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Hannah’s Glorious Birth

Hannah’s Glorious Birth

I recently asked Hannah who is a mom, a doula, a holistic coach, and much more to tell me her favorite and most glorious birth story. She had the most incredible water birth pictures that spoke volumes about her experience. Here it is in her own words.


I love sharing Eden’s birth story because it truly was such a peaceful, blessed birth. Thank you so much, Gloria, for hosting me here. I will try to share my story and some helpful tips here!

Eden is my third baby, my only girl and my only Australian born so it was pretty special. We gave birth to the two boys in London where I lived and ran a Doula & Nanny consultancy.  I really enjoyed water for use in pain in labour and I had invested in a birthing pool for my 2nd born at home (I had had a water birth in a birthing suite in London for my first) so in many ways, I was looking forward to the labour and birth because the warm water so alleviated my pain and discomfort in my hip and backs.  Being my third baby born, I was prepared for what my body would be doing but in each pregnancy (including two that I miscarried many years before) the fear and worry can creep in and rob us of our peace and joy. I knew that I was low risk for the actual birth but every time I had a cramp, or Braxton Hicks, or a small show, the doubt would come.

So I prepared in several ways to ensure I had a peaceful birth.

I read books like:

Guide to Childbirth” by Ina May Gaskin, which helped confirm my body was made for giving birth and I was more than capable of a natural birth, and what to ask for in my “support crew”

“Stand and Deliver” full of practical, easy to understand birthing tips by Janet Balaskas

“Your Baby, Your Way” by Sheila Kitzinger

I listened to guided meditations and hypnobirthing CDs, and I am working on my own now because I loved this SO much!

I diffused essential oils during the pregnancy and birth such as:

  • Lavender – Oh, I love this one. This scent truly calms the nerves and reduces anxiety
  • Frankincense – Calming, especially towards the end of labor or when transitioning.
  • Clary sage – Minimising tearing and relieving muscle tension (especially from emotional stress) and again towards the end of labor. (Note: this oil can induce as well so you wouldn’t use until well into labor and under guidance of Doula/midwife/support partner such as husband)
  • Peppermint – helps when feeling exhausted in labor. A true pick me up. (Read more about essential oils in pregnancy here)

In pregnancy, I loved nothing more than a bath, candles, a chamomile tea, and a citrus oil or lavender blend in the bath, or sometimes bergamot or ylang-ylang.

NB: With oils, they are volatile. Always read the instructions, always get a premium oil and take care of how and when you use them. They can, however, be VERY effective.

Eden was born within 1 hour and 15 minutes from when I realized things were kicking off. I didn’t have a lot of time to process (clearly). I had hubby on hand with specially made herbal teas, I rocked a lot and made low sounds, I asked the lights to be down low and voices low. We had 2 midwives, my husband, my mum, a birth photographer at her first birth and at any point, my boys could have woken! I believe birth is intrinsically primal and that quiet, dark spaces help retain a sense of control and peace so it was important everyone knew to sort of “leave me alone”

It was a relief to hop into that birthing pool and really concentrate. Breathing deeply, sipping tea and staying in the zone in between strong contractions.

At one point towards the end, contractions were coming in hard and fast and I was feeling overwhelmed and started to lose my peace. I asked my mum to pray with me. She just confessed that we were not alone and things were going ok and I was immediately at peace. 2 more pushes, maybe 3 and my precious little girl was out. I gently brought her to the surface where we watched her take her first breath earthside. What a powerful, glorious, sacred moment!

Our bond 2.5 years later is still so strong, she is still cuddly, still rests her hand right here on my chest and still breastfeeds which has been helpful in keeping asthma and associated colds at bay.

(5 days old first snuggly photo shoot with talented Carrie from


I think what is so evident throughout her story is that Hannah had to fight to get the birth she wanted. She could have easily succumbed to the fear of past tragedies and the worry of future pain, but she chose to educate herself enough to feel confident, and when confidence falls –  to surround herself with those that would encourage her and give her peace.

Prepare the best you can, learn to tune in and trust your instincts, and only have people around you who will support your birth


Hannah is a nurse, birth and postnatal doula, holistic life coach and busy mum of 3. She homeschools, enjoys playing piano and listening to music, the beach, meeting new friends and catching up with old friends and honoring & supporting women in finding work/life balance so that the family unit is peaceful!


To read more encouraging birth stories to empower, inform, and embolden you, check out

To follow Hannah for encouragement & insights, holistic wellness, coaching and love you can find her here:

Photos by Stephanie with The Capture Project




10 Special Baby Shower Gift Ideas

10 Special Baby Shower Gift Ideas For The Most Deserving People In Your Life.

We all know to get diapers, binkies, little onesies, etc. But when the shower is for your best friend that’s supported you through everything? Or your partner/ wife just got pregnant? What about when your sister is finally pregnant after trying for years? We all have those times when diapers just don’t cut it for the closest people in our lives. We have to get them something amazing. Something that is unique, over the top, and perfect for them or their baby. Here is a list I made of 10 special baby shower gifts that will make a lasting impression.

1. Give Her a Doula.

Well as a doula, I may be a little biased (Maybe not). But I believe the best gift you can give a new mama is peace of mind and a beautiful labor. Buy her a doula for a baby shower gift. You and some of her friends or family may want to chip in together to afford such a quality gift. I would highly recommend NOT picking the doula out, but rather presenting her with money for the average cost of a doula, and some top suggestions (maybe even call in a few interviews for her! The less work for mama, the better) But she has to feel that connection with the doula before the hire. I promise you, she will be thanking you for your baby shower gift for months (or years!) to come.

2. A Book That Will Speak to Her Motherhood

This is a book written by my husband about my mom, his mother in law. My husband lost his own mother to cancer at a young age. He went through hell and back many times over, searching for someone to replace his mother. That person who he found was my mother. This book speaks volumes without saying many words but will have you in tears by the end of it. It is a book every mama of a boy needs.  Check it out at Chris & Glow.

 3. Unique Gift For the Baby

Want to buy the cutest thing in the world for the baby that no one else will be getting? These little booties are handmade from Nepal where the profits go to help provide clean water to the people of Nepal. Made from yak wool, they are worth going gaga over. You can buy them HERE. You won’t regret this buy after you see that cute newborn rocking a pair of them.

4.  Baby Throw Pillow

A thoughtful custom gift for a new mom would be THIS but you could only buy it after the baby is born. But it’s beautiful and holds the moment. How fun would it be to have one of these pillows in every child’s room?

5. A Clay Handprint/Footprint Keepsake

This adorable kit allows the moment to be commemorated well. This is a totally safe, non-toxic, and easy to use clay kit.  This is a peaceful activity mom will love doing while in recovery mode. What a perfect way to capture forever how tiny and sweet the newborn is. A perfectly classy gift – get it HERE


6. Lumberjack Baby Beard Beanie

For a baby boy, these hats are to die for! Handmade and sold on Etsy, they are perfect for a baby born in the cold winter months and needs a hat for his whole face! (Hey, can I have one my own size please?) Get a bearded baby HERE.

7.  Blessingway

Nope, not the same thing as a baby shower. A Blessingway is a Native American traditional ceremony to bless and empower a woman before her birth. People may write down prayers or words of affirmation and make something beautiful out of it. They may draw henna on mom’s belly and make crowns of flowers. It can be as serene or as light-hearted as you want. Many different things can be done to make each Blessingway unique and special. Doulas can sometimes plan and host these anywhere from $100-$500. Either pay a doula or plan a Blessingway ceremony yourself!

8.  Prenatal Massage

So, this can go two ways. If you’re on a budget and a great massager… go for it! Every pregnant woman is secretly just waiting around for someone to offer them a massage – like at all times. I’d look up prenatal massage video’s on youtube to get some more specific tips and tricks and also to know what to avoid so that you don’t send her into early labor! If you are going to buy her one, make sure it’s for a place that specializes in prenatal massage and has good reviews. You don’t want her to always remember your gift as the one that gave her gas pains or something worse! Here is a good place in KC.


9. Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care is the unglamorous gift from someone who knows what’s up. Those who have been through a tough pregnancy understand the need for alignment and adjustment. The body completely changes in pregnancy and everything feels out of place. Putting it into alignment has some great health benefits along with the natural relaxation. The benefits are: maintaining a healthier pregnancy, controlling symptoms of nausea, reducing the time of labor and delivery, relieving back, neck or joint pain, and possibly preventing a potential cesarean delivery.

10. Prenatal Yoga or Birth Workshop Classes

Being happy and healthy is essential to a good pregnancy, quick delivery, and a healthy baby. Help your mama friend prepare, relax, and embrace motherhood with prenatal yoga or a birthing class.

For a great birth workshop in Overland Park, KS, I recommend Birthing Beyond.

 For Prenatal Yoga in KC , I  recommend Home Holistic.

Whatever you decide to get her or the baby, put some thought into it, put some heart into it, and splurge a little (she deserves it right?). Be her right hand, help her rock this pregnancy, labor, and early motherhood!

Let me know what you chose for the soon-to-be-mommy in your life!

10 Special Baby Shower Gift Ideas
What To Know When Giving Birth At A Hospital

What To Know When Giving Birth At A Hospital

What To Know When Giving Birth At A Hospital

First of all, you have more rights in a hospital while giving birth than you probably know. Most women have no idea what is allowed, what to ask, or what to assume. That’s ok though because I am going to lay it ALL out for you so that you are so prepared, and so in control.

So here is what you should know legally: it is your body, it is your baby’s body. You really are in control. You have the right to refuse any treatment and walk out of the hospital or birthing center at any time.

Consent papers

From the beginning, when you get those consent papers they want you to just glance over and sign? Don’t. Actually look carefully through them and cross out the things you don’t want to sign for, (Yes, you can do that) and add in things that are a must (you can do that too)…Then sign. They will have the right to refuse you service if something is just absolutely against their policy, but for the most part, they will comply with your wishes or work with you to facilitate them.

Informed Consent

Doctors many times will just assume that if you’re not asking questions it’s because you already know, and because they have to be efficient with their time, they won’t explain things they don’t have to. So don’t be afraid to ask too many questions. Ask about the risks and side effects of IV drugs, an epidural, or a C-section. Ask about the complications and benefits of breastfeeding or formula feeding. Ask about their specific hospital’s C-section or forceps rate. Whatever is important to you.  Ask about their policy for premature babies or complicated labors. And then you get to decide whether or not you give consent. If you don’t consent they can’t legally force you into any care regime. You might have to leave or get a new provider. But most doctors are very reasonable, and I think you are too. There is a reason you want your birth at the hospital, so trust their knowledge and experience, chances are they want to help you achieve your birth plan as well. They must give you the full information without holding back anything they think might scare you. This increases mother satisfaction greatly; knowing what you’re signing up for when you decide on something, is extremely important.

*Emergency disclaimer

If your life or the child’s life is in immediate danger, your care provider does not have to go into a full analysis of what they are doing, with the risks/complications/side effects etc. This is a good reason to speak to them beforehand about all of their policies and procedures. (and do a little googling at home)


After Birth

After birth, you can refuse anything you want to refuse. That goes for vaccinations, circumcision, washing, eye ointment, vitamin K shot, etc. I strongly suggest you don’t just tell them not to do something because it sounds scary, but do your research and speak in depth about anything that sounds bothersome to you with your doctor before your birth. Typically, the hospital will give you between a few minutes to an hour before they whisk the baby away to be washed and observed for complications. You can let them know if you want the baby to stay with you and get that important ‘skin-to-skin’. They will let you know if that is dangerous or not for your child’s specific physical state. The hospital may have you release them from liability if you choose this. You may also decide you want to feed the baby as it shows signs of hunger, and not on the feeding schedule of the hospital. If you know the newborn’s early signs of hunger* then this is fine with hospitals as well.

All in all, as much as you can, communicate with your provider beforehand or bring your doula to your appointments with you to make sure that you are fully heard, understood, and advocated for. It definitely helps to have your unbiased, focused doula at your birth for this as well. She can make sure you are understanding everything and that you are giving your full consent before moving forward in procedures. Have a plan, but be flexible because it will probably change a little. Birth is a little crazy like that.

*Waiting until a baby screams to feed it can lead to a constantly screaming baby, which is very tough on a new mother. Catching the earlier signs helps the baby understand it doesn’t have to always scream to be fed and it won’t until it gets very hungry – like in the middle of the night. It will make the distinction instead of crying as a first resort. This is a very small thing you can do, that can make a world of difference.

Note: This article is intended as general information only and is not intended to serve as legal advice or as a substitute for legal counsel.