment and I was born again too. I have never known Love until now and I am sure every single person felt it too.  It was electric.

“Peace on Earth begins at Birth”

Today our Sunny is one week new and I still am in disbelief over what we all experienced but what I can tell you, the love I have inside of me it’s life changing.

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Pinterest Has Spoken

Hey parents, did you get the memo?  Woodland inspired nurseries are going to be huge in 2017. It’s cute. It’s cozy. It’s gender-neutral. What’s not to love!?

How do we know this? Well, Pinterest released its Pinterest 100 board which predicts the 100 trends we are most likely to see in 2017, all based on saving and search data from 2016. Woodland nurseries happen to be up 97% in the last year.

In light of this bunny boom, we thought we’d help you out by sharing some of the ADORABLE woodland themed items we currently have in our Boutique.

Little Unicorn Organic Cotton Muslin Quilt:

This breathable, natural cotton muslin quilt is loaded with four snug layers and a whole host of friendly forest characters. It’s large (47” x 47”) so you will get good use out of it over the years. Best of all, it promises to only get softer and cuddlier with each wash.

Milkbarn Organic:

Burp Cloths:

Adding cute to the puke, these soft and ultra-absorbent cloths come in a two pack and are made with 100% certified organic cotton. They look and feel such high quality – they would make a great gift wouldn’t they?

Newborn Gown and Hat set:

Speaking of gifts, how stinking cute is this Milkbarn Organic newborn set? This stylish box comes with an elastic bottom gown and knotted hat, all Hummingbird themed and sized 0-3 months.

SugarBooger’s ‘What Did the Fox Eat?’ collection:

All BPA free, this range is not just cute, but smart! To be honest, the plate had us at ‘spill-proof.’ Sure your little one might like working on his / her baseball pitch using oatmeal, broccoli or pasta, but with a removable suction base, at least the plate will stay in place.  Every little helps right? As well as the matching snack pots and lunch container, we also stock the matching silverware set in the Boutique. Just the right size for tiny hands to grip, the set comes with a case (ideal for on-the-go) that can also be personalized.

Tesa Babe Clothing: 

If some of these designs came in adult size, we’d be all over them. Cool, cute and comfy, woodland has never looked so classy! Or calming. They are all the c’s!  A variety of sizes and prints are available.

Anything catch your eye here? Pop in to the Boutique to feel the quality for yourself – we’d love to see you sometime soon.

 

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We Are Hiring!

We are growing and looking for a new member of our boutique team!

Babies in Bloom offers items for expectant parents and babies, as well as unique gifts. Our team is committed to the promotion of safer, healthier and eco-friendly options for families with a strong focus on education and support.

Babies in Bloom provides:

  • An open, empowering work environment.
  • A supportive team that cares about your success as an individual.
  • A fair an flexible work schedule that puts family first.
  • Training that will improve your life, both personally and professionally.
  • An opportunity to make a difference in the lives of families every day.
  • A unique, family-oriented company culture.
  • Part-time available, with full-time growth potential in the future.

Do you have what it takes? 

The Babies in Bloom team consists of an enthusiastic, dedicated group of individuals that are passionate about the products we offer, and how they can make families’ lives easier.

  • We invest heavily in training and have learned that staff excel best if they work a minimum of 2 shifts a week. A minimum 12 hours a week is expected.
  • A flexible schedule is an asset, as is experience in retail or sales.
  • Weekend shifts are mandatory. You must be able to work at least 1-2 Saturdays a month, although not always required.
  • A commitment of one-year of service is preferred, from the start of training.
  • You must be able to be on your feet all day.
  • Individuals must be passionate about selling pregnancy and breastfeeding products, natural cloth diapers, baby slings and carriers, natural toys, gifts and gear.

We are looking for employees who are friendly, enthusiastic, have great social skills, and love learning and helping others. To be successful you must be hardworking, easily strike up conversations with customers, take initiative, and know what it means to be professional, respectful and non-judgmental.

We’re excited about the possibility of having new, energetic team members helping us in our mission. If this sounds like you, don’t miss out an an opportunity to join our team! Please contact us as per the guidelines below.

Benefits

We endeavor to recruit the best people we can to become a part our team. At Babies in Bloom, we offer a work environment that empowers individuals to work independently, free to make decisions daily and manage their time in a way that is respectful of both employer and employee. We strive to create a respectful workplace, treat all employees fairly, and help team members work towards reaching their individual career goals.

As part of the Babies in Bloom team, employees enjoy:

  • Working for a family business that cares about you as an individual.
  • A fair wage, paid training, ample holiday time and the potential for annual performance-based increases.
  • A valuable investment in training time and resources.
  • Flexible working hours.
  • A generous store discount after 3 months
  • Occasional free samples of products and testers.

How to Apply

Please read carefully. Attention to detail is of utmost importance when working with our team.

  1. Download an application here.
  2. Drop off the following in person or by email (rochelle@babies-in-bloom.com):
    1. Your completed Application for Employment
    2. A cover letter detailing why you believe you’ll be a perfect fit for our team.
    3. An updated resume.

Only those applicants selected for an interview will be contacted. Please no phone calls.

 

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Packing Your Birth Center Bag

packing birth center bagSo, there’s only a handful of weeks left before you welcome your little one in to the world. Excitement doesn’t even begin to cover it!  You might also be wondering… “What do I pack in our birth bag?”… especially if it will be your first experience in a birth center.

It’s common to stay at a birth center around four to six hours after the birth, meaning you won’t need to pack as much as you might for a longer hospital stay. There are also more home comforts at a birth center – from full kitchen facilities to bath tubs to soak in – which again can influence what you might want to bring with you.

To help you get started, we’ve pulled together a recommended checklist for you. Use it as a rough guide and simply add to the core list to personalize it for you and your partner. Remember, if you have any questions or worries, don’t hesitate to call your birth center – they are there to help you get the birth you’ve always dreamed of!

Things to pack for you:

  • Your birth plan
  • Insurance card and phone number
  • Comfortable clothes (and shoes / slippers) to wear during labor, (and perhaps a sports bra / bikini top if a water birth is your preference)
    • Top tip: if you are planning a photographer to capture this special arrival, think solid block colors and minimal logos for both you and your partner
  • Headband and hair ties to keep hair out of your face during delivery
  • Favorite drinks – think juice, coconut water or electrolyte drinks – and nourishing snacks for both labor and postpartum.
    • A lot of birth centers like ours, have cooking facilities for you to use, so you can even some of your home cooked favorites with you for a well-earned post labor treat!
  • Essential oils and massage oils
  • Back labor massage tools
  • Rice sock / heating pad
  • Books, magazine, games for relaxation
  • Hand-held fan
  • Your preferred toiletries  – we’d recommend some soothing lip balm too.
  • Glasses / contact lenses and solution
  • Phone / camera / video camera, plus chargers
  • Call list (if you’re old school and like to have a hard copy)
  • Music player – for your relaxing labor playlist
  • A fresh nightgown, nursing bras and spare old dark underwear for post delivery
  • Maternity pads
  • Comfortable going home clothes
  • Loose change for unknown expenses, like parking fees. Just in case.

 

Things to pack for Baby: 

  • A few different outfits and hats – including accessories for newborn photos, plus the outfit you want baby to go home in
  • Blankets, including a swaddle blanket
  • Cloth diapers (if choosing to go cloth) or disposable diapers
  • Wipes
  • Burp cloths
  • A gift from baby for big brother or sister for that precious first meeting
  • Infant car seat
    • We’d advise playing around with the seat prior to baby’s arrival, just to ensure you feel confident installing the seat in the car, as well as securing baby safely in the seat. If in doubt, go to a car seat inspection spot for installation support.

Just to be super prepared, you might also want to pack a hospital bag in case of transport, consisting of additional spare clothes, pads, toiletries, diapers, wipes etc.
We hope this helped. Good luck mamas to be, you will be great. You’ve totally got this!

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