would you run a 5k in a hospital gown? :)

I just love this and had to share…  smile!!

>YouTube – Pregnant Running Full Term With My San Diego Obgyn Dr. Robert Biter – Fitness During Pregnancy.

Share your pregnancy fitness story…



Bellycasting… yes, it’s pretty much just what it sounds like! A plaster mold of your pregnant belly. You can decorate it and hang it on your baby’s wall. Look around and I’m sure you will find tons of creative ways to decorate it! Some women include their hands, or even their partners hands.  They can be very playful, or very classy. Be creative!

They really are a cute way to preserve such a special time!

I think it’s an especially a fun idea for wives whose husbands are military or travel for some other reason and miss the last few weeks of pregnancy. It’s a great way to give him a real feel of how you looked!

If you’re in my area, I’d love to do a belly cast on you! The casting is free, and the decorations are at cost.

Have you done a bellycast?  Did you have a party to decorate it with friends?

Use the comments to share your pics or any tips you learned to make it a fun experience!

Here is a link to a totally cute decoration! Be creative!!


Stacey = miracle

Another birthday in our house!
Stacey is 12!!!

Yes, this is the Stacey Dr.s said wouldn’t see her first birthday….

The Stacey who had pneumonia 18 times in 2 years….

the Stacey who walked out of her wheelchair at 5 years old when Dr.s said she’d never…

The Stacey who has rare conditions like Agenesis of  the Corpus callosum, Chromosome deletion on 3q (never seen before), Seizures of every single kind, delayed global delays (skills of a 2-ish year old), Chronic lung disease, Mitochondrial dysfunction, delayed gastric emptying, weird skin issues yet to be named…. and that’s just what popped into my head!

I can’t possible write her whole story here but I will soon. For now, Enjoy some pics that show just a glimpse of the life she has led; the good, the bad, the painful and the JOY!

sleep study, apnea,

one of eight sleep studies. She had all variations of apnea.

big sister

She became a big sister the day before she turned 3!



Gait trainer for children

A gait trainer helped her learn what muscles to use for walking

walker for children

learning to use her walker

One of those "she's acting normal" moments! 🙂


Bandana covers the EEG electrodes and the inches of bandaging to keep her from ripping them all off! (stories for another day...)

removing EEG

awful experience taking the EEG off... another story for another day

Uncle made Barbie EEG and PH probe bandages to match!

summer fun

Only wears glasses to copy sister, and never for long! Sooo cute in them!



Continue reading


Well it’s Happy #9 for my baby!

dang there popped up another grey hair!

Robby is our #5 and has brought far more joy into our family than I ever thought possible. For one, he says the most random things…


(age 4 in the car)
 I hear him sniff deeply then say “mmm smells good”,

another sniff, “mmmm yummy”, 

 sniff, “mmm smells like hot dogs!” 

me: uhm, Robby, what smells like hot dogs?



In science, he couldn’t say organism. He proudly thought he could. And liked telling people he learned a new big word.


“mom, I loooove you”

I love you too honey

Well I REALLY love you, it’s not like you love me and I don’t love you back. I loooooooove you”


“Stacey (disabled sister) is boring”

what do you mean?

“well she can’t do tricks”

Tricks? like what?

“like stand on one foot or hop. She’s more like having a doll than a sister and I’m a boy, playing with dolls is odd.”


Our friends last name is hard to say, but he decided “Burpfume” fit them fine.


“I love you with all my heart mommy”

I love you more buddy”

*pouty face*

Whats wrong hunny?

It’s not fair, You will always win cuz your heart is bigger. I want to love you more for once!


Oh I love my sweet boy! Praying his 9th year will be full of fun and adventure and all the love his incredibly tender and full heart can handle!

Birthdays are great!
this look pretty much sums him up! 🙂
he loves food!!
The day after new stucco went on the house, he wrote a love note to us…. in MUD! heehee… we loved him right back!
Date with my son
He is such a goof!
He loves to take me on dates, and make me eat and wear weird things… I love it!!

sons are great!

In case you were wondering too…

Recently I was asked if I’m the one that makes home births painless. Good golly I wish I was that good!

As a doula, I can certainly help you overcome unrealistic fears of pain, help manage it and help you trust your body and remain calm and focused!

I get asked all the time about the difference between birth professionals and this article explains them well.

Share your experience with these professionals.

The Obstetrician, The Midwife, The Nurse & The Doula « Mother’s Advocate Blog.

hugs n love to ya,
Shannon =)

coming soon…

New blogs are a pain! lol! People stop by but since there isn’t much on the site, they forget to come back…

SO, before you bail… bookmark this page… some great stuff is coming!

Heres some peeks:

Broken jaws and bus crashes… no, the broken jaw wasn’t FROM the bus crash!

Birth stories…. with 5 of my own and being a doula… boy do I have stories for you!! (all with permission of course!!)

Miscarriage/stillbirth story. (16 weeks) I had an amazing experience and I can’t wait to share it! Pictures of our sweet angel baby too.

On being 40… Bahahaa! Boy oh boy is it a hoot! Oh, and on being married… whoa… 20 years this summer!!

Special needs child… oh, don’t go thinking it’s gonna turn doom and gloom… our Stacey  is a walking miracle! Literally… Doctors said she’d never see her first birthday… she’s 11 and started walking when she was 5… come back here to meet her! Hard times for sure… but my middle name is Joy… It’s in there! You just gotta be willing to let it shine! (and yes, I’m serious, my middle name IS joy! =)


Hugs n love to ya,
Shannon =)


greatest pregnancy fear

One of my favorite things about being a doula… ok, it’s all my favorite, but one thing I do love is talking to moms (and dads) about their fears.  No, I don’t take joy in fear, but I am always proud of a mom who can express her fears so they can be addressed. That in itself takes courage.

Labor and delivery fears are legitimate. Pain for example. We all fear pain. I love to help a mom calm those fears, realize what is reasonable and what fears are being fueled by myths.  There are many ways to manage pain, and being informed and prepared for that is one way to reduce fear which is a step in reducing pain. Being fearful brings tension and tension creates resistance to the work your body must do during labor and delivery; thus increasing pain.

On another note,  if a mom has been given information from her Dr. that her baby might have complications, I’ve been down that road and although it is scary, a new normal is ahead and I love to help a family ease into it. Fear of the unknown is huge but building resources and support will help you grow past it.  Although I’m a labor doula and my services fade a few weeks after delivery, I am a parent of a special needs daughter and would love to help you find your “new normal”.

Don’t hide from fear. It can grow and fester and often a mom realizes she is spending a lot of energy on fears of things that haven’t, and may not even, happen.  .

Tell me your fears. Use the poll then feel free to add a comment with some specifics. I’ll try to cover them in future posts.

Hugs and love to ya,
Shannon =)

A doula for dad?

my disclaimer… I realize all dads aren’t husbands… but it makes for lousy reading if I were to put husband/boyfriend/uncle/sisters husbands brother…. etc… so I just use husband or hubby.
No assumptions or offense intended.


Oh I love dads! Watching the woman they love go through labor brings out every strength and weakness, every ounce of confidence and fear, every perfect affection and wrong touch, every security of a man and confusion of a little boy.

They are supposed to be there for their wife, but who is there for them? Who will remind him how to remind her how to breathe? Who will give him the thumbs up saying its normal for her to try to break his fingers? Who will make sure he eats so he doesn’t become the patient? Who will give him the freedom to enjoy and experience the beauty of the birth of his baby by bolstering his confidence, answering the unasked questions, and all the while, making him look good to her?

People tend to assume a doula is there for the mom more than the dad, but I believe a doula is equally there for both. I’m a very hands on doula, giving as much physical and emotional support to mom as she desires, but my greatest “doula trick” is dad. They have never let me down, or let mom down. They deserve the same labor and delivery support as mom, just in a different way.

Women seem to know their hubby well… they are usually right when they predict how he will behave in labor.  What do you think yours will be like, or how was your hubby? Vote below… lets see just how alike our men are!


Welcome to my blog!

I’m not totally sure what all is going to end up here! I do know that my life is full of joy, even in the sorrows. I’m looking forward to sharing some of that with you.

My 5 kids, 1 dog and the carnival fish that won’t die; bring so much laughter and fun, and teach me soo much! There have been some really hard times, and some super great times, but always Joy.

I’m hoping to share some of my “epic mother of the year” efforts… (enter hysterical laughter from kids)  and some of my Doula experiences! And since I’m such an amazing cook… ok, that’s a lie. I pretty much get out cooked by my 8-year-old. He makes the best quesadillas ever and made it clear to me that I just “shouldn’t bother getting in his way” anymore. Nice. On the upside, he keeps me well fed, as does my 17-year-old “Fireman to be” son. Great. Now I’m craving his apple pie. I’ve never even made a pie. At Christmas, he takes pie orders! sheesh!

So, read along, wipe a tear, laugh out loud and share your own joy too!

Hugs and love to ya,
Shannon =)