Posts Tagged ‘November’

30 Days of Thanksgiving, days 10 & 11: Because, stomach virus.

Wednesday, November 11th, 2015
The day he deployed, saying 'bye to Little Red.

The day he deployed, saying ‘bye to Little Red. Look at those chubby cheeks!

Day 10: I am thankful that the stomach virus that swept nonchalantly through our home was short-lived. Miserable, but short-lived. I am also thankful for good general health among the six of us, so our immune systems could handle the vomit carnage. I’m exaggerating, of course. Durin was the only one who barfed more than twice during his battle with the bug. Still, even he was only down for one day.

So, I will be diffusing Thieves oil, airing out the house in spite of the chill, and cleaning doorknobs with grapefruit seed extract and whatnot to make sure this bug stays dead.

Day 11: Today I am thankful for my veteran husband, Levi, who served eight years in the Air Force, and was deployed once during that time. Without him, and other men and women in uniform, this country might be a sorrier place.

After a tough weekend, I am surprised at how well this week is going, in terms of productivity. I’m one day behind on my midwifery and childbirth education reading and homework, but as long as I get it all done by Friday night, I will have a true-ish weekend! (Levi works nights and weekends, so a real weekend never really happens for us as a family.)

Thank you so much for sticking around and putting up with these weird, disjointed posts. Y’all are so understanding. And in the meantime, won’t you please visit CAPPA’s YouTube channel, and consider subscribing? This is the channel I am running for CAPPA, and would dearly love to get the video messages out to a wider community! Thank you so very much!

What are you thankful for today?

Grace & Peace,
Tiff

30 Days of Gratitude, day 10: Time Off-Call.

Tuesday, November 10th, 2015

There is nothing a doula or a midwife looks forward to more than time off-call throughout the year.

Since we have┬áchosen this line of work, you won’t often hear us complaining of being on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, year round. Yet, this work is demanding. It stretches our minds, our bodies, our emotions, and our relationships. It affects every area of our lives profoundly, and we must make sure we find the balance we need in order to keep ourselves from burning out.

Ideally, we want more than that. We want to thrive in this work, in our personal lives, and in our relationships. So, we schedule time off-call. Here at Preparing for Birth, we choose to set aside two months a year in which we take no clients. We still have prenatal and postpartum appointments, but we will have a glorious 3-4 weeks in which we can turn our phones off sometimes!

We can take time for family vacations, field trips with the kids, or days to just do nothing. We can enjoy more than one margarita if we feel so inclined, and not worry about a late night of karaoke.

For us to be at our best in serving our clients, we must take this time. It is not a luxury. It is a necessity. And we are so grateful that there are enough midwives and doulas in this town to go around, so we are free to take that time off and not worry that any clients will be left without a care provider.

Time off-call. It’s a beautiful thing.

How do you take time off? What are you thankful for today?

Warmly,
Tiffany Miller,
Student Midwife & Childbirth Educator

30 Days of Gratitude, Days 8 & 9: Shared Nerdiness & Geeky Culture

Monday, November 9th, 2015

thankful 2015 days 8-9 aBirth professionals are a unique breed. Nerdiness is a built-in feature of each of us. We tend to be counter-cultural in a lot of ways, and our passions extend beyond the bounds of birth, babies, and breastfeeding in surprising ways. Today, we are all thankful for this ability we have to bond in our shared nerdiness and geeky culture.

We all geek out over things which the rest of the world will just back away from. We have all squealed in delight at the latest and greatest fake boob, because we can use it to demonstrate a pump. We have each sighed longingly over a new model pelvis, because ours is missing its tailbone. Our Amazon wish lists are filled with midwifery texts, cute scrubs, birth books, and tools of the trade. And don’t even get me started on the awesomeness of placentas!

We go all fangirl when we hear that Ina May Gaskin, Penny Simkin, or Michel Odent has agreed to speak anywhere in our near vicinity. They are the rock stars of the birth world, and we just can’t handle the awesomeness.

And yet…our geekiness doesn’t stop there. Our ridiculous passion for birth extends to a lot of other areas. Did you know Colorado Springs has a stormtrooper midwife? Yet, she is not the only out and proud nerd in town! Our very own Desirre Andrews has quite a large, geeky following on her Dram of Outlander blog, and is writing reviews for a few different SyFy shows. Seriously, we are a geeky bunch, and we were geeks before being a geek was cool! (So, we’re like…hipster geeks. *snort*)

“I’m thankful for nerd girlfriends! Doctor Who, LOTR, Books, Sherlock, all things geeky and nerdy!” -Sabrina Stewart, Pregnancy Fitness & Breastfeeding Educator and CLC

Not only do birth professionals connect over all things birth, we connect over fandoms. Everything from Marvel to Star Trek to Doctor Who, to Outlander to Downton Abbey to Sherlock to Firefly, you can find us geeking out over something.

A geek is a geek is a geek, and while we’re not all the same, we find our common ground in our fandoms!

Today, we are thankful for our sisterhood being built on more than birth and breastfeeding. We are thankful that geek culture is in, and that it’s finally okay to be wildly passionate about anything! Here’s to the comic book nerds, the cosplayers, the bookworms, the gamers, the Marvel fanatics, the BBC fangirls, and all other nerdy passions!

What are you geeking out over today?

Warmly,
Tiffany Miller
Childbirth Educator and Student Midwife

30 Days of Thanksgiving, Days 5-9: Because Procrastination

Monday, November 9th, 2015
Our very first butterfly kit.

Our very first butterfly kit.

Today, though I am behind, I just want to take this chance to express gratitude for my four children.

Day 5: I am thankful for my firstborn, because it is he who made me a mother for the first time. It is he who has had to endure the first and worst of my parenting mistakes. It is he who will always be the guinea pig of the family. It is he who is teaching me so much, though I feel like I am having trouble learning what I am supposed to learn. On the verge of young manhood, I am perplexed and nervous about the next phase in his life. I have made so many mistakes already, and I fear the worst are to come. So, I thank God for this gift of a firstborn son, who loves me, and who still needs me to be the best mother I can be, and who forgives me so readily when I ask him. I am grateful for his affectionate, loving nature, and I pray I can nurture that part of him over the next few years, and help shape him into a loving and gentle man.

Day 6: I am thankful for my firstborn daughter, who has shown so much self-discipline lately. I am certain (because I asked her) that it stems from the trouble she sees her siblings getting into, and she wants a different path for herself. Still, little does she know that this self-discipline is exactly the quality she will need to achieve whatever God sets before her in life. So, I am thankful for this characteristic in her. She is so much better than I was at her age. I am thankful that she is a bit of a mystery to me, and that I have to work to bring her heart to the surface, where I can know her better. I am thankful that I must open my eyes and ears more purposefully with her, otherwise I would miss who she is.

Day 7: I am thankful for my redheaded third-born. High-strung and sensitive, this one is a great challenge to me as well. It seems that she will not capitulate to anything without first fighting it out in some form or fashion. She is quick to anger, but quick to repentance and grace as well. She has high highs, and her lows plunge her into the “depths of despair,” much like my own personal Anne Shirley. She is a puzzle, longing for more freedom than she is ready for. She is the one teaching me patience and grace. To be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. I am thankful for her refining personality, and the strength I can see growing in her, that will allow her to stand firm among giants, in spite of her small stature.

Day 8: I am thankful for my youngest, of the long lashes, brown eyes, and freckled little-boy face. That child has taught me, more than any of them, that not all children are the same. Teaching him to read has been one of my biggest parenting challenges, but I managed it. His brain just works so very differently than any of the others, that I marvel. Sometimes, I wonder if I am really the right mother for him, but he helps me to remember that God chose me specifically for him. There can be no better mother for this child, in spite of appearances. He has taught me to trust that God makes no mistakes in the paths he sets before his children, and that I can, indeed, do “all things” through Christ who strengthens me.

Day 9: I am thankful that the virus going through our house the past few days is very short-lived, so that we can each just move on. I am thankful that Saturday was incredibly productive for me, so that I could take a true day of rest on Sunday, though it meant taking a rain-check on a much-needed outing with one of my dearest friends. Perfect timing, stomach bug. Perfect. (Note: there really should be a sarcasm font…) This illness running through the house is teaching me to be thankful in everything. It also taught me not to let these things derail me quite so much as they used to. To instead just roll with it, and be grateful for strong immune systems.

God is good. All the time.

And I’m thankful today.

Pardon any typos, I don’t have time to proofread this morning, as I do need to get started on our homeschool day, like, two hours ago…but I couldn’t let the morning pass without acknowledging the goodness of God.

What are you thankful for today?

Grace & Peace,
Tiffany

30 Days of Gratitude, Day 6: A Warm Bed

Friday, November 6th, 2015

thankful 2015 day 6The days may have been warm, but the nights are getting pretty darn chilly in these parts, so we are all finding ourselves thankful for our warm beds. There is nothing more satisfying to on-call birth professionals than falling into our own warm bed after an all-nighter. Except, maybe, that first cup of coffee upon awakening. I think it might be a tie.

“It includes lots of my favorite things: my pillow, quilts, sleeping, and (usually) solitude,” quothe Erin, one of our midwife assistants and childbirth educators.

I think it’s safe to say that it goes for all of us.

Beds are incredible places, full of dreams, cuddles, and the cool side of the pillow. Our beds are our havens. Some of us have a little coffee station close by, so as to be able to drink that first cuppa without leaving the cozy sanctuary.

Some have beds full to the brim with children, those natural hot water bottles of cuteness.

Some have beds that move, making reading in bed more luxurious, and lower back pain less noticeable.

Many have bedside tables stacked with books, and have a hard time choosing which ones we’ll be reading from evening to evening.

Some have our beds gloriously to ourselves, and it has become our haven when we are overstimulated and touched out from a day caring for other humans–whether they be our own tiny humans, or our clients is immaterial.

Beds, beds, glorious beds on a cold and biting autumn night, or a crisp day after a long birth. They are things of beauty, whether made or unmade, spartan or covered in fancy pillows, king size or queen or full or twin. They are our beds, and we thank God for them on this lovely day in November.

What are you thankful for today?

Warmly (possibly from my bed),
Tiffany Miller
Student Midwife, Childbirth Educator

30 Days of Gratitude, Days 4 & 5: Beautiful Weather & Colors of Fall

Thursday, November 5th, 2015

thankful 2015 day 4Several of us in the Preparing for Birth office space are grateful for the gorgeous Indian-summer sunshine we have experienced in the past week! The weather has been truly delightful, with blue skies, incredible cloud formations, perfect temperatures, and just the right amount of crisp in the air to justify boots and hoodies.

The vivid yellows that characterize fall leaves in Colorado (thank you, high altitude and aspens) are an added source of light, and bathe us in sunny hues even on the days that bring some overcast skies.

Jennifer Green and Ramona Webb have both expressed their gratitude for the sunny weather we’ve had, and the colorful leaves presiding in radiant glory over our parks and lawns and gardens all across the city. Their thankfulness has reminded each one of us that, no matter the season, there is always beauty to be had.

Our steps have been lighter, our hearts more ready to receive the message of surrender that autumn brings us.

11231161_10206638472333892_3252314865851918149_oWe all anticipate this winter to be especially cold, with a lot of heavy snowfall. Who knows, really? So, enjoying the dying days of autumn help all of us to slow down, breathe in the scent of earth and wind and leaves, and let go. Even Desirre, who detests the parting of summer, has been inspired to find hope in the falling leaves.

In our hearts, though we know that autumn is but a preparation for the death of frost and winter, we also know that Spring will surely come. That resurrection is the rule, not the exception on God’s green earth.

And that is truly something to be grateful for.

What do you like best about autumn? What are you thankful for today?

Warmly,
Tiffany Miller
Childbirth Educator, Student Midwife

30 Days of Thanksgiving, Day 2: Friendship

Monday, November 2nd, 2015

friendship thanks15Sure, sure, it seems an easy cop-out to say “friendship.” Cut me some slack, though. I haven’t even finished my first cup of coffee.

*yawn* Where was I?

Oh, right. Friendship.

This quote is probably my favorite friendship quote of all time. One can, indeed, survive without friends, it is true. But friendship is so vitally important to our thriving. Without it, we wither into lonely, bitter, isolated curmudgeons. And who wants to be a curmudgeon? Don’t we all want to be rainbow unicorn kittens?!

Maybe that’s just me.

Moving on.

There are not many things that friendship cannot cure.

True friends are the ones who know us well, and choose us anyway. They remind us of our worth when we have forgotten it. They dig deep and help out when they don’t feel like it, because they know that you would do the same for them. They lay down their lives for one another in ways large and small.

If they don’t understand something about you, they try to.

Friends forgive, give grace, and apologize. They don’t pretend. They are loyal, and refuse to listen to bad reports. They call you out when you’re being stupid.

The refuse to let you focus on the worst in yourself, and they try to make you see yourself through their eyes. They see the best in you, and choose to trust that your best will prevail more often than your worst will.

They walk with you through your darkest times, and are ready to support you in your valley, even when they don’t know how.

Friends fill in the gaps in your core relationships. No one person can fulfill all your relationship needs. So, we need friendship to fill in those gaps. If one person can’t meet that need, someone else will. This is why we need unity in the Body of Christ–because no one human is Jesus, except Jesus. (Duh.)

Friends are amazing, and I love them. I have the best ones, and I’m willing to share. (Mostly.)

What are you thanking God for today?

Grace & Peace,
Tiffany

30 Days of Thanksgiving, Day 1: Coffee

Sunday, November 1st, 2015

11162475_10205832115377628_3436147692707849525_nCoffee.

I am grateful for coffee, because it is what enables to sentence putting together things of doing and such like.

Or something.

Light hearted. That’s how I want to keep this year’s thankful posts, because that’s just easier right now. If I try to think too much about all I have to do, want to do, and hope to do in the near future, I crumble into a pile of uselessness and tears and stress.

So, coffee.

I’m thankful for it. Especially good coffee, because good coffee doesn’t need silly creamers, sugar, or even half-and-half. It’s perfect in its dark, handsome, rich and slightly bitter hotness.

Iced or hot, it comforts. The smell is divine. The texture sublime.

It is my drug of choice, and I revel in my addiction. I do try to moderate it, but there are some days, weeks, and even months in which it becomes my blood type through sheer necessity. Birth work is tough, and being on-call and sleep deprived as a default mode really wears on a person. Coffee dulls the sting of sleep deprivation most effectively, and enables me to human more efficiently. (Yes, “human” is a verb in my vocabulary. Thank you, coffee, for such creative license.)

So coffee. I love it. More than chocolate, these days. Sacrilege, I know, but it’s true.

It brings people together. There’s nothing quite like a cup of something hot (yes, I still love my tea-drinking friends) to bond over.

Coffee. It understands me, and I will welcome its warm embrace pretty much any time, anywhere.

What are you thankful for today?

Grace and Peace,
Tiffany