Posts Tagged ‘Thanksgiving’

30 Days of Thanksgiving, day 19: YouVersion Bible App

Thursday, November 19th, 2015

Click to visit the site.

Click to visit the site.

I am genuinely thankful for the YouVersion Bible App. It took me quite awhile, but I finally downloaded this thing a couple of years ago, not long after Dad died. It’s free, and it’s been my most-used app. Right up there with Facebook and Twitter, which is saying something.

My favorite feature of this app is the plethora of Bible reading plans it offers. Everything from classic devotionals, to Bible-in-a-year variations, to short and sweet 1-2 week series are available. Not only that, but it offers (I’m pretty sure) every English translation of the Bible there is. The Word of God, complete and unabridged. And commentaries! So many classic commentaries. It’s kind of ridiculous how much is in this app.

And it’s all free.

Free, people.

As in no cost. None monies. Zero dollars. Pro bono.

The way the Word of God should be, in an ideal world.

When it’s impractical or impossible to pack my actual, physical, leather-bound Thompson Chain Reference Bible, it doesn’t matter, because I have 8 bajillion versions of the entire Bible that fit in my pocket. In. My. Pocket. This means that I don’t have to skip out on my quiet time in God’s Word, ever.

What about WiFi, you ask? What if I don’t have a connection? Well. Get this. You can download offline versions of the Bible, too, so that you can still access it and search the Bible without a data connection.

Fabulous!

Ain’t technology grand?

What are you thankful for today?

Grace & Peace,
Tiffany

30 Days of Gratitude, day 18: Scrubs.

Wednesday, November 18th, 2015

thankful 2015 day 18Scrubs. Those ubiquitous uniforms worn by most health care workers. Whether they are hospital issued, color-coded for security, or fun designs to please the kiddos, they are a genius invention.

Today, I am thankful for scrubs.

Many midwives don’t feel quite comfortable wearing them to births, as they feel it brings a too-clinical/medical air to the home birth environment. I get that, in some ways, and can empathize. However, I happen to disagree.

Here are a few reasons why:

1) I have yet to meet a mother who takes issue with scrubs being worn in her home. (That’s not to say there aren’t any, just that it doesn’t seem to be the norm in our area. I’m sure I would accommodate if a request were made. Though, I’d insist on the pants at least…)

2) Our job is, in fact, clinical. It just happens to come from an entirely different worldview and care model. A midwife’s responsibility is still rooted in clinical health and safety, though it goes far beyond that into supporting wellness. It makes sense to wear clinical duds.

3) At a birth, we are often likely to be “baptized” with various bodily fluids, and you can’t beat a good pair of scrubs for drying time. Not even a bathing suit dries faster. I can’t imagine having to finish work at a birth in sopping wet jeans.

4) They are snazzy. We can express ourselves with the wide variety of options available though I have yet to find TARDIS scrubs…help me out?

5) They are easy to clean. Seriously. It’s like they’re incapable of holding stains. So, I can essentially guarantee that I will look professional.

Their only downside? Those elastic waistbands like to migrate downwards. A lot. So, midwife’s crack might be a thing. Totally worth it, though.

What are you thankful for this fine fall day?

Warmly,
Tiffany Miller
Childbirth Educator, Student Midwife

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 7: Support

Saturday, November 7th, 2015

thankful 2015 day 7One thing that all of us have been able to join together in gratitude for is the support inherent in Preparing for Birth. Desirre has built not only a strong community in the Pikes Peak Region, but has been a mentor and steady support for anyone who decides to join Team Preparing for Birth. When we sign an agreement with Desirre, we can feel confident that we can reach out and gain the support we need, whether it’s discussing a sticky situation regarding a client or student, or help in organizing our business finances.

Following her example, I have tried to step into the mentor’s shoes to ease Desirre’s workload, and I find myself delighting in this role. It’s challenging and new for me, because I never thought I would be in a place in which I became the mentor, rather than the mentoree. Even in this role, I’m still able to reach out and get the support I need in order to succeed at mentoring others.

Our Team PFB doula puts it this way:

“So grateful to be a part of Prep for birth. I have been so blessed to work with Desirre and Tiffany who believe in me more than I believe in myself at times. I have learned so much from them and am thankful everyday for their mentorship.” -Tanya Park, Labor Doula & Midwife Assistant

Early this year, Sabrina Stewart joined our team as a breastfeeding educator and pregnancy fitness educator. This area has been the most challenging for all of us, but we have all learned so much together as we seek to reach women in every area of need in their perinatal year. We are very proud of Sabrina’s milestones, and the work she is learning to do as she walks out the rigorous educational path she has chosen for herself. She’s beginning to find herself strong, because of support. She expressed it this way:

“I am grateful that we have the group at Prep for Birth where we can ask for help or talk about births, breastfeeding, pregnancy, and education for the moms we serve without rudeness. The ladies here lift up, support, and encourage each other to be successful.” -Sabrina Stewart, Pregnancy Fitness & Breastfeeding Educator, and Certified Lactation Counselor

We none of us could do this work without solid support. In Team Preparing for Birth, it’s one thing we can all count on. And for this, we are each thankful.

What kind of support have you received this year?

Warmly,
Tiffany Miller
Student Midwife, Childbirth Educator

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 4: Midwifery Books

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

I am so thankful for the abundance of excellent midwifery texts that I can use for a self-paced academic study as I walk out my apprenticeship. Without such material, my education as a midwife would be sadly lacking. I value a balance between the experiential nature of my apprenticeship and academic knowledge, because this balance lays a solid foundation for me to establish a safe, healthy practice as a CPM someday.

That said, here is my short review of the very first midwifery text I have finished reading, cover to cover. Next up? Anne Frye’s Holistic Midwifery Vol. 1. All 73-bajillion pages of it.

Heart and Hands: A Midwife's Guide to Pregnancy and BirthHeart and Hands: A Midwife’s Guide to Pregnancy and Birth by Elizabeth Davis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Being my first ever midwifery text, I am glad for Elizabeth Davis’ writing style. It flowed so well, affirmed so much I have already learned during my apprenticeship, and expanded my knowledge on even the most basic of topics. I think it’s the perfect first book for anyone contemplating whether midwifery could be their calling.

I think it had a good, logical flow, with excellent supplementary charts throughout, as well as a few basic “case study” style stories to illustrate concepts outlined more academically.

View all my reviews

What are you thankful for today?

Grace & Peace,
Tiffany