Zariah Leah – & My Homebirth Experience

His “I’m gonna be a dad for the 6th time” shirt. 🙂

Its funny how God gives me this intuition sometimes. I’m not really sure if its intuition actually, or if its more like, a premonition? Zariah’s birth was one of those times in my life where I sort of knew what would happen, before it happened.

As soon as I found out when my due date was, I just felt like June 21st (Fathers day) would be the day she was to be born. It was the first day of summer, a Sunday, and I knew that THEZMAKER would be off work. I also really wanted a June baby, as we had birthdays in May and in July. I didn’t want to get my hopes up just in case I was wrong, but I knew I wasn’t going to be wrong. I knew Zariah was going to be born on Fathers day, and she was.

A few months prior to her being born I had visions about her birth in dreams. They would come to me periodically whenever I would meditate on her birth and try to picture myself home birthing in the water It just didn’t feel right. I felt like that was way off, and definitely weird because my previous birth was a water birth and in my heart I wanted another birth just like his. Every time I would practice my birth meditation however, my soul just wasn’t sitting right. Eventually I felt like maybe I should play out this birth in my mind a little bit and see where my mind would lead. Eventually I did do that and my heart told me that Zariah would actually be born on my bed, not in the water. I tried so hard to ignore that feeling and every day I would try to do my meditation, completing my water birth. God would step in and say, “Its not going to happen that way this time.” Eventually I stopped meditating on having a water birth and just focused on the labor. I knew Zariah would be born on the bed, and I knew when I would have her.

The weeks before she was born I had a LOT going on in our lives. I kept super busy as to not focus on the pregnancy and I was writing a lot, working a lot, and our dog had puppies… It. Was. Insanity. I even had this chalk board on the fridge- I just had to get to that day… and then I was I the clear to have a baby. Everything was working out perfectly on the timeline to have a baby on Fathers Day.


On Thursday, the 18th I started getting some contractions. Off and on they would come and would really pick up at night. Friday, they picked up again at night but stopped in the early morning hours. Finally on Saturday I decided to take a little castor oil smoothie just in case my contractions came back maybe they would pick up. At this point I think it was very mental. I was terrified of having this baby. I wanted to have her, but I was very afraid of having a sixth child. Nothing could prepare me for that transition and I knew that it was hindering my birth. Taking the castor oil was my way of saying “Okay God, I’m ready to do this. Lets do it. I’m putting my birth, and my life in your hands once again.” That night, my body started the contractions again. They were light and I wasn’t sure they would pick up but I decided to get some taco time, and go to bed. So, that’s what I did.birthart

Once the contractions picked up at about 2 am, I knew this was happening. After all, she was going to be born on June 21! I really had to pray and pray and pray, a lot during labor. Not because of pain- in fact, It was another painless labor all the way up until ten centimeters dilated! Praise the Lord. I was praying to keep my mind out of my own way. I was fearful and I know what fear does to labor- it stops it. I was laboring in the tub. I had candles lit (one for each of my children that they had decorated for me), and my painting that I had painted next to me on the sill. We decided to call the midwives… My poor midwives had been to two births already the night before, and had just gotten home from one, when he called them. They drove over and one fell asleep on my bed, the other the floor and one was sitting up on her phone in case I needed them. In my birth plan it stated that I wanted no help from the midwives unless asked. They were there simply as a back up in case I felt like I needed help.

It was 4am, and my midwives had come around 3:30 in the morning. Up until that point it had just been THEZMAKER and myself, in the quiet. He sort of talking to me from next to the tub and me just relaxing. Honestly, my labors are amazing when I let my body do what it does. I was fine, and I really thought I probably wasn’t even in full blown labor. I thought my water had broken in the tub, so I decided to start trying to push. My contractions slowed WAY down. They were coming one ever ten minutes or so. I was pushing with all I had during the contraction, but nothing was happening. After an hour or so, the water was getting cold so my midwives and husband were trying to fill up the tub again with hot water. I kept wondering what was going on and why this labor was taking so long. My last birth was so very fast and I knew I was fully dilated already. I started to panic and fear that Zariah must be a ten pound baby and was stuck. (Even though I know that is an extremely rare situation, and that I pushed out a 9lb4oz baby last time with no problems). So I asked one of the midwives to just check me and see if there was some kind of weird presentation going on. (What that means is maybe the head was to one side, or maybe tipped backward- or possibly the baby had turned around and was butt first.) None of that was going on. In fact, she said everything felt great- I just wasn’t pushing hard enough. I told her, The hell I wasn’t!


The water was too cold. So instead of pushing with contractions I just let them happen as the midwives and my husband added hot water into the bath. Once it was warm enough, I started trying to push. This was the first time ever that I had trouble pushing. I couldn’t figure out what was going on. Pushing has never been an issue for me, ever. My babies are usually born very quickly. My water also usually breaks before I push. I also thought at this point that my water had broken but was not 100% sure since I was in the water. By now it was 730am, and I was getting very frustrated.

The contractions were now hurting in my back and hips and with each contraction I had to have THEZMAKER press on my back and press my hips together. I was still completely calm and my contractions were still spread out to every ten minutes. I had been fully dilated since 4am, and could not figure out why this baby wasn’t coming out.

I was getting kind of nervous too, and every time fear would come into my mind I had to pray again. Each time it was about something different. I was worried because the kids were now awake, and Zaynah was the only one watching them. I was worried because the baby wasn’t coming fast, and we had someone stopping by at 9 o’clock that day to pick up a puppy. I was worried because if something went wrong, I would need to transfer to the hospital and leave my kids home alone. I KNEW none of these things would even have been an issue though. I knew that God was going to protect me, that God had a plan for this labor, I knew that if something did go wrong, one of the midwives would have stayed there until a family member got there. But they were fears I needed to deal with and let go of.

I sat on the toilet and pushed with all my might trying to break my water, but it wouldn’t break. Then I stood in the bathroom and while my husband pushed on my hips I pushed and pushed. It still wasn’t working. At this point I had kind of mental block and had to talk myself out of it.  I really didn’t understand what was happening so I decided to text my doula and midwife friend (who actually is a big reason of why I am a doula now). I told her some of my fears about how I worried that maybe she was just a really big baby, and how I was pushing and she wasn’t moving down. She gave me some pointers which I tried, but also were not working at that time.

Finally, I remembered what the Lord had told me about my birth… Zariah needed to be born on my bed. I needed to relax and let this happen and surrender to this plan. I had been standing in my bathroom against the sink wearing my favorite robe, and I decided to go over to my bed, and have the midwife break my water- I wanted this over with- and in retrospect I wish that I would have been patient and let her come out in the caul. She broke my water and moved quickly out of the way so that THEZMAKER could do the rest. I pushed her out in one push, and she flew past his hands right onto the bed, where he caught her feet! All the while still in my favorite robe, haha. She immediately was placed on my chest.


Its funny because in this picture I was smiling because she came out so fast. I knew she would come out fast, and afterward my midwife said to me “I can see now why you were getting so frustrated!” Yes, one push. They usually come out pretty easily. I then noticed as I was cleaning her off, Zanders little hand helping me as he was saying “baby!” I had not noticed that he was in the room sitting right next to me.









I do feel like in retrospect a lot of my labor was very calm, but there were some moments of fear, even though I didn’t show it. It was an internal struggle. I wish I had taken more time to meditate this time around, as last time I did SO MUCH more meditation and I didn’t feel any fear at all.

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After she was born the rest went fairly well. The kids came up to see her, and the midwives cleaned up. My after pains were pretty horrific this time around too, but you know, that’s just how it goes sometimes. My homebirth was really amazing though, and If I have the opportunity again I will for sure do it at home.


Zariah Leah, Born at 8:24am, 6lbs 13oz. IMG_6612

By the way, We had an amazing newborn shoot done. I will post those pictures separately. 🙂logo

Anniversary Hot Air Balloon Ride







This morning I woke my hubby up at 4am, to head out the door for our anniversary surprise. He had no idea that for our 9th anniversary, I was taking him on a hot air balloon ride over our old hometown of Woodinvile, Washington. We were not very awake at that time, but I was super excited and he was just kind of along for the ride, as he didn’t know what I had up my sleeve.






Blowing up the balloon.

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The ride was a beautiful one. We took off around 6am, and got to watch the sunrise come up. We shared the balloon with two other couples and our guide.

Afterward we shared some mimosas!

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Babe, I know we’ve been through some hard times. Especially this last year. I know that this anniversary was especially special because of that. I hope you enjoyed this day together and experience as much as I did. I love you! Happy 9 years. Onto 10!! 🙂


If anyone needs something amazing to do for your 9th anniversary, check out Hot Air Ballooning! If you are in the Seattle Area, check out Over The Rainbow Ballooning.

Waiting For Labor – Romans 8:18

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. – Romans 8:18

Waiting for labor to begin quote. All the pain from contractions birth will all be worth it in the end .. Waiting for baby to arrive !

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a little timer that counted down the time of pregnancy so we knew just when to expect labor to begin? I’ve always hoped and wished for that little timer. Unfortunately there isn’t one. Our human nature, especially now is to be so impatient and want things as soon as possible, and on our own timing. Unfortunately that’s not really how God has designed birth to be. I think birth is one of those things in life that God has designed to teach us patience, and grow us in our ability to wait on his timing. No, is not really fun. It can be so hard! We struggle with the physical aspects of not really being able to do much, the mental challenges of wanting to see our baby, and the in between time of dissecting every possible labor sign and symptom. We probably live on google too much in these last few weeks. God has promised us though that he will deliver each and every one of us, and as we know, no one is pregnant forever. Soon enough your body WILL go into labor. Its just so hard to wait. I challenge you to continue your meditation even more so now than you have before, and when you aren’t doing that, try staying busy as much as possible. Watch some TV shows you’ve been meaning to catch up on. Write a letter, paint some art. Work on anything you’ve been meaning to get around to but haven’t yet. Give your fears and prayers to God and ask him to show you anything underlying that may cause you to hold off on labor starting. After all, if you are not comfortable in your space, labor will likely not start. God wants you to be ready for him and his presence. He wants you to be ready to welcome your child into the world. Being comfortable with life, and your surroundings is extremely important. Turn to God in this time and remember that he is the one with the time clock, and he is the one who knows best.

Here are some great ideas of things to do while waiting for labor.


Heavenly Father,

Thank you like always that you are the King of Kings! I pray for all the women out there who are waiting for their sweet day to come upon them. Let the time go by without too much trouble and with minimal discomfort. I pray Lord that you wash over them a peace only you can bring and let their minds be calm to labor and that they can enjoy these last moments before their babies are born. Please bring to mind to them anything that could be stopping them from going into labor, any fear that needs to be dealt with or brought the surface, that they would be able to see it and pray through it. Lord I pray for each woman who is term and so close to having their babies, that you would hold them so tight in this sweet, sweet, yet sometimes difficult time.



Have Hope- Lamentations 3:21

This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. — Lamentations 3:21 (KJV)




Our Heavenly Father is so sweet, and so patient. When we live each day doubting our trust in our God, what do we know will happen? The God of all, he knows what we are going to fear long before we say it. He knows, because he knows each of his children intimately. But do we know him intimately? Do we trust that God the Father, has our interests at heart? Do we read his word and understand that he made us, and will not let anything harm us? He made us to do good work, and to work hard. Sometimes the work is harder than we think we are ready for. The only way to prepare for that work, is to take it head on, to pray, and to persevere. There is an amazing part of this we must not forget! The Lord God gives us hope in all things! He is there, and he cares for us as our caretaker. He is sweet with hope. Full of glory! His love never fails. He is trustworthy.



Dear Heavenly Father,


Help me to feel your presence in this moment. I want to feel your trusting, calming peace. Hold me in your arms and calm my mind.


Let me sit in the quiet and do nothing but meditate on your sweet love for me.




Be Strong, He Will Strengthen You. Psalm 31:24

Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord. – Psalm 31:24


  When we have a broken heart, the Lord will heal it. When we have little faith, he will grow it. The Lord uses all of our circumstances to create in us a new and beautiful soul. If you have been hurt before by having a tragic, or traumatic birth experience, or even if you have read about them- know that your God has designed you in a way to use all these things for your good. Remember that if you have courage, The Lord will redeem your life and your experiences. They are not in vain. Be of GOOD courage. Have faith in the experiences that you have lived through, for they are for you alone. If you have been through a traumatic experience, and it brings you fear, pray against that fear. Pray that you can have courage as The Lord has instructed you to have. He will strengthen your heart through this experience as he did that one. No two births are ever a like, just as no two people are alike. You can take comfort in knowing that whatever made your experience traumatic before, it is unlikely to repeat itself. Meditate on these words from the song below. As you read them, Thank God for his love for you. Thank God for his love for the baby growing within you. Ask him to connect you to your baby. “Lord I come to You Let my heart be changed, renewed Flowing from the grace That I found in You. And Lord I’ve come to know The weaknesses I see in me Will be stripped away By the power of Your love.” Heavenly Father, I ask that you wrap your loving arms around me. I know I cannot always see the reason why things happen what seems like to me, for no reason at all. From now on, I will look to you and call out your name when I feel cross, or when I feel like I don’t understand. I know that you have a reason for all these things, and they are not in vain. I know that my story will be used to encourage others, and I know that you are writing this story for me, growing me in your ways. Amen.

Ask and You Shall Receive. Matthew 7:7

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” – Matthew 7:7-8


One of the reasons why meditation is so important, is because it is prayer and direct interaction with God. Most people meditate to have a spiritual connection with a higher God. Not all people who mediate are a believer of Christ, however, in the bible it talks about taking time to meditate with the Lord. In this verse, Jesus is speaking about prayer and how to ask for things. He tells us the correct way to pray, but he also lets us know that our prayers are heard, and answered. We have to ask for what we want. Even though The Lord knows what we need, he wants us to ask him.


When you take time to meditate today, I want you to think about the things you want for your child. What type of future do you hope for your baby? Of course you want a healthy child, but maybe you want a child with your husband’s smile, or your quirky personality. Maybe you’d like your baby to have your mothers singing voice. However your child is made, he or she is going to be absolutely perfect to both you, and to God. No matter what types of things you wish for your child, the object is to start praying for your child now. There is of course the birth experience and we do a lot of praying about that. List out your hopes and wants for your child here below. Next to each of your hopes, write how you would ask God to bless your child with this request.


Heavenly Father,

Thank you so much for this life growing inside of me. I am so excited to meet this little one and I know as I grow and the baby grows, my relationship is only getting stronger with you, and my baby. Lord I want to start praying for my child. Help me to think about my child often during the day and pray for things in his or her future. I pray Lord that you will keep him safe, and keep him in your arms when I cannot be there. I pray for his little body, may it be forming perfectly in my womb. Thank you again Lord for this amazing gift. Amen.


We Have A Daddy. Romans 8:15

For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “”Abba,” Father.” – Romans 8:15


This time in your pregnancy you might be getting nervous about birth. You know at any time your son or daughter will make their arrival. You know that it will be unlike anything you have ever experienced, and that can make you nervous. When you received Christ as your Savior, you were made new again with a new spirit. In Romans, we are told that we received a spirit, but also a Father. We have gained a Daddy in Christ and we are his daughters. He protects us and knows so much more than we do. His timing is perfect. He will protect us, just like you are protecting that sweet baby in your womb right now.

You know that you will do all in your power to make sure no harm comes to your baby. The VERY first step, is trusting God. The Second step, which you have already done by following this devotional, is to have a healthy pregnancy. The next and third step is to have a healthy birth- and the best way to do that, is to wait patiently for the right time and to trust God.

Leave all your fears and worries behind. Get rid of your thoughts about weakness. Take care of your body and renew it so that you can last until the end of your pregnancy. Sometimes we become weak and so tired and uncomfortable at the end of pregnancy. If we take steps NOW to make sure our patience can last, then we can be selfless for our babies and make sure the risk of complications can go down incredibly, just by being patient with our bodies.

Most importantly, learning to lean on God at this time and remembering that he too is our father. He wants us to cry out for him when we need him. Turn to Romans and read Romans 8:15. You have a new spirit in Christ Jesus! Amen!

Heavenly Father,

I pray lord, today. I pray for peace and for the aches and pains of pregnancy to dissipate as much as possible. Lord lay your hands on me, and surround me with your fatherly love. Help me to feel that peace and comfort that you provide. Help me to not be impatient at this time leading up to the birth. Help me to get good sleep at night and help me to take some naps during the day. Make a way for me to take little walks and eat some comforting food and drink water. Remind me to keep taking care of myself and take long soaking baths. Remind me that you are God and I can put all my trust in your loving arms.



Shame. Psalm 127.

Children are a blessing from the Lord. – Psalm 127


Depending on how pregnant you are, you might be either really excited about your pregnancy, still nervous, or like me- in complete denial you are having a baby at all. 🙂

A lot of the time, pregnancy is a highly desired event where a couple has been “trying” to get pregnant and has timed everything correctly and they have wanted a baby for a while. Sometimes though, pregnancy can be confusing and it’s not always easy to know how to feel. If you got pregnant unexpectedly, you are single, you’ve already got a few children, or many other reasons- your pregnancy could possibly feel more like an embarrassment, rather than a blessing.

You know what’s great? God has already revealed to us that pregnancy and children are nothing to be embarassed about- ever. Now, If we had a baby in sin, (and I have, so I can say this), the sin might be embarrassing. Yes, we can feel guilt about our sin, and our actions- but regardless of the sin, or how the baby came to be- the lovely child itself is nothing less of an amazing gift.

Its unfortunate that society doesn’t support that more. When I was pregnant with my first baby, I was not married, but with a long-term boyfriend and he wanted me to get an abortion. My parents were supportive of me keeping and raising her, (thank God!), but most of my church family wrote me off. I couldn’t bring myself to show my face in church for three years after that. Unfortunately I was judged by Christian women and not supported or brought along side them- and my daughter became part of my shame. It is so important to realize the difference here.

While sin may be shameful, children never are.

If you are a mother in this type of situation, or for whatever reason you are feeling embarassed about your pregnancy, or insecure or feeling judged, I want you to know that you are NOT alone. I also want you to know that God loves you and he is SO proud of you for commiting to bringing the life into this world he has blessed you with.

Even though I’ve been married almost ten years I still have a hard time separating pregnancy and shame. It always seems to be something to be embarassed about, but it’s not.

Heavenly Father,

I pray Lord for the women feeling shame right now. You know who they are and you know what they need. I ask that you give them your comfort, care, peace, love- and show them how much their child is already loved. Please also show them how much they are loved. I know how much you love them! Amen

Agony, or Joy? James 1:2-3

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. – James 1:2-3

“My feet hurt, my back hurts, I’m having these “Braxton hicks” contractions… I just want to stay in bed all day!” — Trust me, sister, I hear ya! Pregnancy is no picnic sometimes!

The Lord asks us to look at things in a little different perspective however. Consider it all joy- what does that even MEAN? How can we consider PAIN, or agony, joyful? I know its a weird concept to grab a hold of… but when we ask God why these things are here, it makes sense. I’m sick for the fifth time this pregnancy and I cannot figure out why! Maybe its Gods way of slowing me down. I have a tendency to be go-go-go, and its really not the right attitude to have while growing a baby. Maybe its building the baby an extra needed immune system, I can’t really be sure. All I know is I’ve felt lately like I’m in agony.

Of course all these regular aches and pains of pregnancy are enough to make anyone feel that way, and then you add in how annoyingly sick I have been, and I just want to throw in the towel. Unfortunately I can’t just throw in any towels, in fact, just the opposite, I have to WASH the towels. That’s what happens when you are a mom. Of course, I have to be diligent about taking care of myself and getting the right nutrition, and water intake, as well as resting when I can, and God makes sure I rest ;). So how can I find Joy in this? Well, Its not going to be easy right off the bat.

In James, when it tells us to consider it all joy, I think that’s a direct commandment. ITs not really a choice- and it goes on to say that we should consider our trials blessings because we are having our faith stretched and endurance is being grown within us. I think that is a pretty good reason to consider it joy, and not agony. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not perfect and I’m still complaining about life while pregnant. My poor husband knows how uncomfortable it is for me, but if I’m truly talking to God and trying to live for him, I’m going to ask him to help me to see it as Joy. He will make sure that happens.

Heavenly Father, I pray for all the uncomfortable women out there right now who are going through times of pregnancy that are hard. I know that you are building endurance in these women for when their babies come. I know that you want them to pray to you and lean on you in this time. I pray that these women would be able to do that- to turn to you and pray about their agonies in pregnancy and that you would help them see the joy at this time, myself included! In your name, Amen.

Zoey’s 6th Birthday, Frozen!


Zoey turned six!! Our Kindergarten birthdays are always pretty crazy. We invite the entire kindergarten class, as well as families. It can get pretty expensive to throw these parties, but we always make it work for our little ones. We want them to have a great memory of their Kindergarten birthday. The reason we started doing this, way back when Zaynah turned 6, is because I thought it would be a great way for me to get to know the families and kids she was in class with. I know that they will continue to go to school with these kids for a long time and I want to get to know them if possible. Now since we’ve moved from our old house, Zoey is the first one to have a Kindergarten birthday in our new district. It’s been different. Not a lot of kids participate in birthdays here. I’m not really sure why. At our old school, everyone came to birthdays and we would have a great turnout normally of about 50 people. With this new district every party we have had, only a few kids have come.

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Thank goodness for pinterest. Parties are so easy these days as far as getting the ideas. Other people think them up, and you just do them. 🙂 Now I’ve received a lot of criticism over the choices I have made for my childrens birthday parties as far as what I serve them to eat. So I’d just like to put a disclaimer here, that my children very very rarely eat these types of foods. If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you see what I pack them for lunch every single day, so I think you can understand this is simply a birthday party where rules are much more lax. Plus, there is budget to consider and the fact of convenience. Making food for 50 people, on a budget… and to a theme of a party- I think its okay to just go easy every once in a while. 😉

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Zaynah and I stayed up really late making those snowflakes from melted chocolate.


Actually Zaynah was a huge help for this entire party. I was pretty pregnant and so she helped me bake all the cupcakes, and the cake, and I decorated them all. The candle I made using a regular cake/birthday candle and hot gluing blue glitter on it so it would be “frozen” themed.

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For activities we got a piñata and a bouncy house. If you are wondering who we use, we always use They are AMAZING. Reasonably priced and we get hours of fun time before and after the party as well.

IMG_5888 IMG_5889 IMG_5890We had such a great time, and only one casualty- Zachary’s teeth.


Both of them broke in half when his face met with another little boys knees inside the bouncy house. 🙁 Two trips to the dentist later and luckily they did not fall out and we are able to keep them in unless they get infected.


I loved celebrating Zoey turn 6. 🙂