Tuesday, October 20, 2015


My Father-in-law is a successful attorney in Utah, and he trades his services for many a client. In fact, he bartered property, handyman services and craftsman services for a good portion of the house that my husband grew up in. Sure, this might affect the number shown on his bottom line, but the reality is that he gets to have services done that he would be paying someone for anyway.
Bartered for this.

Why the anecdote? Because friends, as a doula, I am happy to barter services for families who either can't afford a doula or who have skills that I am in need of anyway. So often when I mention this, people say something to the effect of, "Well, I don't have any skills or items worth bartering." I highly doubt this is true. Highly.

You have skills worth trading.

I require a portion of the fee be paid to cover my personal costs, like childcare to attend your classes
And this.
or birth. I do believe I am worth every last penny I charge, and I recognize that fee can be a challenge for some people to pay. I believe that everyone deserves a doula at their birth, and I recognize that I will burn out if I don't charge what I am worth, and cover my own expenses. The parents whose births I help prepare them for or get to attend will tell you that I am worth every penny.

Please do not mistake a barter as a handout.

In the past I have accepted trades such as sewing, sanding my cabinets, a Birth Pool in A Box, photography, web design, logo & graphic designs. These were all things that either I was going to have to do myself, or that I was going to have to pay someone to do. That's what makes the trade worthwhile for both parties.

Okay, it isn't THIS pool, but I accepted a barter for a birth pool.
So what kinds of things can be bartered?

Here is a comprehensive list of ideas of things that I would be up for bartering. Different professionals might have a different list or business format that does not allow for this.

  • Sewing
  • Handyman Skills
  • Sanding furniture
  • Painting furniture (but not for the prego mom to do!)
  • Artwork
  • Photography
  • Cleaning
  • Teach me or members of my family skills: Canning, cooking, further my sewing skills, musical skills, yoga, sports, photography, etc.
  • Put together freezer meals
  • Interior Decorating
  • Stripping wallpaper
  • Landscaping
  • Painting
  • Haircuts, lashes, manicures, pedicures, etc.
  • Baking (must have food handler's card and baking must be done in my home)
  • Advertising/PR
  • Run errands/assist me in tasks
  • Experiences
  • Gift Cards
  • Editing text
You are not limited to items on this list. I am open to other barters, but I hope that this helps you see some things that YOU might be able to barter to have the best shot at the birth you want!

Have you ever bartered services? Tell me about it in the comments.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Apple Cinnamon Syrup

In the "Let's Date" video I made, I mentioned a syrup that I put on top of the Date Pancakes. I love it because it's yummy, it is low sugar, and it's something I don't feel terrible about feeding my family. We noticed one day that there was 26 grams of sugar in the 'maple' syrup we were eating, and after my mini-episode-of-cardiac-arrest, I realized we needed to find a healthier option

Pictured over Date Pancakes on the far left
Because I'm such a skilled cook, I just like to eyeball things so I don't have to share my recipes. Just kidding! But seriously, this is a recipe that I kinda just 'do' to personal preference.

1 good sized apple/2 people, or 1 small apple/person
1 1/2-2 cups of water
brown sugar
sliced almonds
shredded coconut
coconut oil
sliced dates (optional)
chia seeds

I use an apple slicer to cut the apples, and then slice them into small diced pieces, and throw them in a small pot, with a little coconut oil in the bottom. (I put it on medium-high, and just add everything into the pot on the stove.) 

Because... coconut oil.

Then I sprinkle generously with cinnamon, use a heaping tablespoon of brown sugar, and the water, almonds, sliced dates, chia seeds and shredded coconut. I let it all simmer and marinade together until the pot has been steaming for 10 minutes or so, or until it looks like there might be a cup or so of water left. Then I take it off the stove and put it in my kitchenaide or use a potato masher to mash up the apples some, pour unsweetened apple sauce in until it's a consistency that I like, and then put it over my pancakes, waffles, etc.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Birthing From Within: Myth vs. Truth

As a Mentor for Birthing From Within, I have been coming across a lot of misconceptions of what BFW is about. I hope to clear some of these up, and help you to see why I love these classes!

 Myth #1: Birthing From Within is not comprehensive, and is mostly just birth art.

Truth: The book Birthing From Within begins with Birth Art. It is roughly 20% of the book - meaning 80% of the book is NOT birth art! Our classes have this same breakdown. Roughly 20% of the class is artsy, but the rest is other information.

Oh, and by the way - a new version of the book is coming out in just a few months! The changes look incredible.

Myth #2: Birthing From Within is woo-woo/hippy/out-there/pagan and not for mainstream/normal/religious parents.

Truth: Alright, there might be a little 'woo' to it. However, there is an incredible amount of psychology behind Birthing From Within, and the 'woo' exists to make our minds think in different ways than normal. Like birth, classes are different than our normal day-to-day, because these classes exist to help you prepare for what may feel like an uncomfortable event.

This also depends largely on the mentor you have. Some of us are woo. Some of us are mainstream. Some of us are somewhere in between. If you are on the fence, contact the mentor whose class you are wanting to take, and see if they are a good fit for you.

If the idea of a class being different than a scenario where information is thrown at you makes you nervous, I would admonish you to think long and hard on this question: What is it that I believe about the class being different that makes this a problem for me?

Myth #3: Birthing From Within is for homebirth or unmedicated birth or vaginal birth.

Truth: Oh heavens, no. One of the things that I love about Birthing From Within, perhaps above all the other things, is that it is not outcome focused! We provide you will skills to be able to cope with an unmedicated birth if that is what your birth will play out to be, but it is not the goal. What's the goal? Well, that will be different for every person. I cannot answer that question for you and your birth.

My hope, however, is that you will walk away from the class knowing that you can tap into your inner strength for your birth and your life.


At the end of the day, do I think Birthing From Within is for everyone? Nope, not even a little. Different people have different needs, and that's okay! However, as with birth, I believe in informed consent in your choice of classes.

Interested in signing up for a class? How about this one?

Friday, July 17, 2015

Thank you for your interest in Transcendence Birth!

Our website can now be found at www.transcendencebirthaz.com - all materials will be updated with this information in the future.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

You'll Probably Forget What You Learned In Your Childbirth Class (But You Should Take One Anyway)

I know, I know. It sounds like a terrible sales pitch, and coming from a childbirth educator, you can easily imagine my bias.

However, I was once a pregnant woman whose closest experience to a childbirth class was watching on How I Met Your Mother, when Marshall and Ted went to one without Lily and held one another's hands as they were told to look into one another's eyes and 'breathe each other in.' (Season 7, Episode 4 - The Stinson Missile Crisis. You're welcome.) As an amateur cynic at the time, (since I couldn't find someone who wanted to pay me for that) I rolled my eyes at how cheesy this was. A few weeks passed and a terrifying idea hit me... This baby has to come out. I ended up taking a class and my life has never been the same since.

Sure, I'll give it to those who say you forget what you learned when labor hits... I remember profanities running amuck in my head as I thought, "This is a lot more intense than ice [from my classes]!" My first birth experience was more intense than I had imagined while practicing, and from my perspective, that is what veteran parents are saying when they say their classes were useless.

Some parents that I have talked to have taken classes that taught what to expect medically along with some breathing patterns for coping. It is important to have knowledge of the medical aspect of birth, but it is not enough. The vantage point of each participant while in birth is turned to a place of coping with the emotional, physical, mental, social and spiritual sensations. Knowledge of the medical event being normal is reassuring, but it is not enough.

This is where the right class can help you to reach that pinnacle of 'enough'. For me, that class is Birthing From Within. Others find what they are looking for with The Bradley Method, Hypnobabies or Hypnobirthing, Birth Boot Camp or a variety of the many other options. That's fine! Finding what resonates with you is what will prepare you for birth.

The Right Class Helps You Feel Prepared

Birth can feel scary to some people. Every minute that passes can make mom feeling like a ticking time-bomb, just waiting to explode! It can cause an unreal amount of stress and anxiety, and as every pregnant woman has heard a thousand times, "That's not good for you OR the baby." Seriously, there is something you can do to help relieve that stress and pressure, and that's to be educated on and as best prepared for birth as possible.

The Right Class Helps You To BE Prepared

Newly postpartum and wishing I had
better prepared for this moment!
Yep, that's right. Yes, we did establish that many parents start to feel the intensity of active labor or the anxiety of a change in birth plans and feel unprepared. As the adrenaline and hormones begin to rush to help mom and her birth partner to keep up with this event, we can become forgetful and feel overwhelmed. This is a natural and normal response to those hormones! It's now, more than ever, that parents need to practice what they learned in those classes and breathe, breathe, breathe. As oxygen returns to our brains we can better access our memory and come up with what the next step should be in our births.

Beyond the birth itself, the right class will prepare you for what is forgotten all too much... the postpartum period. We spend so long placing our sole focus on getting that baby out that we forget to prepare and learn about what to do AFTER the baby arrives. I know that I am not the only mama to feel blindsided due to my lack of preparation for the postpartum period. For the love of all things holy, mamas, be prepared for the postpartum period!!!

The Right Class Helps You Learn How You Cope

That's right, not how to cope, but how you cope. I can teach about pain coping strategies all day long, and none of that matters if you are a kinesthetic coper, but you think you want to cope with visualizations. Practice makes the master. By learning how you naturally cope you are able to learn methods that might work for you, and when your body requests your help during birth, you know how to help it.

The Right Class Helps You Learn To Trust Your Intuition

Speaking of your body's requests, let's go there! Many parents experience a moment in birth where their logical brain does not know what to do. Their intuition takes over as they rock, moan, cuss, visualize or find themselves focusing solely on the intensity of the contraction. These are not things that they intended to do, but it is what their body asked of them, and they obliged. Partners also come across this need for listening to intuition as mama slips into labor land and cannot always advocate for herself. Learning to trust intuition is vital as we step into parental roles for the remainder of our lives.

The Right Class Helps You Learn Skills That Can Change Your Life

Birth is about so much more than that one day. It directly affects mom, partner, and baby for the rest everything. Sometimes as a parent we have to ignore the peanut gallery. Sometimes as a parent we have to do hard things. Sometimes we have to make hard choices. Seldom do things go according to plan. But in the end, we are better off for having learned that what matters most is what is inside of us. It's the strength and beauty of our relationships that count. It's knowing our options in life and making choices that give us our best chance for what we want.
of their lives. As parents-to-be and also as parents we are bombarded with thoughts and opinions about how we should do

You may not realize it for some time to come, but... Birth is the training ground for life.

Wouldn't that be worth taking a class about?