If you’re a regular on my blog then you will know that I absolutely love my midwife Rachel Talley and she helped me so much in the births of my last two children. In case you missed those stories click here to read more. Rachel has fourteen years of education and personal application in things relating to birth, healthy living, personal happiness, and emotional and spiritual progression and growth. She is offering a three day childbirth seminar that I highly recommend to anyone pregnant or not. Rachel says that these classes are not ONLY for pregnant couples. If you are even thinking about getting pregnant and wanting to prepare in a conscious, understanding, and gentle way....then these classes are ALSO FOR YOU!!Rachel has recently revamped her classes and along with the normal course information, she will be providing a rebirthing process and vision board, as part of the seminar. "The rebirthing process aids to recode the limbic imprinting by releasing the energy stored from a traumatic birth. It helps to move through unwanted energy and redefine, in a loving, peaceful way, a new imprint! You can create through preparation/visualization the birth you actually wanted and find the love you've been seeking for yourself and the world you live in! This process in not only for pregnant woman but for all human kind who is longing to create a place of understanding and personal growth in their lives. This is an AMAZINGLY POWERFUL process!" She will end the seminar by making a vision board. This is yet another powerful process that uses only your senses and intuition to truly "see" and "create" what you are wanting for your life....before, during or after your birth. The seminar begins Thursday, Sept. 30 and ends Saturday, Oct. 2nd. Thursday and Friday will run from 3 pm to 9 pm and Saturday will begin at 10 am and end around 2 or 3 pm. The cost is $125 per couple. Sign up by Sept. 18th and save $25.Please contact Rachel with any questions or concerns.Rachel M. Talley801-623-2559www.livingmom.netA little bit more about Rachel M. Talley:For those of you who don't know me, my name is Rachel Talley. I only share this information so you can get to know me a little better. I have LOVED all things birth related since I was a small child. Since the birth of my first son 14 years ago, I have spent MANY, MANY hours reading, studying and taking classes on many subjects that teach about conception, pregnancy and birth. In 1999, I took the DONA course and began practicing as a doula. In 2005, I began my apprenticeship as a midwife and 2 years ago started taking my own clients. I am also very interested in other healing modalities. In 2000, I became certified as a Nutritional Herbologist and soon thereafter began teaching classes on nutrition where I taught such subjects as whole foods, raw foods, vegetarianism, veganism, cleansing, supplementation and overall physical and emotional health and well being. Six years ago, I was introduced to Native American spirituality. In 2007, I studied with James "Flaming Eagle" Mooney who, soon thereafter, gifted me as a Medicine Woman and water pourer. I have also been gifted as a Pipe Carrier by Richard "He Who Has The Foundations" Swallow, Spiritual Leader of the Eagle Clan of the Lakota/Sioux. I have spent the last 4 years learning from my current teacher David "Black Jaguar" Hamblin (http://www.theredpath.com), who has taught me many Native practices that deal with emotional, psychological and spiritual healing, not only in personal life but in conception, pregnancy and birth.I have been married to my LOVING husband, Chris Talley, for the last 15 years. Together we have 5 children. All were born at home. The last 3 being born under water. The last one, born 2 years ago, I delivered on my own, catching her as she was born. It was an experience above and beyond any I have ever had. I LOVE to read and educate myself on the mind, body and soul connection. I truly enjoy researching current evidence that shows that we are all connected, that we are all one, and that we can't do without each other!
I have really hesitated to write about Miriam’s birth story – part three, the final story in my three part series. As I looked back at Part One and Part Two, I realized it took me about two months in between each of those to finally get them posted so I guess I’m right on schedule! The true reason though as to why I’ve hesitated is because sharing these stories takes a great deal of courage for me to share some of the deepest parts of myself and be so vulnerable. Then why do it you may be asking yourself? Quite simply it’s because I’ve been inspired time and time again that I need to share my story with other women. As a caution to any new readers, it would serve you well to read Part One and Part Two of my birth stories so you are not totally confused. This is the final of three separate blog posts about the differences in the births of my three children.
I am feeling so much love and peace right now. In this moment I really understand the gift of charity. I understand more so than ever that it really is a gift that is given to us by God. The only way we can truly posses this gift is to pray and ask for it. I did last night and my prayers were really answered. I am so grateful for this gift and for the power of prayer! I went to group (the Red Path Healing Circle) last night feeling pretty angry. As I mentioned yesterday I’ve had a lot of anger issues come up in relationship to some pretty deep wounded childhood energy. I faced that energy head on last week and felt peace for about a day or so then my anger started creeping in and I ended up taking it out on everyone. It was a hard week and in all honesty, my anger didn’t make me happy. I really don’t like being mad all the time and getting triggered by anything and everything. However, on the Red Path we are taught to take accountability and if something is manifesting in our life, it’s because we want it – good or bad. So, since I was angry last week it was because a part of me still wants to be angry and feels safer being angry. But really underneath all that anger is my pain and that is what this week was really about. I was running from my pain by being angry. So back to last night…I decided to work on my anger and why I was running from my pain. Although it was painful, I’d much rather feel my true feelings than hide behind my anger, even if I have to punish myself by being in that space for a week - lol. When we are feeling the depth of our pain then we can give that to the Savior. It’s hard to give that pain to the Savior when we are masking it with feelings of anger and rage. I believe in Jesus Christ and He is my Savior. I desire to be like Him and to have the gift of charity. Last night as I was processing it was clear as day to me what my real challenge is. I have to decide every day to choose love rather than hate, anger, and fear. Because I am an agent I can choose in each moment which spirit I am going to live my life by. I chose last night to have the spirit of love and prayed to have the gift of charity.
Disclaimer: This is a LONG blog post...proceed with caution! If you missed Part One, read that first here.
My biggest transformational shift came after Evan was born. Two years after he was born we were trying to get pregnant again, but no such luck. Shortly after Evan’s 2nd birthday my husband at the time was diagnosed with having a brain tumor. It wasn’t until after having surgery to remove the tumor did we find out that it was cancerous. He made the decision almost immediately to try an “alternative” route to healing his cancer and to put it simply, I freaked out. I grew up in a family that went to the doctor when I was sick and took medication for anything from a headache to strep throat. I thought my husband was going to die and was scared to death that he didn’t want to go to a doctor to do the recommended treatment. I took his decision personally and decided he must not love me or our growing family enough because he didn’t want to go through the expected radiation treatments. This experience was really the pivotal moment in my life, where my foundation started to crumble. I will write about this transformation in more detail at a later time, but for now I’ll keep it as simple as possible to outline what happened with my pregnancy with my son Daniel and his birth. A lot of things happened during this time, so even though there is a lot of information it is all pertinent to my birth experience.
I found a link to the video below from someone else’s blog although I can’t remember who! Sometimes as mother’s we really can begin to feel like we are invisible. I love this quote from the video.
“At times my invisibility has felt like an affliction to me. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of self-centeredness. It is the antidote for my own pride…Let’s pray that our work will stand as a monument to an even greater good.”
I remember as a teenager when I was struck with an awareness that all the scriptural references about “pride” applied to me. At times it’s hard to admit that we are prideful and to see our weaknesses so plainly. I admit that most days I want to be noticed for the things I do and the time I spend into taking care of my family. I’ve heard it said that when we really want to be validated by others, we can simply give ourselves the positive feedback we are seeking. For example: after spending all day cleaning the house and doing laundry I can say, “Christa, you did such an amazing job cleaning the house today! Everything looks so nice and I noticed that you picked up that pile of papers that’s been sitting there all week and that you did all the laundry. You must have spent a lot of time and energy into cleaning today!” This might sound silly, but it does work, the few times I’ve tried it. This is definitely a something I can work on!
This week has been hard for me returning back to all the things that were on hold last week for Miriam's surgery. I've got a list forever long of things to do and to top it off my two-year old has been sick and very whiney. It was nice to watch this video and remember that I really am doing a great work. I hope you are uplifted by the message of this video as I was!
I have worked part-time for 1-800 CONTACTS for the past year and a half. I do customer service over the phone, take orders, and also respond to customer emails. I took this job because they had an at-home program where after proving oneself in the call center could start working from home. I got hired and immediately started doing everything in my power to work at home. Those couple months were hard because I was pregnant with Miriam and had to drop off Evan and Daniel to a babysitter everyday. Granted, Evan was in school for most of this time, but nonetheless it was hard to drop them off everyday. I went in before 8 and got off around 2, so really it wasn’t a bad schedule, just busy. A few weeks before Miriam was born I was approved to work at home and the company paid for everything – my computer set up (including two monitors..nice!) and my internet so I could start working from home. I was able to work at home after I took some maternity leave and I am so grateful! 1-800 CONTACTS is a great company to work for if you ever need a job and they are hiring. Here are just some of the perks:
Among all of these perks they are a company with integrity and specialize in customer service. All products are guaranteed 100% and they will replace or exchange anything for free. When there is an issue with a customer we send hand written apology notes. Come on folks, hand written apology notes. Did you hear that? For every defective lens or late delivery we as individual agents write a letter to the customer apologizing and giving them a gift certificate. Who does that? I don’t remember the last time I got an apology note from a company that screwed up! Also, they strive to answer all calls from a LIVE, ENGLISH speaking associate within 2 or 3 rings. No outsourcing for 1-800 CONTACTS; the call center is in Utah and you can actually understand the agents. We are taught to do everything possible for the customer. Even if that means tracking down a Wal-Mart Vision Center that a customer can go to get a trial pair of lenses because they lost their only pair of contacts while vacationing in Hawaii. Yes, I’ve done that…numerous times. Every week we get a company email that outlines the customer feedback we’ve gotten during the week. We all know what is being said – we read the emails. When an associate is being congratulated for a job well done we get those emails too and those calls are forwarded to a manager who then lets the individual agent know. We are noticed for our exceptional service and get further acknowledgement in our monthly team meetings. We also get a monthly update with every Twitter that was sent out mentioning our company. This is a company that listens to its customers and associates. So, the reason for the happy dance…(title of this post) I am going to be able to quit at the end of the week! I am finally going to be getting support for my two boys that has been non-existent for almost two years. The reason for me working was to make up for this deficiency. My hubby and I decided that this decision is the best for our family at this time. I am excited to be done waking up at 3am and working while everyone is catching those few hours of sleep before heading to work, or the kids wake up for school. I am excited to sleep in and go to bed late if I want. I’m excited because I don’t have to worry about getting FMLA for Miriam’s surgery next week and I can just quit this week and be done forever. I’m excited because I can have more energy to be present with my husband and kids. I am excited because I can focus more on my handmade cards and get my Etsy shop rockin with sales. So thank you 1-800 CONTACTS for giving me a great place to work that gave me the flexibility I needed while being a full-time mom. I’m happy to move on, and dear 1-800 CONTACTS, if I ever need a job again, I do hope you’ll take me back.
- Free breakfast in the lunchroom everyday. Every imaginable kind of cereal and if they don’t have it, they’ll get it for you. Not to mention waffle irons with batter to cook up your own waffles. Also baskets of fresh fruit in the lunchroom and in the gym. Free bread and rolls out all day as well. Oh yeah, and free fountain drinks, juice, coffee, tea, and pretty much any drink you want.
- Gym to work out complete with classes you can take before or after your shift.
- Subsidized lunch – the most you’ll ever pay for lunch is $2.50. They have a salad bar, soup, and entrees that are made by the in house chef.
- Employee recognition – birthday gifts, anniversary gifts, pins for great performance, gift cards, and more
- Free movie tickets – twice a year they have a film festival where you can take your immediate family to your choice of several new release movies. In addition to the free tickets, we always get a gift card to the theaters to use on a future visit.
- Parties and contests. In the summer they had a Backyard Bash at Thanksgiving oint with blow up toys for the kids, carnival games, water games, relay races, free cotton candy, BBQ, and drawing for great prices – including a cruise. We took all our kids and had a blast.
I believe in the power, existence, and reality of a Divine Mother. I think it’s a shame that we don’t talk about HER, in addition to talking to about Heavenly Father and a Savior. In my upbringing in the LDS or Mormon faith, we rarely talk about her and her existence and I was taught that she is too sacred for us to talk about. I honor the tradition of my childhood and I have always felt drawn to learn more about Her. I’ve always wanted to know more about HER and more about my connection with her. I mean, I’m a woman and so is she - so shouldn’t I be getting my identity from her – my Divine Mother? If we supposedly get our identity from our same gender parent… shouldn’t we be getting our identity from our Divine Parents as well? Well, as a student and woman on the Red Path, I am so grateful for the Native American perspective of our Divine Mother. My learning and growth on the Red Path has helped me to face the truth about myself, overcome my weaknesses, and heal my pain through the Savior, Jesus Christ. On the Red Path, we are taught that the Earth is a physical representation of our Divine Mother and we can learn so much from her as we honor, love, respect, and take care of the Earth. When I am struggling if I take the time to be outside, relax, take off my shoes, put my face in the grass and let Her support me, I feel rejuvenated, loved, and peaceful. I am learning what it means to be a woman and am grateful for all the moments I have been taught so clearly how to live by my Divine Mother. There have been some pivotal and powerful moments where I was taught so lovingly by her. Our Divine Mother is the manifestation of LOVE. If we want the gift of charity, then she can teach us through her love about the Savior and the love He has for us as well. She can be a safe place for those of us who have been hurt by men and struggle in our faith and belief in Heavenly Father’s love. Even though I have had these amazing experiences, I have still hardened my heart and fail to let her love in on a consistent basis. Amazingly enough, as much as I desire it, it’s hard to be loved – really and truly loved and accepted for I am. None of us in this earthly experience are perfect and so it takes a great deal of faith to believe that someone so Divine would love us so fully and perfectly. I am so human – I struggle, doubt, fear, and live in my pain so frequently. However, the other night I had an amazing experience where I was able to yet again open up to her love. Thank you Divine Mother for loving me. Thank you for helping me on my journey to love and accept myself no matter what. Thank you for your gift of faith and peace. Thank you for teaching me about my Creator. Thank you for being safe. I am grateful to be a woman, wife, and mother and that I am a living expression of her.
Evan was born July 23, 2003 at the Madison Hospital in Rexburg Idaho. I was married to his father at the time and we were both students at BYU-Idaho. I was young, inexperienced, naïve, and scared. His birth was almost 7 years ago and I was a completely different person then. I have changed dramatically since those days but to understand that change I must detail who I was and how I thought back then. I scrapbooked his first year of life while he was still young and I wrote down his birth story in that scrapbook.
Being pregnant wasn’t the best experience of my life, but the end result sure was worth those long nine months of waiting. I went to Madison Women’s Clinic for my pre-natal care and visited three different doctors – Dr. Allred, Dr. Barton, and Dr. Crouch (ABC’s). I listened to the advice of friends and went with this clinic because of the positive feedback I'd heard. I figured that because there were 3 different doctors I'd get a good balance of perspectives and personalities. For the most part I liked them, but Dr. Barton was by far my least favorite and Dr. Crouch was my favorite. I remember one time Dr. Barton was the doctor for my prenatal appointment and I was asking him a question. He had is hand on the doorknob and about to walk out of the room and seemed bugged when he had to turn around and answer me. It did help though to have their medical advice and reassurance that I was normal. I read lots of magazines, books, and asked family and friends countless questions. The first trimester I didn’t feel too great because I had morning sickness. I threw up every morning and sometimes at night. I was always hungry during the first months, so I would have to take snacks with me to school and work so I wouldn’t get sick. I worked at 6am and would frequently throw up just before going to work and would cry on the drive to work.
Well things come together so beautifully sometimes and today I wanted to share two amazing messages that correlate just perfectly and how I felt inspired to action by them!
The first is a quote I’ve never heard before that I stumbled upon while searching through Etsy. “She is their blanket to warm them on a cold winter night. She is the food that satisfies their hungry spirit. She is their shelter from the storm, their comfort in times of pain, their nursemaid to heal all hurts. She is the wind that lifts them up when they have fallen. She is encouragement that guides them forward. She is the love that brought them here. She is the heart daily praying them through. She is their Mother."
by: Linda LaTourelle The second message is a YouTube video I found on a blog I frequently read called Sweet Life in the Valley. You can watch it below. The essay for the video was written by Katherine Center and photos were taken by Shutter Sisters. I cried as I watched this video the second time and had a reoccuring moment of inspiriation come to me again. I have some amazing experiences that have helped shape into who I am today. Three of these distinct experiences are the births of my three children. I’ve been asked by my midwife before to write these experiences down and I just haven’t done it. Well, I guess the timing is right and I’m finally going to put my experiences into words. Check back soon for a three part series about the births of my children.
And now to the video.