Welcome to enJOYing Birth!

As of August 2009, I have completed my coursework as a Childbirth International student. I am now a Certified Labor Doula and Childbirth Educator. I look forward to continue helping women enjoy their pregnancies, their births, and their babies.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Waiting...still waiting...

I'm still waiting for this baby to be born. I usually go 3-5 days past my "due date." Now I'm on day 8 past due date. I realize that babies can be born at 42 weeks, and some beyond that...but it is so hard waiting! I've been reading a lot from my past Midwifery Today journals and looking at Midwife websites and blogs and reading birth stories to pass the time. I found this link very helpful as my doctor will want to induce labor here soon (tomorrow - Monday August 24). This link takes you to a Cervical Readiness Test where you just have to answer 5 questions to determine whether or not you are a good candidate for an induction that won't lead to a c-section.


I am not able to answer any of the questions on this because my doctor has not done a pelvic exam. He much prefers the ultrasound, which he looks at extensively every visit. Not my preference, but it is what he knows best.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

8th Month Pregnancy Photos

Bebek is Baby in Turkish.
These photos were taken by my friend Lorie Shepsky. I don't remember feeling as tired as I looked that morning. I guess it is just my" 40 year old-8 months pregnant with 6 kids under 13 years old" look. Not so bad when I think of it that way! Today, August 15th, I am 40 weeks pregnant. I am hoping baby will be coming in next 4-5 days ...or sooner!

What is YOUR quess? Girl or Boy?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Why so many kids?

For those of you who know me personally, have you ever asked yourself "Why do they keep having children? It is so much work and so expensive. Don't they know what "causes" that?"

Many years ago, just before baby #2 arrived, God spoke to my heart about his love of children and how he would like to bless the world though godly people. This was quite scary for me, as I couldn't imagine myself with 10-12 children. If I let God have control over my fertility I may have so many children I'd be worn out. Or, maybe it would mean just two - and I'd have to be content with that as well. I was hoping for four. Could I give the "control" over to the Creator of the Universe? Yes, I could, and I have.

We are just about 4 weeks away from meeting our 7th child.I recently read a Bible devotional sent to me by Above Rubies editor Nancy Campbell that really blessed me. She reminded me of some great verses I'd like to share with you.

Genesis 1:28 "And God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it..."

After the flood when it was just Noah and his family, God repeated the same command again, TWICE in Genesis 9:1,7, "And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth..."

So, why does God want to fill the earth with people? Because "He wants them to fill the earth with His glory--His love, peace, truth and salvation." (Nancy Campbell)

This really is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to why our family has chosen to let God continue to bless us with children. Someday I'll blog more about it. Yes, it is a lot of work and I feel tired. But, these precious children are Eternal Beings! I am investing in Eternity!

If you would like to read more from Nancy Campbell and Above Rubies, go to www.AboveRubies.org

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Having a baby in Istanbul?

If you are living in Istanbul and just happen to find my blog and are going to be having a baby, I highly suggest you take a childbirth class with Julia Steils at Full Circle Healing. I just attended part of her class and really enjoyed it! She has a lot of great learning activities as she helps you prepare to welcome your precious one into the world! http://fullcirclehealing.org/

Mike & Stacey

We are just a week away from celebrating 16 years!!!!

Oh, and me at the park, about 33 weeks

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Infant Potty Training

As I was beginning to research some cloth diapering options I ran across some information on Infant Potty Training.


I'll post more when I find more information. Until then, check out the link above.

Baby Bed - aka PackNPlay

We were very excited to find this at a Rummage sale a few weekends ago for only $25. Yeah! What we love about it is that it is also works as a bassinet and has a changing table/place. And who doesn't love Pooh Bear? AND, it matches the colors of our bedspread, so it fits well into our room for the time. PTL!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Planning Your Birth

A friend just wrote to ask if I knew of a website to help her with her birth plan.

I found one at Childbirth.org.


It asks lots of questions and gives some sample answers as well. When you are finished you can print it out with your specific plan. Let me know if it works for you.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Infant CPR

I've been wanting to know how to perform Infant (less than 12 months old) CPR. So, I decided to ''google" it and here is what I found.

A video by Univ. of Washington:

And from About.Com

This comes from
and is different from the above video and written info concerning the number of chest compressions.

What to remember when giving an infant CPR:
1. Check for responsiveness by patting the infant's shoulders or chest.
2. Remember your A-B-C:
Airway: an infant's head should be tilted into the "sniffer position". Do not overextend an infant’s neck as this may close off the airway.
Breathing: cover the infant's nose and mouth with your mouth and use gentle puffs, breathing from your cheeks, not your lungs.
Circulation: check for pulse at the brachial artery, in the infant's inside upper arm. If there is none, perform five compressions - 2 fingers (approximately ½ the size of a hand), ½ inch.
3. Perform rescue efforts for 1 to 2 minutes before dialing 9-1-1.
4. Continue performing rescue efforts, checking for pulse every minute until help arrives.

Though I never hope to have to use Infant CPR, I'm glad to know a little more now!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Where will I birth this baby?

If you happened to notice the cute "ticker" on the lower right side of my blog you may be thinking that I'm planning a homebirth. I wish I was.

My plan is to deliver at a local hospital. There are a few I can choose from, although quite a distance away - especially during rush-hour (am and pm). I found a doctor within walking distance of our apartment who works at a fertility clinic. I liked Dr. Batu right from the start. His English is good and he seems to understand my confidence & experience in pregnancy and birth. I am hoping he'll be more "hands-off" than most doctors, especially during the labor and delivery.

Yet I feel the need for a back-up plan. My last birth was so fast, we barely made it to the hospital even though it was just 10 minutes away. I will also be preparing for a homebirth. Meaning, I'll have some things on-hand just incase baby comes quickly. I'll call my friends here who are willing to assist me. They will come over and help me and my family - JUST IN CASE. Also, if it is during my doctors work hours, I will call him as well. I am assuming that IF the baby is born at home and the doctor comes, he'll insist we then go to the hospital to have the baby all checked out there. And that is fine with me.

As I study more about birth I am becoming more and more opinionated about all that happens prior to and after birth. I'll share that in a later post.


Pictures at 24 weeks Pregnant

My youngest hugging my belly!

Friday, March 6, 2009

A website and a documentary

I just found, via another birth blog, a website and a documentary that I really liked and would encourage you to see.

The website is called Spinning Babies and is helpful information about your baby's position in the womb and how you can change the baby's position to make for a smoother birth. Check out: http://www.spinningbabies.com/.

The other is a documentary called A Doula Story, about a Chicago doula who helps pregnant black teenagers. It is a great story of a caring doula and childbirth educator. Check out: http://www.blackpublicmedia.org/catalog/prod/37.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


In order to receive a Childbirth Educator Certificate and a Doula Certificate I need to complete all the readings, assignments, book reports, and evaluations set out by Childbirth International. One of my assignments I recently finished was to teach at least a 6 hour childbirth course. I am so grateful for the 3 moms and 2 dads that attended this course. It met my need for teaching a course and their need for a childbirth prepartation class.

I am now 80% done with my Doula section and 63% done with my Childbirth Educator section. I have 3 book reports to do, and a childbirth class (12 hours) to attend and evaluate. And I am hoping I can complete this before August '09.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Expecting in 2009/Determing Due Dates

How appropriate that as I start a new blog about birthing that I find I am pregnant once again. I have 6 beautiful children with all great birth stories and I'm excited to add #7. One of the first things I asked when I realized I was pregnant is "When is this baby due?" I went immediately to my pregnancy calendar wheel and found that August 15 is the "day." Now, I hold this date loosely because I have not yet had a baby arrive on "the" day. Also, the pregnancy wheel takes the first day of your last period and assumes you ovulate on day 14 of your 28 day cycle, then adds 266 days. Babies are considered full term at 37 weeks, but many wait until 42 weeks. So, I'm saying I'm due in August. Here is a link to the most helpful Due Date Calcuator: http://www.givingbirthnaturally.com/calculating-due-date.html