Monday, March 2, 2015


My life has continued to be filled with busy-ness... wedding plans, assistant teaching at a Midwifery school, helping out at home... life in general! I was very blessed on Friday to fly down to Memphis.
My dear friend  and former classmate Brittany's wedding was on the 28th. I was wicked excited to make the trip down for a time of reunion, reminiscing, and relaxation.
I arrived in Memphis Friday mid-morning after two very non-eventful flights. Another classmate was going to pick me up, but had not yet arrived. I enjoyed listening to the various people talk and was reminded how different the South was from the North... I waited for a few minutes then got the text that Gabriela was at the curb... I started to head out when I heard my name called... I turned around and to my surprise, my former roommate Nancy was walking toward me! I was shocked and happy! What a glad time of reunion!
The rest of Friday was filled with fun, catching up and reminiscing. Nancy, Gabriela and I had lunch together and Brittany came by to pick up Gabriela and say hi... Nancy and I entertained ourselves with a trip for snacks (we are two of the most indecisive people in the world I am sure!) and working on some last minute wedding crafts. After going for dinner at a Steak & Shake across from our hotel, Gabriela came back to pick up the signs... as she was leaving, our dear classmate Dieneke came! Another reunion of shrieks and laughter! We all stayed up till Violet and Larissa arrived at 3am Saturday morning.
Saturday was a beautiful day. The wind had died down and the sun was shining. The wedding was absolutely lovely! The bride Brittany was stunning and the entire ceremony was perfect. Vonn looked so happy and everything was beautiful!
I love being able to attend a wedding where I know the couple has devoted their lives to the Lord. It is a sweet event to witness. I am blessed by their love and their wonderful testimony!
Saturday evening held more fellowship and catching up. We all enjoyed the last few hours we could spend together! We were all thankful that about half of our class had been able to come! Though we missed the others, we knew they were with us in spirit!
Sunday morning at 3am everyone got up to head to the airport and hit the road... I stayed behind as my flight was later in the afternoon. I found out a few hours later that my flight was canceled due to weather in a connecting airport. I then spent 1hour+ on the phone on hold while my father also tried to get through. He was able to get through to an agent before I did and got a new flight booked for Monday afternoon. Brittany's friend came to pick me up and we drove to the airport to see if an agent there could help me get a better time... no such luck. All the flights were booked. I thanked the lady and realized that it was God's will that I stay in Memphis another night!
So here I am! Brittany's friend and her husband have kindly hosted me during my extended stay. I plan to fly out of Memphis at 4:30pm this afternoon and arrive in Boston at 10:30pm... unless I am delayed again! (I pray not!)
So my time in Memphis has been very eventful! I am thankful for my stay. I have had a much needed time of fellowship with some very dear friends. I attended a beautiful wedding and made some new friends as well! God is so good and I am feeling very blessed! I have loved my time in Memphis, but am ready to be home with my family.

Friday, January 23, 2015


Wow! It seems like it has been forever since I've had time to sit down and write a blog post. Even now I write between the midst of a very busy lifestyle. I think with this post alone, I have sat down to write four or five times unsuccessfully. Maybe this time I'll actually get my ideas down on paper. Or at least on the computer!

So much has happened since my last blog post! I have been continuing to do a little here and there on trying to start my new business- Lifted Hands Midwifery. I am very excited for the opportunities that have arisen! I have one client and I'm very excited to see what the future holds! I have had opportunity to assistant teach at a local midwifery school as well. It was a fun experience and I look forward to helping again this semester.

But probably the most exciting thing that has happened thus far, happened over New Years...

On New Years Eve I was very blessed to be able to fly to Arizona to spend time with Keagan. It was amazing to see him again after four and a half years! the flight went well and to see him again made the bits of turbulence completely worth it. Of all things it even snowed on New Year's Eve in Tucson, Arizona!

On New Year's Day we were exchanging gifts and enjoying each others company. After we had finished giving gifts, we enjoyed talking with each other and catching up on things. Then Keagan said he had another gift for me. One that was quite large. So large he had to move the table that was sitting in front of me! In my mind I thought "why would you get me a large gift when I flew here in an airplane!" As he moved the table, he stayed down on one knee. The rest is history! He showed me the ring as he said "I love you! Will you marry me?" I of course answered "yes!"

So my life is now a crazy busy conglomeration of preparing for our June 2nd wedding, staying up with midwifery, and busy life in general. But you know what? I wouldn't have it any other way!

So here's my quick update I have it all written down for once --- finally! I'll try to keep you all posted but you all know how life goes. It's very unpredictable!

Saturday, October 11, 2014


A midwife's life is often filled with unpredictable events. One never knows when baby will come or how long labor will be. This past weekend I was blessed to attend the labor and birth of a dear friend.

I awoke with a start to my phone ringing. As I answered, I glanced at my watch and noted that it was 3:20am. On the other end was my friend Karolyne. I had been blessed to attend the birth of her first son in 2012 and was invited to also attend for her second son's birth. She informed me that her waters had ruptured but that contractions were still not so regular. As we talked, I grabbed my birth bag, and threw in my water bottle and an apple. We finished and I quickly readied myself and put Beau (my puppy) in a dog crate. It was not even 3:25am and I was off.

The drive up was quiet and dark. There was no traffic. I passed a total of 5 vehicles along the way. I smiled to myself and prayed that the gas I had would last the ride as I had forgotten to throw in the spare gas can and our gauge can be finicky. A light rain was falling as I pulled into their driveway an hour or so later.

As I entered their home, I saw Karolyne walking back and forth. She expressed her desire to head to the hospital once her mother-in-law came to watch her son. She was ready and excited to have this baby. The contractions were still spaced out and it was apparent that active labor was not present. A little before 5 am her mother-in-law arrived and after a changing of the guard we headed to the hospital.

Upon arrival to the hospital, we to the OB ward. Karolyne preferred the stairs as it helped bring on regular contractions. Up we went (it was only the 2nd floor anyway)! When we arrived she was checked in and we discovered that she was only 1cm dilated.

As the morning moved on we did what we could to encourage contractions to pick up. I lost track of how many laps we walked through the halls of the hospital. At one point we enjoyed a time of softly singing hymns together while her husband Jonathan rested up for the long haul ahead.

Four hours later, the doctor arrived and checked for progress. Unfortunately there was no progress. The contractions were still coming but seemed ineffective. The decision was made to start a pitocin drip to help encourage the contraction pattern to pick up. It seemed to help and slowly the contractions came with more regularity.

Per policy though, along with pitocin came the electronic fetal monitoring. Thankfully, after talking with the doctor, he agreed to allow her to still walk around as long as intermittent monitoring was used. So labor continued on. Jonathan and I supported her as best we could.

Around 5:30 pm the doctor again checked for progress. Now she was only 2-3cm dilated. The doctor noted that the bag of waters was present (meaning the afore mentioned gushes probably came from a high leak) and promptly "broke" them again with an amnihook and little explanation as to what he was doing. As the head applied more pressure, the contractions picked up with a greatly renewed force. So much so that the doctor agreed that the pitocin could be discontinued for the time being.

Labor continued. Breathing, moving as much as possible and lots of back pain. Around 8pm the nurse checked again. Only 4-5cm dilated. I asked if baby was asynclytic but the nurse informed me that she did not know how to check baby's sutures. We continued to labor and Karolyne used various positions to help her labor progress. The doctor came in two hours later for another exam.

I could tell that at this point the doctor was becoming a little wary of the situation. She was approaching 20 hours past initial SROM and still no baby. He determined she was 7cm and was going to leave it at that. I asked if the baby was at all asynclytic. He seemed slightly startled that I would ask such a question and said in fact baby was. I encouraged Karolyne to lay on her side to rest and help baby to rotate into the correct position. I continued to pray that the Lord would help this labor to proceed normally.

Contractions began to once again space out. I explained to Karolyne and Jonathan that this was a normal occurrence in labor and may actually indicate progress. I coached and encouraged Karolyne to relax with each contraction. After almost an hour they began once again to pick up. I saw the familiar look and told them that I must go talk with the nurse for a moment.

Outside at the nurses station I quietly informed our kind nurse that Karolyne was seeming to be ready to push. She glanced at her watch and noted that it had only been an hour. I explained what I saw and she readily agreed and did not question my judgement. Instead she checked and called the doctor to confirm. At 11:25pm she was declared to be "fully".

I was blessed to be able to help support Karolyne and coach her through the next 20 minutes. At 11:45pm adorable little Micaiah was born. He was 7lbs 0.03oz (3185g). I was so happy to witness such a beautiful birth. It was a long and hard labor, but the end result was priceless!

Baby had a 36cm head and was 52cm long. It was different getting used to seeing a puti (white) baby again! What an amazing family! I truly enjoyed watching the strength of this couple during the long haul! There were a number of times I caught myself wanting to talk to them in Visayan. Thankfully the Lord helped to give me the English words that I needed to say!

A few hours later at 3am I walked out of the room for the last time and towards the nurses station. The new family was stable and finally tucked into bed to sleep for a few hours. Our kind nurse beckoned me to follow her. I did and she led me down the hall to the storage room where she retrieved blankets from the warmer. I continued to follow her to a storage room where she had a bed made up. She turned down the sheets and told me to rest as long as I needed before my drive home. I was thankful for her thoughtfulness as the warmth of the blankets enveloped me and I drifted off to sleep.

About 3 hours later I awoke, packed up and headed home. As I drove, I enjoyed the colors of fall and watched the sun peak out as the morning sky brightened. I thanked the Lord for his protection and safety and for the precious new life I had left behind. I drove homeward knowing that the loving arms of my family awaited and that in a few short hours I could sleep once more.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Back to Blogging

Hello Friends!

It has been a while since I last posted here on my blog. Part of this is due to the busyness that followed my return home. I have been BUSY!

First, There was the NARM exam.... PRAISE THE LORD I PASSED! It was a super stressful time for me, but God is ever faithful! I am still awaiting my official certification to arrive in the mail, but I have been told that it is currently being processed and I am hopeful to receive it within the next month or so!

Next, there was my little sister's wedding (a BEAUTIFUL event!). I may post more on this once I receive photos. Unfortunately, this maid of honor was a little to busy to think of taking any for herself! I am so happy for my sister and now brother-in-law! They truly are a wonderful couple!

Then there is cultural adjustments. I feel like I am doing much better now, but it is still hard at times. There are the random things that come up such as speaking Visayan words/phrases and forgetting that people around me do not understand. Or pointing with facial expressions. Or forgetting that you actually CAN flush toilet paper.... There are the deeper aspects of adjustment too. Learning to once again live with a family. Learning to not feel such frustration with the common selfish American mindset. Learning to adjust to a life that has changed much in the past two years.

So much has changed. It is still home and a family I love, but I now have a niece, sister-in-law and a brother-in-law. Friends have changed, married, moved away. I have changed in ways too. It is a lot of adjustment to take in and process.

I had been seeming to go through what I termed "birth withdrawals". I miss birth! I miss being in an environment where I lived and breathed midwifery. It was an integral part of my life for the past two years. Being out of that environment has made me feel at times like a fish out of water. However, the Lord knows and has been helping me in that.

This past week I was blessed with the privilege of attending a dear friend of mine's birth. (Post coming soon!) I was honored to be her doula and witness the miracle of birth once again. God is so good!

So what comes next?- you may ask. Thanks for asking! I am excited to see what the Lord has in store! Right now, He seems to be leading for me to start serving here as a midwife! I have had a number of meetings with various midwives here and some have encouraged me to just start where I am at. I have been overwhelmed by the support and acceptance I am receiving. Stay tuned! There may soon be a blog post introducing a new name in the midwifery practice world!

Besides trying to get everything in order for that, I have been busy with life in general. I have gotten back to helping on my family's farm (Shear Pleasure Farm) and have been excited to see how that is blossoming. Back in September I was able to show my French Angora buck's fleece and won 3rd place from the Common Ground Fair! Anyway, I found it to be very exciting!

Well.... That is a brief update of what I have been up to! I will TRY to be a bit better about blogging, but there is no guarantee! Until Next time!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Transition Time

Today another chapter of my journey comes to a close. Tomorrow, another opens.

In a few short hours (August 6th am for those EST or pm for those here in the Philippines) I will be boarding my first flight on my journey home. It is a great time of transition and mixed emotions. I am leaving my home of 2 years, a place I have come to know and love.

More than the place, I will miss the people. I will miss the many friends I have made. I will miss the women I have served. I will miss the midwives who have taught me. I will miss the people!

I have greatly enjoyed my last few days in the Philippines! I have been so very thankful for my time here! I am not sure words can describe all that I feel right now. I am trying to prepare myself for this transition, yet I do not know how to.

The one thing I do know is that I can rely upon the Lord and that He alone will provide the strength I need for this time in my life! Please keep me in your prayers!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Worth more than a thousand words....

It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words. To me, millions could be said about these pictures. Each of these women are dear to my heart. Together we have learned, grown, and served. Together we began this journey to become midwives. We have laughed together and cried together. We have prayed together and supported one another. It has not been an easy journey to get to this point, but it has been an amazing one!

I am so very thankful for each one of these magnificent midwives! There is much that could be said about each of them... but I will just say this-You are wicked awesome and I am glad to have had the privilege to walk this road with you! Though we may be parting ways soon, the memories we have made will last a lifetime! Let the pictures speak for themselves... Enough said.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

One year and 3 months later...

The other I had the amazing opportunity to see a little boy who I welcomed into this world in April of 2013. His mother recently delivered again at the clinic. Thankfully, I was able to be there and also witness the sweet birth of his younger sister. You can read about it here.

Here is a photo of Zhel John then.....

Here are pictures from our visit yesterday-
Baby Mhelsie Sarah, Zhel John and I

Precious little Mhelsie Sarah

Happy big brother

Look at those adorable little faces!

Such a wonderfully amazing opportunity! I was glad to share in this precious time before I leave in a few short days! God is so very good!