Monday, November 8, 2010

I gots to breathe- toni b.

Some decisions are thoughtful. I want to talk about thoughtful decisions in reference to taking care of your body. More specifically breathing. Breathing is automatic, unless there is a paralysis or health problem present we breathe. However, that doesn't mean that we breathe evenly, deeply, or thoughtfully.

Notice your breath. Notice the times when you hold your breath. Do you ever hold your breath during a stressful situation? You know when children throw temper tantrums and their faces go red? Adults do it to. Have you ever received a really specific massage and your therapist has reminded you to breathe? Women in childbirth are often taught how to breathe or reminded to breathe. Remind yourself whether you are excited, stressed, annoyed, experiencing discomfort, or relaxed to breathe. 

When we concentrate our breath during meditation or bodywork session, healing is intensified. When we (women) concentrate our breathing during childbirth, our body and mind relaxes and we surrender to childbirth. If we breathe when we are stressed, the stress doesn't seem so paramount anymore. As evidenced, we can very literally heal ourselves with thoughful breathing.

Breathing is one of the most powerful tools. Breathing patterns syncronize with brain waves. Your brain waves connect you to your subconscience. Your subconscience connects you to your spirit, or higher self.

Think to breathe. Think to breathe deeply and evenly.

Monday, November 1, 2010


 Today, I will learn to give.
I will realize that giving is part of the cycle of giving and receiving- the cycle of change.
Today, I will nourish someone with light.
This affirmation is about communication.
Make this your practice for today:
Feel an impulse of loving awareness and then make it a gift.
Send your impulse of love to a person you already love or all people in the world.
And then, let it go.
Your gift will be received in the spiritual bank where light is gathered.

-Deepak Chopra A-Z Meditation

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Peaceful You

As I was giving a new mother a massage last week, I started thinking about peace. This woman I was massaging had a baby 4 weeks ago. The baby came early and has been in the ICU since her arrival into this world. Praising myself, I thought how nice is this for this mom to come and get worked on. She is out of the rif raf hospital stress and focusing on herself. Then like lightning I was struck with an idea I already knew, but had forgotten: Peace is not circumstantial.

Sometimes I get confused as to what constitutes peace. I think to myself: financial freedom, the beach, a white room void of all sound with big open windows, or a church with pictures of Christ and hymns softly playing. The problem is that peace isn't a place nor is it a perfect setting. Peace is within. People can experience peace amidst a busy city, chaotic hospital, cluttered home, noisy children, financial stress, etc, etc. Peace comes from within. We are all capable of tapping into it. Imagine a big universe filled with answers and peace above your head. In order to access peace, go inside and quiet your head and the doors of peace will open up to you.

This is a skill we all must learn how to do. In my opinion,  if we don't choose to learn it in this life, we will eventually learn it in order to progress. It IS easier to get a massage, sit on the beach, or be free of distractions to find a peaceful you; however, once you've realized that you are peace then tapping into your peace will become easier.

Life is meant to be lived. We weren't sent here to meditate all day long. We live! Part of living is finding out that you can be peaceful in a world full of chaos. Because you are peace.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What a creative and sweet mom!

I found this blog yesterday and can't stop thinking about it! Check out the pictures- you will love them!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sweet Baby James

April's pregnancy flew by so fast. I hardly prepped myself for this birth. About a week before baby James came, I talked with April about her wants, wishes, and fears. In preparation for this birth, she took a hypno-birthing class. She seemed pleased with the class and believed in the principles. I concluded a few things after our talk, she was flexible with her birth plan and not totally convinced that natural childbirth was a reality for her. Her energies were more focused on what to do with two children, because one way or another, she was going two have children soon! I admire her wisdom and priorities. Inside with my thoughts, I wanted her to have a natural childbirth experience because I knew she wanted it!

April opted to get started on pitocin to avoid going over and/or having an enormous baby. She started around 7 a.m. I got there around 9:30 a.m. Dialation was slow but contractions were coming steadily. When I walked into the room, I knew April was totally present. She was assertive, confident, and calm. I have always known April to be confident, but then and there, she was more. April asked questions and was responsible and engaged. The nurse was awesome to work with. She was very knowledgable and supportive of natural childbirth. I knew that no matter what happened, we had a winning team and April was in good hands.

For the first few hours we sat around. I rubbed her feet, we played cards (I lost everytime), and we talked. Also present, was Brett (husband), Mom, and sisters. There was a lot of support and good energy in the room. April led the way, the team was synergistic and open minded with every milestone.

Finally the decision came, should her waters be broken or remain in tact? It was decided to break them since she was on the highest dose of pitocin, and not opening as fast as expected. After her waters were released, labor started coming on strong. There was no turning back. The dosage of pitocin was immediatley halved and then halved again. Her body took over and knew exactly what to do.

With all of the pairs of hands, we were able to use counter pressure on every surge. Also, our hands were there to serve, comfort, and love April throughout the time in between surges. All too soon, it was time to push. She made it! Within a few moments of pushing, baby James flew out!

It is amazing to know the nature of a baby when he/she arrives. We all knew James was happy, calm, loveable, and beautiful. He hardly cried except when roughed up by the staff. Breastfeeding was established easily and almost immediately.

I was most touched when April's other son, Luke, came to meet baby James with Grandpa. I watched April as her heart grew. Sometimes, it seems like the heart isn't capable of more love and then it is. The love radiated beyond the walls of our hospital room. As I observed, I was reminded again of the powerful combination of family and love. Nothing can touch that.

Congratulations again to April, the woman, mother, and dear friend.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Essential Oils and Pregnancy

There are many warnings about using essential oils when you are pregnant. I know of one thing for sure: You can muscle test any essential oil (eo). To save yourself time, avoid any eo's that from grocery and health food stores. Go further to the source. I use, and have been very satisfied with Young Living eos. They have a seed to seal guarantee. Which means no GMOs, no pesticides and herbicides, and most importantly no shortcuts in the distillation process. YL has farms all over the world to grow the herbs. If an essential oil they sell was not distilled and grown on one of their farms, YL provides the information so the public knows where they are getting the oils.

Now to the good stuff, What to use for what. All of the recommendations are for Young Living oils.
Nausea: Peppermint, Lemon, or Di-Gize
Heartburn: Peppermint, Di-Gize
Sleeplessness: Peace and Calming, Lavender, or Valor
Stretchmarks: Lavender and/or Gentle Baby
Depression: Frankincense
*All of these oils can be used topically, internally, and diffused. Take your pick :)

Please email me or leave a comment if you have specific questions. There is no reason to feel helpless or uncomfortable if it can be prevented. My email is Also, I would highly recommend the book, Gentle Babies by Debra Raybern. This book has plenty of information to help you- including but not limited to: pregnancy, childbirth, and after care. Debra is a Young Living distributor and all suggested products with the exception of a small handful are Young Living.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Hazel's Birth Story

 I did what I came here to do: Be Becky's doula!!! Hazel is here at last and pretty as ever! Without a doubt this birth challenged me in ways that I cannot fully explain. I am so impressed with Becky, Johnny, Lanna, Hazel and the hospital staff. 

After watching and supporting the documentary The Business of Being Born, I have reservations about hospitals and their agenda. I typically go into a hospital with my walls up and ready to fight if given the signal. My formed belief is that hospitals are a great place to have surgery and be sick, but not an ideal place to welcome a new and precious life. After helping with this birth, I have formed new ideas about hospitals and taken some of my walls down, but not all of them. I still believe that childbirth is a natural process and people should educate themselves before choosing interventions.

On Tuesday night I sat in the hospital waiting room with tears in my eyes because my plane was leaving the next day and Hazel hadn't come. Becky was laboring all of Monday night, on and off throughout the day, and very strongly that night.  I had the feeling she wasn't as dilated as we had hoped. If that were the case, we were prepared to sign a waiver to go home and labor there. As suspected, Becky was only at a three and we were going home to continue to labor. In the car ride home, we established that I wasn't going to get on any planes tomorrow. That relieved a lot of anxiety. 

That night (Tuesday) was extra intense. I felt like Becky was really starting to open. Labor slowed during the day on Wednesday, but not as much as it had on Tuesday. Come nightfall, surges were very strong and uncomfortable. We went to the hospital Wednesday night and were admitted. 

To give a brief background, Becky and Johnny took Hypno-birthing classes and were planning on approaching childbirth with those ideals and practices. Hypno-birthing challenges the idea that childbirth is a painful traumatic experience. It teaches people to release the fear associated with childbirth and allow the body to open easily and comfortably. This method is actually very scientifically and anatomically factual. Fear creates tension in the muscles, thus shortening and tightening the muscles. Breath, visualization, affirmations, and hypnosis are used during childbirth to relax the mind and muscles and create a comfortable birth.

Imagine if you will, Becky, Johnny and I working together to ease Becky thru a surge. At the start of a surge, Becky starts breathing deeply, then Johnny or myself begin repeating affirmations and painting a visual image for Becky. Also, Johnny and I were doing counter-pressure on her hips and massage. What a dream team! These techniques kept Becky laboring on her own for the first 50 hours of labor. 

After we were admitted, there was no rush to get a vaginal examination or pressure from the staff. Instead, they wanted to know Becky and Johnny's birth plans. They were incredibly supportive. In fact, we were left to ourselves most of the time with the exception of intermittent monitoring and vitals. We called the shots, just as it should be. After all, people who have babies at a hospital are hiring the hospital. 

There was steady progression until there wasn't. Becky was stuck at a 7 centimeters for over 10 hours and still contracting regularly. The staff was great to inform us of our options. Each time we opted for no interventions, until we didn't. We decided to give Pitocin a try. Once she was on 'the pit', surges were impossible. Keep in mind that this is the third night for all of us without sleep. There was no improvement on pitocin, so we agreed to an internal monitor that measured the strength of each contraction- that way they could know if we needed to up the dosage of Pitocin. When they concluded that the dosage needed to be increased, we opted for an epidural. 

After this procedure, I had a mini melt down. I was in tears because I was relieved, because I couldn't handle seeing Becky in anymore pain, because I was exhausted, and because I didn't know if we (including baby) were all going to make it out alive.

There were a few complications with the epidural, like it was only numbing the right side and she could still feel surges. Rather than re-doing the whole procedure, we made a few alterations. In what seemed like no time at all, we were ready to push. Pushing lasted for 7 hours. We could not seem to get Hazel out. Choices were slim after 80 hours of labor and no strength left. We chose vaginal delivery with the help of forceps. This is where I had another mini melt down. More mini than the first, because it was all happening so fast. After a few really hard tugs Hazel was ripped out of Becky and placed onto her chest. If you are confused about the length of labor, don't be! You are estimating correctly, Becky was in labor for about 85 hours. 
There were several miracles that took place throughout this experience: We had fun, we had enough energy to continue to support each other, Marianne was updating everyone which led to everyone praying on our behalf, Hazel's heart rate stayed constant, Becky had a vaginal delivery, the staff was supportive and encouraging, baby and mamma are healthy, despite any physical trauma- Becky is open and eager to re-count what happened and does so with joy and satisfaction, we used hypno-birthing techniques and saw results, and we are immensely satisfied with what happened. 

This is what I see in my head: Becky holding up Hazel, Johnny and I holding up Becky, legions of angels holding up Johnny and me. I feel so much love for and empathy for Becky and Johnny. My time here has been invaluable and I wish it were everlasting. Hazel is perfect. She is healthy, precious, and very beautiful. Becky's mom has been here cooking, cleaning, and showering us all with love and support. I am amazed at the outcome and I feel genuinely confident that everything is as it ought to be. I am over-joyed. And like Karen Carpenter says, "We've only just begun."

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

a ray of sunshine

Wednesday was a beautiful day to have a baby! It may have been overcast and cold, but at 5:30 p.m. a 9 lb 1 ounce ray of sunshine was welcomed into the world.

Wednesday was the full moon and I was sort of anticipating the birth with that in mind. I love/hate the anticipation before a birth. For days or even weeks, I set my phone on volume high and tell myself to not go into a deep sleep because I don't want to miss any calls during the night.

I didn't miss this call. Marianne called me in the middle of the day. She had gone in for a check-up because the night before she was up with contractions. Gratefully, she was dilated to a seven, progressing, and staying to have her baby. I got to the hospital around 3:40.

We were all so happy to be there. The atmosphere was very laid back. Contractions were coming regularly and strong, but not disabling.  Marianne was in and out of the tub. Within a short time, things were intensifying. The contractions were getting very uncomfortable. Marianne moved to the bed because water births aren't allowed at that hospital.  After blood, sweat, tears, laughter, position changes, and 30 minutes of pushing baby Violet was here!

Immediately we all knew Violet's sweet disposition. She is calm and good natured.  She is absolutely  darling with lots of brown hair, big lips, and wrinkle line above her nose. Totally irresistible!!

I remember during transition looking at Marianne. I felt so helpless for her- I knew that no comfort measures could help her at this point. She was in great distress and discomfort. Then all of the sudden time stopped long enough for Marianne to compose herself.  It was as if someone came in the room and wiped the agony away. Her breathe slowed and her face changed. The world started spinning again and the next push Violet was here.

Childbirth is totally amazing. Every birth is different and yet the same feelings of reverence, admiration, and humility flood through me. I envision a gathering of angels present at every birth. They all get the invite and bless the new baby. They've come to celebrate family. I am happy to share in this celebratory  experience. That is one of the many reasons that I am a doula.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Hey Everyone!

April is my favorite month! In honor of Spring and renewal, I am sending everyone a coupon for $12 off any service. This coupon is only redeemable in April. Spring is the perfect time cleanse the body, relax, and renew!

If you want to "spring clean" your body, I recommend the Raindrop Technique. It's detox that will leave you feeling great for weeks!

I am also excited to announce that I am a birth doula. I help, support, and serve pregnant women. If you or someone you know is pregnant and wants a doula, refer them my way. Anyone who hires me or refers someone that hires me as a doula will receive a free massage!

My office is in Everybody Wellcome in Orem (right on State street). You can call or email to schedule your appt. I look forward to seeing you this month.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


I seem to be more aware of pregnant women in springtime. The cylce of re-birth is here. Many of you are either pregnant or know someone is pregnant. Why should you consider a doula? A doula assists in so many ways. She provides emotional and physical support, stays with the woman throughout her entire birth, and nutures the mom to feel more secure and cared for. Having this kind of support results in shorter labors, fewer complications, less interventions and pain meds. Nature operates pretty simply. We over complicate things most of the time. When woman are supported, safe, and cared for their bodies operate more easily.

Please don't ignore your questions. Get answers. Email me anytime. Research away! The answers are waiting for you to find them!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Beautiful Birth

It's almost been a week since I attended a beautiful birth. Unbelievable how fast time flies. I was in attendance as a doula & friend. Esther delivered at Birthing Your Way in Orem. I had never attended a birth outside of a hospital setting before. It was totally incredible! The center was so safe, relaxed, and home-like. I felt very fortunate to share the experience with such a knowledgeable, strong, and diverse team. There were two midwives, one midwife assistant, one student midwife, and me. Not to mention Esther and her mother are both nurses and Keyvan is really informed about natural childbirth.

I find it hard to express with words how miraculous it is to welcome a new baby into the world. Angels are dancing and singing, tears and laughter are flowing, and God is smiling.

Esther labored at home for many hours before going to the birthing center. She labored for another 8-9 hours at the b.c. It was nice to not only have the options but be encouraged to eat, bathe, drink, walk, listen to music, change positions when pushing, and be vocal.

Baby girl cuteness came at 4:21 after an 1 1/2 hours of pushing. She was put on Esther's chest and peacefully gazed up at her mama. When dad said something her head and eyes immediately turned to him. She was alert, calm, and serene. She has a full head of black hair, black eyelashes, gorgeous skin, and the prettiest little face. She wanted to eat almost immediately and she did!

It must have been an hour or more before she was weighed (6 lbs 14 oz) and measured (19in & 3/8s) and assessed. Both mom and baby are happy and healthy.

I know there is a lot of fear and misinformation about birthing outside of a hospital. Is it safe? Can I transfer to a hospital if I needed to? Are midwives informed? Will my baby survive? Yes, yes, yes, and yes. As a doula, a woman, and a witness, I speak honestly that it is safe and normal. If you or baby have health problems maybe the hospital is the best place for you to deliver. Either way consider your options. Talk to people who have birthed outside and inside hospitals, with midwives and with obgyns, naturally and medicated. There is no right or way way to bring your baby into the world. Choose to be informed!!

Working as a doula is amazing. I support everyone and every scenario. Doulas help mamas to make informed decisions. My wish is for every laboring woman to have a doula. Women are really good at supporting, informing, and comforting women. Every doula I know works with budgets. If you have any questions or curiosities get answers! You won't regret being informed, it's empowering!