Thursday, April 30, 2015

Doula Adventures: Review of "Spiritual Midwifery"

Here we are at the end of April, sliding in a doula book review barely on time! This month I'm sharing my review of Ina Mae Gaskin's Spiritual Midwifery, which is one of my favorite books.

Ina Mae Gaskin has so much faith in women's bodies, and I love how this faith permeates everything she writes. The premise of Spiritual Midwifery is that women are made to have babies and that midwives {and birth workers} are there to listen to the mother, guide her through what her body is designed to do naturally, and that it is a spiritual experience for everyone involved.

As with all of Ina Mae's books, the first third of the book was my favorite. Birth stories! Ina Mae shared a wide variety of birthing situations, and her calmness through even the most tricky and difficult circumstances was encouraging.

What I appreciated the most, though, was the thoroughness of Ina Mae. She described with both the "to the parents" and the "to the midwives" sections how to proceed through each stage of pregnancy, labor, delivery, and postpartum. The diagrams of the mother's pelvis and the baby's skull were particularly useful in my understanding of the physicality of birth. Also, the various positions that the baby can be in before the birth are crucial to understand, and I believe Ina Mae's illustrations helped me vastly.

Spiritual Midwifery helped me discern the rhythm and flow of pregnancy care, labor, delivery, and postpartum activities. Reading both the parental and birth worker sections exemplified my future job description: encourager of the mother, guardian of the energy in the room, guide of the father/partner, and support for medical workers.


I read this book back in November, and after re-reading my review, I will probably go back and read it again. I really do love Ina Mae!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Not Alone Series: Physical Affection

Linking up with Jen at Jumping in Puddles and Morgan at Follow and Believe.

Everyone has different ideas on physical affection and where their personal boundaries lie. What boundaries do you draw or expectations do you have for physical affection in romantic relationships? Have specific experiences led you to draw these lines?

Oh man. Big topic, Jen and Morgan!

Two things I want to share before answering: I've never been in a romantic relationship, and my primary love language is touch.

Seriously, Jessie is pretty much me. 

Since physical touch is so important to me, I know that Mr. TDH and I will be discussing this in depth throughout our relationship. I want to honor both of us, glorify the Lord, and show affection without worrying about regrets later. That's it for me, really, because I don't think I can say I will or will not do a specific thing...too complicated! So glorify God while showing affection without regrets. Boom. 

What do you think? Head over to Jen's for more posts on this topic!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Not Alone Series: Friendship {freebie!}

Linking this "freebie" topic with Jen at Jumping in Puddles and Morgan at Follow and Believe!

"I'm so grateful for you two!" was a frequent refrain last weekend as my two best friends and I played by the sea. I love that my friends and I are able to express gratitude for each other to each other. We all live at least an hour from each other, but through group texts and phone calls and weekend getaways, we are able to stay connected, and I think through our physical separation, we are more aware of and grateful for our close friendship. {To read and see the highlights of our weekend, check out Samara's great post!}

In 8 days, I'll be back in the Bluegrass State with my bosom friend and the rest of the family in my Other Home. My friendship with AJ is another sweet, sweet gift. She and I text regularly and talk as often as the three-hour time difference allows. One of the best part of our relationship is that we tell each other that we're thinking of each other, missing the other, and grateful for our friendship - I love that!

Another grand adventure is about to start next month - my sister is moving in with me! I am beyond thrilled that the sister with whom I begrudgingly shared a room through our childhood and adolescence is now {voluntarily!} moving into a grown-up living situation with me. There is a point in time where you begin to hang out with your siblings because you enjoy their company, not just because they live with you, and then there's a point where you want to hang out with your siblings while not living with them, and now we are at the point where we want to hang out AND live together. Grown-up sibling relationships are so wonderful.

NAS Community, you add joy and color and encouragement to my day, and I'm glad that we are virtual friends. I'm grateful for you!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


Some days/weeks/months are just busy, ya know? I'm looking at you, Month of April. So while I've got words to say, I've also got work to do... so, yeah.

The main reason I wanted to post a little something today is because April 14th is my Staying Alive Day. 5 years ago, I was hit by a car. Yep. Pedestrian in crosswalk, meet car in road.

It could have been much, much, much worse, and I am so so so grateful for... life. While the experience was horrid and traumatic, and I truly wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy, it makes me more grateful and more aware of the gift of health and life.

I hope you're having a wonderful day and that you're grateful for it! :)

Friday, April 3, 2015

Books, books, books...

You guys... it's April. Wowza the first three months of the year have gone by fast!

Since we are 25% done with 2015, I thought I should share a Book Challenge update. Per my book reading goals for this year, I'm participating in Modern Mrs. Darcy's challenge. I want to mark the passing of three months by highlighting three books from her list.

January: a book published this year - I read Golden Son: Book II of The Red Rising Trilogy* by Pierce Brown, and holy moly it was amazing. Pierce Brown is a master story-teller, and he's only getting better. His first book is Red Rising: Book I of The Red Rising Trilogy* and it was good, but Golden Son was better. Plus, I got to meet Pierce at a book signing and he's a really nice guy! He likes Taylor Swift, so obviously we're bffs ;)

February: a book you've been meaning to read - I read Yes Please* by Amy Poehler. I laughed uproariously, snickered slyly, and snorted contentedly throughout the book. There is some language {did you expect anything different?}, so consider yourself warned. If you're a fan of Amy, you'll enjoy this book. 

March: a book you should have read in high school - I read I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou. I was not expecting the intense content or beautiful word pictures. Maya tells the story of her life with both in-the-moment feelings of her childhood and the perspective of a few decades. I didn't love this book, but I'm glad I read it. 

For April, I'm hoping the library comes through and I can read/listen to Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson... would that count as a genre I don't usually read or "everyone" has read but me or recommended by someone with great taste? Not sure there, because I think it counts as all three.

What are you reading these days, friends?

*affiliate links