I’m On Call!

It’s really exciting. Here I am, owning my own business now, doing something I love and enjoy. It’s such a wonderful feeling. And yet, sometimes I totally forget that it’s true (Oh, shoot! I forgot my doula bag at home!!!). Yes, that has already happened. I promise I’ll get better.

Anyways, for those that are interested, my website is Blessed Inheritance Birth Services. I’m also on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. so please follow/like me! My website also has a blog on it that you can subscribe to. I can only list one service area on most of those websites, but I serve Hannibal, Mexico, and the Greater St. Louis area.

I’d love to answer ANY birth/doula/midwifery related questions, so contact me if you have any questions!

I’m also looking for clients, so feel free to mention me to your pregnant friends. Visit here for reasons why doulas are the best!

And finally, I’m also considering offering birth photography. I’m considering you all my guinea pigs, so comment below on what you think of my pictures. Thanks!!!

Midwife Watching On
Midwife Watching On
Loving Support
Loving Support
Beautiful Hands
Beautiful Hands
Totally Relaxed
Totally Relaxed
Love at First Sight
Love at First Sight
Heart and Hands
Heart and Hands
Baby's First Picture!
Baby’s First Picture!
Getting Warmed Up
Getting Warmed Up
Diaper Time
Diaper Time
Only 7 pounds?!
Only 7 pounds?!

 

Our Farm in Pictures

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Seven little piggies (one is hidden behind the black pig)

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Moses, a 10 year old draft/quarter horse mix

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Willie, a 13 year old Registered Paint

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Winnie the Nut

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J after berry picking

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B and a new(er) kitten

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J watchong everyone ride the new horses

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B on Moses, with everyone else watching

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J’s turn!

Independance Day, DONA, Business, Death, Wedding

Interesting title, eh? Well, that’s what has happened recently in my life. I shall expound below. Independance Day. We had three families over to our place for a barbeque. It was quite the group, with all of us being homeschoolers. Which makes us awesome. Yep. We started off with about half of us kids going for a swim in our extremely deep and murky pond. Even though all of us knew how to swim, we all wore life vests. It was that deep! The rest of the kids (mainly the younger ones) had an epic water gun fight in the backyard, while the menfolk started a game of horseshoes. At 5 o’clock, we started chores (cows do have to be milked on holidays). I think it’s really funny – everyone wanted to milk the cow! So I didn’t have to milk that night 🙂 We then grilled up some hot dogs and sausages, and sat down to a great potluck picnic. Mom let us cheat on GAPS diet, and have potato salad. I think that was the highlight of the day for some of my family members… By the time we finished eating dinner and dessert, it was starting to get dark. Dad started a bonfire, and I started a great game of charades, using a app on my tablet. It’s called Head’s Up,  and what happens is one person holds the tablet or phone on their forehead, and it displays different words. The rest of the group then has to act it out. It’s a lot of fun, and I love watching everyone act. By then, it was really dark, and so we broke out the sparklers and the poppers. While the kids were distracted, Daddy and a friend went down to the pond and set up some fireworks. Mom herded everyone around front just as dad set the first one off. They planned that perfectly! The kids all plopped down in the grass, and the adults sat on the front porch. There were a couple of really good fireworks – I was pleasantly surprised. Of course the whole day I was so busy having fun that I didn’t get a single picture! So that was our Independance Day. Next on happenings was my DONA training course. I am now a DONA trained doula! I had a great time. I met some wonderful ladies, learned a lot, and got inspired,  which brings me to my next topic – business. I’ve started a birth doula business – http://www.BlessedInheritance.weebly.com. I plan on serving at Audrain Medical Center, Hannibal Regional Hospital,  St. Joseph West Hospital, birth centers and homebirths. I am so excited about this opportunity! If you readers don’t mind, could you please visit my website and like me on facebook? Thank you! Onto my next happening. We had another animal die on our farm. This time it hit us a little bit harder. We lost our steer, who we were raising for meat. In fact, he was up to weight, and we were ready to butcher him. Now we have an empty freezer. At least I get to end on a good note! Tomorrow we are going to our Pastor’s son’s wedding. I love seeing the different ceremonies, plus the dresses and reception. Well, that catches you up! By the way, if there are some misspellings or typos, it’s cause my tablet is acting up, and it won’t let me see what I’m typing. Sorry!

On Farming..

To those considering farming.

Just with any job – and actually anything in life – there are pros and cons to it. Farming is no exception. I’m sure you probably are just thinking of the obvious – that farmers are at the mercy of the weather. While that is certainly true, there is more farming than just that.

Farmers get pooped on.

Farmers get peed on.

Farmers also deal with vomit and other bodily functions on an almost daily basis.

They get up with the sun, but don’t normally get to go to sleep with the sun.
The reason? A lamb isn’t eating well. A cow is about to give birth. The steer escaped. They have 150 chicks coming in the morning, and there isn’t a spot ready for them. The field needs to be planted before the next storm hits, even if that means staying up till midnight.

And they deal with a death on a regular basis.

Since moving onto our farm, we’ve lost 4 cats, 1 piglet, 1 dog, 25+ ducklings, 2 goslings, 4 turkeys, and too many chicks and chickens to count. 3/4 of those deaths were caused by animals living on our farm.

Our neighbors lost an entire pond of catfish in a matter of days.

They also deal with the death of trees, crops, and vegatables & fruits.

They spend more money on gas than you could ever imagine possible.

Frustration is a frequent visitor to a farm. Tractors, trucks, and vehicles break down. Tools also break or stop working. The ground can be too wet, too dry, too acidic, or too rocky. Some years find you with a shortage of water for crops, or hay for your animals. Other years hit you with storm after storm. Again, other years, like this year, find you with unpredictable weather. One day it’s 85 degrees and sunny, and the next it’s stormy and 38 degrees.

They break their backs planting seeds, just to have something like the chickens accidentally getting lose and destroying your hard work.

They miss events that are special to them, because an animal is sick and needs nursing, or the cows need to be milked. When farming is your livelihood, you can’t just take a break whenever you’d like.

Farming is hard. On everyone and everything.

But.

Besides becoming a mother or father, it’s one of the most rewarding jobs ever.

The wonder of seeing your siblings, children, or grandchildren’s faces light up with joy when they get to ride the tractor.

Looking out a window, and being able to say that everything you can see, is yours. The cows grazing happily on the new spring grass. The lambs and calves bouncing around the field. The eccentricity of some animals – like a goose that likes to be petted, a cat that nurses on a dog (that has never had puppies!), and the miniture horse who likes to chase and bite the cows.

All the babies! Calves, lambs, foals, and kittens, all hungrily nursing on their mothers. The chicks, ducklings and poults, scratching and searching for food. All bring laughter to your life, and remind you of the miracle that life truly is.

The sound of rain on a roof, or the laughter of a child running free.

Seeing that green of new life after a cold winter.

The sense of home you feel when you go to town and everyone knows your name

The taste home raised bacon. That’s almost a good enough reason to farm there.

I can’t even begin to describe the amazment that I feel when I step outside and see millions upon millions of bright, twinkling stars.

The relief and utter happiness at having neighbors that truly care about and for you.

That first meal evey year, when everything on your table is something you grew or raised. There is such a feeling of accomplishment.

The coolness of the creek after a long day of work.

And the friendly competition that develops between kids, whether that be growing the biggest watermelon or hog, seeing who can milk the fastest, or who can hit the most targets.

And farming is necessary! If there weren’t people like these, you wouldn’t have any food.

So, if you are thinking about farming, here is what I think.

Do it.

It will be THE hardest thing you have ever done. But it is worth it. Every minute of it.Image

In Defense of CHRISTmas

Oh boy. How do I start? I’ll start by saying WHY I wanted to post this. I’ve lately noticed anti-Christmas articles, basically arguing that all of the Christmas “traditions” have pagan roots, and therefore we shouldn’t celebrate Christmas. As you can probably guess, I disagree. I believe that like everything else in this world, Christmas has been tainted by sin. But I do think it’s a good sign that the devil is trying so hard to get Christ out of CHRISTmas. If he’s working so hard on that, don’t you think that we must be doing something right? Who can avoid the fact that our Savior’s name is in one of the most celebrated holidays in the world!?

I’d like to go over a couple of the major points that is debated.

First, one of the major arguments is over when was the first Christmas celebration. I saw this on Facebook today – “Did you know that Christmas was not celebrated in the first centuries of the Christian Church? According to Encyclopedia Americana, a feast in memory of the birth of the Saviour wasn’t established until the Fourth Century, and then it wasn’t until the Fifth Century when the Western Church ordered it to be celebrated forever on the day of the old Roman Feast of the birth of Sol.” Again, I disagree. Who knows if they celebrated Christ’s birth or not? At that time, they were still being persecuted. To openly celebrate anything new under the Romans would have been dangerous. Anytime the Christians worshiped someone other than the Roman lord, they would have been thrown in jail or worse.

I came across this quote in researching the origins of Christmas:  “Augustine (354-430) of Hippo, On the Psalms, Psalm 133 “For from Christ comes the dew. No light is set on a high place, save Christ. How is He set on high? First on the cross, afterwards in heaven. Set on high on the cross when He was humbled; humbled, but His humiliation could not but be high. The ministry of man grew less and less, as was signified in John; the ministry of God in our Lord Jesus Christ increased, as was shown at their birth. The former was born, as the tradition of the Church shows, on the 24th of June, when the days begin to shorten. The Lord was born on the 25th of December, when the days begin to lengthen.”

So to say that the early Christians didn’t celebrate Christmas might not be accurate.  (for the full article go to http://christian-civilization.org/articles/rethinking-the-pagan-origins-of-christmas/ )

As for the date that it was celebrated on, there is a whole host of different arguments on that! Was it a pagan tradition that got carried over? Was it chosen to combat the pagan festival (aka, the Christian version)? Was it simply what date the Early Christians believed to be Jesus’ birth (there is that whole Roman calender thing)? The short answer – who knows?! I liked this young lady’s post – http://melodys-notes.blogspot.com/2008/11/apology-for-christmas-by-melody-seppi.html. Her view – that Christmas was started after the pagan festivals were gone – was interesting. And again, who knows? Everyone says something different, and no one really has solid evidence to suggest one or the other. Here is another quote: “Augustine also specifically titled one of his points of Sermon 22, “The Festival Has Nothing to Do with Sun-worship, as Some Maintain.” Thus in the fourth century, Augustine both refuted that Christmas had its origins in Saturnalia while also clearly attributing the Lord’s birth to December 25th as the “tradition of the church.”

I really suggest reading the book The Case for Christmas by Les Strobel,  by the way. His view is interesting, as he is a former atheist.

Third – Christmas Trees. Again, a link – http://forchristskingdom.blogspot.com/2011/12/christmas-tree-idol.html. Peter did a good job answering that one, and that is what my family believes.

Fourth – Santa Claus. Father Christmas. Pere Noel. Weihnachtsmann. What ever you call him, here I agree with the naysayers. Santa Claus is one “tradition” that has been so secularized. As mentioned in my last post, my siblings and I never believed in Santa. My parents taught us that there was a man named Nicholas who secretly delivered gifts to needy children, but as any human does, he died. I’ve also read that Nicholas never existed and that Santa Claus is based off of a pagan god. Wherever he comes from, I agree that Santa has no place in the celebration of Christmas..that’s not to say that we don’t watch anything with Santa in it, or listen to music that mentions Santa – it just means that we don’t focus on him. My family enjoys the Santa Clause movies, and I personally like how it portrays him – not as a perfect man, but as a sinner with a family that he is learning to care for. But we don’t leave milk and cookies out for Santa (maybe for mom and dad though 🙂 Besides, he is just creepy (he sees you when your sleeping, he knows when you’re awake?)

And I can go on. Mistletoe, advent candles, presents, etc. But I won’t. There is always going to be someone who doesn’t celebrate it. And my goal isn’t to try and make everyone celebrate Christmas. No! My goal is to try and share my view.

Please read this in conclusion. The author wrote it in a way that I cannot in this short post. It is long, but it explains everything so well.

My family has chosen to do the traditions we do for specific reasons. We do set up a Christmas tree. But we don’t worship it. We do give presents to each other, but my parents are the ones who give them – not Santa. We feel that celebrating Jesus’ birth is important, and we don’t mind doing it on the wrong date. I love Christmas. It’s my favorite season for many reasons. Besides celebrating my Lord’s birth, I love singing Christmas/Advent hymns. I love the lights, the trees, the foods, and the snow. And I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like presents too!

I hope I have explained this in a way that is easy to understand, and please also note that these are just my personal views. I don’t mean to offend anyone, and if your personal beliefs are different, I will respect them. I just hope to point out that Christmas can be taken so many ways!

My next post  I hope will be on the history behind a well known Christmas song (again, one with a lot of controversy)!

Until next time!

When Tinker Comes to Visit

This past year has introduced me to Pinterest. And to be completely honest, it has been completely addicting! Besides being able to pin clothing items I like, Christmas ideas, etc. it has also introduced me to Elf on The Shelf.

Now my parents have always raised us with the knowledge that Santa was a real person – St. Nicholas – but that he was human and died like all humans do. So we don’t believe in Santa, but we do like to have a little fun with him!

So, the Elf on the Shelf  is an Elf sent by Santa to keep an eye on children, and every night he flies to Santa to report misbehaving little kids. Each morning, when the children wake up, he is located in a different spot. Since my youngest brother is really young still, we just told him that Tinker (our elf) was there to help Mommy keep an eye on him. He gets it, and it’s really cute to see him walk up to her and start talking to her!

My little brother is sick, so today Tinker was sick in bed (I placed her in a Barbie bed, with some crumpled up kleenexs and an extract or two placed by her side). Yesterday she was found on the table, playing cards with a cow, a doll, and a teddy bear. The day before, she was a little mischievous and colored mustaches on our pictures upstairs!

I have a lot of fun hiding her each night, and the first thing my siblings do in the morning is try to find her! It also helps to get the kids to sleep at night, as the sooner they fall asleep, the sooner Tinker will hide again.

I had hope to post some pictures of her hiding, but that will have to wait till another time…

Until next time,

Caitlin, aka FF

P.S. We reserved our Christmas Tree last Sunday. We plan on getting it next Friday! So exciting!

Giveaway ~ Celebrating & Savoring A Simple Christmas by Crystal Paine

Hello Readers,
I’ve been following Crystal on her blog Money Saving Mom for a long time now. Although I’m not a mom yet, I appreciate all of the coupons and freebies that she posts. About once a week she posts links for gluten-free products, which is coming in real handy right now with the diet my family is on (which is a whole other post!).
Anyways, today she released her e-book Celebrating & Savoring A Simple Christmas. Although I haven’t gotten the chance to read it yet (as it was just released) Crystal was kind enough to let me giveaway one copy of her e-book! Sooo, If you are interested, please comment below with your name and either your email or your website address. I will choose a winner by random number tomorrow night, so hurry up and get those entries in!
Also, until Thursday her e-book is on sale for $0.99, so if it sounds like it would interest you, head over to here to get it before the price goes up!

Good Luck!

Life on The Farm – September 15th

We’ve been blessed with cooler weather this past week. Only highs of about 75 – 80, which to some is hot, but to us (after 110s!) is wonderful. Every morning we wake up cold, and it’s wonderful! We’ve even been wearing sweaters!

Well, with the cooler weather comes some advantages and disadvantages.. For one, it reminds us that we need to be preparing for winter, and on the other side, it’s great to be able to work outside all day and not faint from the heat.

Today Mom and I put up some cross-fencing for our pasture. With all the green grass springing up again, we’re trying to conserve it for the winter. By giving a smaller pasture for Rosie and Snickers (only 50’x50′), we are able to simulate what it’s like in the wild – the “predators” – a.k.a. the electric fence – keep them in a certain area, and that gives the grass the chance to grow back before being eaten again. So far we’re moving them about once a day. Which means we’re putting up a new cross section about twice a week (Each section has 3-4 little squares in it). The technical name for rotating the cows through is Management Intensive Grazing. Of course, we’re using a lot less space, and a lot less cows 🙂

A couple weeks ago we were surprised one morning with a mama hen and her six little babies. We had just moved the hens into a confined area, and this one kept escaping – now we know why! It’s quite cute. She’s a barred rock hen, and the father was a buff orpington, so we have little “mutt” chickens 😀 Most of them have black bodies and white faces. It’s so fun to watch them scratch through the grass and follow their mama! The only downside is that I had to start tying up my dog, so she wouldn’t chase them.

We also have gotten some more baby guineas (keets). There is seven of them, and they are in the cute stage. As they get older, they get these weird bright red bags on the side of their cheeks, and a big hard “helmet” head. Very ugly. And they make the loudest, most obnoxious noise ever (even worse than my brothers)! But they do eat snakes and ticks, so I guess they’re okay. And they are the prettiest lavender color ever, so that bumps them up a little in my sight 🙂

Duke, our miniature horse foal, is getting big. He’s got this endearing habit of sneaking up (and I mean sneaking up!) behind the cows and then nipping at their legs. Well, I guess it’s endearing to us, and not to the cows! Then he does this little gallop away out of their reach, waits until they go back to grazing, then sneaks up again! It’s quite comical to see the cows try to chase him away. Duchess, his mom, also gets involved. She tries to call Duke away, but he’s a disobedient little horse, and for the most part ignores her.

Our pigs are also getting large. Bacon and Pork Chop, as we have dubbed them, are crazy for milk. They have gotten so large, and soo crazy for milk, that they have been known to climb/jump OVER the hog panel. For a creature that cannot look up, they are crafty little guys. My favorite is Bacon. His face is more cuter than Pork Chop’s, and he also (I think) is the smartest. His favorite thing is to wait until I fill up their water bucket, then dump it over to make a mud wallow. Dad finally screwed the bucket to the “pigerator”, but Bacon still managed to find a way to dump the water out. He bites the side, lifts it, and then drops it, so that the water splashes out! Goofy pig.

We’ve been trying for some time to get Rosie breed, so that she will dry up, then freshen (or start producing milk again) when she calves. However, we’ve haven’t been having much luck. We either get her too late, or too early (cows only have a short time when they are viable). So we decided to try and borrow a friend’s bull, so that he could come “courting” Rosie for a little while. Well, that was an adventure. They live about an hour and half away, and so we picked a Saturday, hooked up our horse trailer and traveled out there.

Lesson #1 – Don’t pick a rainy day.

After finding our friend, and the field the bull was at, Dad and our friend hiked out there, in the rain, to find the bull. After luring him up with some bread (yes, they love it!), they finally managed to get the bull into the chute.

Lesson #2 – Full sized bulls do not fit inside little dinky horse trailers.

That guy was soo big that it took Dad and the friend, and another friend all pushing on him to get him in. Then they were afraid that the he might break the doors. So they started searching around for some ratchet straps. This is now about 2 hours of being out in the drenching, cold rain. No luck. We didn’t bring our straps, and they didn’t have any either. Us kids were sitting in the van, and every time the bull moved, the entire van shaked! That got my mom thinking. “Honey, you guys are having this much trouble getting him in and moved, and that’s with a chute and bread. How in the world are we going to get him back here, with no chute or ramp, and only one man?” Opps. Soooo, we decided that, after 2 1/2 – 3 hours in the rain, we weren’t going to take him home. So they unloaded the bull and put him back into the pasture.

The moral of the story – Think things through BEFORE acting. Ha!

Our friend was nice about it though. He took us home, dried us up, and his wife treated us to homemade pizza and little puppies. That came out wrong. No, we didn’t eat the puppies too. Just the pizza. Anyways, just another day on the farm, eh? Live and learn.

 
I’ve got a bunch of other stories that I could tell you, but those are going to have to wait. Hope you all are enjoying your September!

Midwives

After I graduated high school, I decided I wanted to pursue Midwifery training. Surprisingly, some people when I tell them don’t know what a midwife is! It’s quite simple.

A midwife is (according to my new medical dictionary 🙂 “1. a female person who assists women in childbirth.

Not so simply – “2. (according to the International Confederation of Midwives, World Health Organization and Federation of International Gynecologists and Obstetricians) a person who, having been regularly admitted to a midwifery educational program fully recognized in the country in which it is located, has successfully completed the prescribed course of studies in midwifery and has acquired the requisite qualifications to be registered and/or legally licensed to practice midwifery.”

Continued – “Among the responsibilities of  the midwife are supervision of pregnancy, delivery, and puerperium. The midwife conducts the delivery independently, cares for the newborn, procures medical assistance when necessary, executes emergency measures as required and may practice in a hospital, clinic, maternity home, or private home. The midwife, whose practice may also include well-child care, family planning, and some aspects of gynecology, is often an important source of health counseling in the community.

Basically, I want to learn how to help mothers and babies through birth.

So how did I get here? What makes me want to do the messy job of delivering babies? Basically, watching my mom give birth to my little brother. It was such a great experience. The fact that God could create a new human inside of us is amazing in my mind! Another reason was watching the doctors that my mom has used throughout the years. Some were just downright rude. EVERYONE I have talked to, that used a midwife at some point, never regretted it. Most described their midwife as kind, caring, and more knowledgeable than their doctors! I think the part of the reason is that midwives seem to view birth as a natural experience, instead of a medical procedure. But I digress. I wanted to post about the course I am taking, not about stupid doctors.

I am taking the correspondence course offered by the Midwifery Institute of America. I chose the Institute for a couple of reasons.

  1. They are Christian, which is great because a lot of schools out there are New Age. And I really don’t to learn about dancing in the moonlight to connect to my “inner self”.
  2. They have the correspondence course. They also have a physical school, but I don’t really have the resources right now to attend the school.
  3. Their course can be completed as quickly or as slowly as you need to. I’d like to complete it as soon as possible, hopefully before next August.

After I complete the course, I will need to find a midwife to apprentice with. (By the way, if anyone knows of someone who would like an apprentice, please let me know! ) Then I will take a test with the North American Registry of Midwives. That would complete my training.

I’m not completely sure I want to practice, but we shall see where God leads me. I’m also continuing my musical studies, so I shall be one busy girl!