Friday, December 23, 2011

The Birth of Her Dreams!

I love it when a couple does some research on how they can have a better birth experience. This mama wanted a totally natural, unmedicated birth and knew she couldn't do it alone. Her husband was VERY supportive of her decision, but also knew he'd need some help and would benefit by having the assistance of a doula...This is where our lives connect! She makes it eight days past her estimated due date without any cervical checks. Her midwife said, "If we're going to go for a natural birth, no need to check on the cervix!" I LOVED that...It's so true! If you're not in labor, what does it matter what your cervix is or isn't doing?

Water has always been a big part of this family's life and water was where she wanted to labor. So much so that she wouldn't get out when it came time to push. This is how we came about having a beautiful, unplanned water birth at the hospital. The nurses and midwives were in complete awe as they witnessed this strong woman laboring. It had been so long since they had seen an unmedicated birth that they couldn't even remember when...Yes, there were some tears! They were SO compassionate and even allowed Dad to scoop up his baby girl and place her in mama's arms. This is what it looked like...
Meet Reagan Carleene
Born December 22nd, 2011 at 10:46am
Weighed 8lbs 5oz and 21.2 inches long
Proud parents are Rob and Rachel
Joins big brother Dean

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Need a One Day Childbirth Class?

The Birth Journey workshop will be held January 21st from 10am to 5pm at the offices of Babymoon Inn. This class is designed for couples and is open to anyone regardless of where you'll be having your baby. If you have a due date in February or March, this is the class for you!
We had so many couples that wanted to take the December class that we had to add an additional day!
We had a VERY memorable December Birth Journey with eight special couples!

"It exceeded my expectations. The time to bond with my spouse, ask questions and just think about the birth process was so helpful!" ~ Monica & Jeremy

"As second time parents, we expected a 'refresher course' on childbirth. What we got was so much more. Thanks for reminding us that every birth is unique and to focus on the love we have for each other instead of the fear of pain." ~ Cecyll & Mike

Upcoming dates for The Birth Journey workshop:

February 25th
March 24th
April 28th
May 26th
June 23rd

To register, email or call Dianne at 602-881-2729.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thankful in November!

I'm thinking that a good time was had by many couples last year for Valentine's Day...November was a busy month for births! I am SO thankful I have the opportunity to support families through one of the most memorable times of their lives...The birth of a child! There were three of them born within five days and I was one busy doula!

Lara describes her labor as the one she'd always dreamed of and for that, she is very thankful! You were SO strong and hung in there the whole way! Congratulations...She is beautiful! Meet little Miss Olivia...

Olivia Elizabeth
November 9th at 5:13am
Labored at Babymoon Inn ~ Born at St. Joseph's
Weighed 7lbs 8oz and 19 1/2 inches long
Proud parents are Lara and Clint

For a little guy who kept wanting to come early, he waited until one day past his estimated due date to make his amazing entrance. When he decided to come, he wasted no time and gave his mommy a quick labor! Here's Grayson...

Grayson James
Born November 12th, 2011 at 10:55am
Scottsdale Shea Hospital
Weighed 7lbs 3oz and 20 inches long
Proud parents are Annette and Jim
Joins Brother Tyler and Sister Alexa

The very next day I found myself in the same labor and delivery room as the day before. Mom laboring in the same tub, labor going in a similar manner...FAST! Let's just say this little guy came in such a way that will be quite memorable to everyone who had the privilege to witness his birth! Here's Wyatt...

Wyatt James
Born November 14th, 2011 at 1:50am
Scottsdale Shea Hospital
Weighed 8lbs 2oz and 20 inches long
Proud parents are Krystal and Cody
Joins Big Sister Katelynn

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Look of Joy and Accomplishment!

I snapped this photo just minutes after she pushed this big "little guy" out...It pays to be a personal trainer and have nice, strong quads for giving birth in a squatting position! Heather's humor was always present throughout her labor and her beautiful smile wasn't far away. Here is that smile as she looked up at her husband with pure joy and the ultimate accomplishment!

Life is full of second chances and Heather has taken advantage of every one that she's been given. You can read more of her story here and you'll see what I mean. She has stayed strong fighting for life and she stayed strong giving life...You are an amazing woman Heather!

Welcome Finnegan Thomas
October 25th, 2011 at 9:38pm
Babymoon Inn - A Birth Sanctuary
Weighed 9lbs 10oz and 21 1/2 inches long
Proud parents are Heather and Tom

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Feedback From The Birth Journey

"I did not expect to get emotional and feel so spiritual about me and my wife's pregnancy bond." ~ Mark (father of nine!)

"Today was such a great day for me...I really cannot say enough!!! From sitting there listening to information you provided to hands on interaction to being reduced to tears...I just thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience of today!" ~Annette

"I'm glad we went today. I had no idea what to expect but I really enjoyed it!" ~Jim

"I felt like it really prepared me and my spouse and brought out such a tender and caring side of our relationship. We are always that way but this is a very specific journey that requires something a little more." ~Krystal

"Thanks Dianne! This exercise totally shook me such a positive way!" ~Grace

If you are interested in participating in The Birth Journey workshop, please send an email to or call 602-881-2729. The dates are listed below through June 2012, but are subject to change.

  • November 19th, 2011

  • December 17th, 2011

  • January 21st, 2012

  • February 25th, 2012

  • March 24th, 2012

  • April 28th, 2012

  • May 26th, 2012

  • June 23rd, 2012

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Amazing Grace!

"Mothers and daughters are closest when daughters become mothers!"
~ Author Unknown

"Women do well with pain...They don't do well with abandonment or fear"
~ Dr. Gladys McGarey

Grace endured a very long, difficult labor and didn't complain once. Could it have been because she knew she was surrounded by nothing but love from her husband, mother, mother-in-law, sister, two doulas and a wonderful midwife? Maybe it was the scriptures she had chosen to be read to her as she was laboring. "But you, be strong and do not lose courage, for there is a reward for your work!" ~ 2 Chronicles 15:7. Whatever it was that got her through, she earned the title of "Amazing Grace!" Her little guy had a rough start as well after ingesting some meconium. He needed a little help with breathing and was kept in a higher level nursery under observation for four days. I am happy to report that everyone is home and doing great! Mom and Dad are in awe of this little guy...Isn't he a cutie!
(Photo below courtesy of one proud Dad!)

Meet Jacob Garrison
Born October 10th, 2011 at 4:09am
Phoenix Baptist Hospital
Weighed 7lbs 9oz and 21 inches long
Proud parents are Grace and Jason

"For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise You for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful and my soul knows that full well." ~ Psalm 139:14-15

Friday, October 7, 2011

An Unplanned Journey

"This is my wish for you:

Comfort on difficult days,
Smiles when sadness intrudes,
Rainbows to follow the clouds,
Laughter to kiss your lips,
Sunsets to warm your heart,
Hugs when spirits sag,
Beauty for your eyes to see,
Friendships to brighten your being,
Faith so that you can believe,
Confidence for when you doubt,
Courage to know yourself,
Patience to accept the truth,
Love to complete your life."

I'm so glad you have those elements in your life...They were ALL needed as you labored and gave birth to little Cole. You are surrounded by wonderful family who supports you with prayer and put their love into action!

Welcome Cole Nathan
Born October 4th, 2011 @ 3:45pm
Saint Joseph's Hospital
Weighed 8lbs 14oz and 22 inches long
Proud parents are Merissa and Nathan
Big Brothers Jayston and Blake

Monday, October 3, 2011

What's in YOUR Doula Bag?

This is the bag that I take with me whenever I leave my house. If you were to open it right now, this is what you'd find: Three client folders (expecting a labor call from any one of them any day!), my camera (to capture those great moments during labor and birth!), peppermint oil (helps with nausea!), a lavender filled squeeze ball, some Cliff bars and an Oriental hand-held fan. Sometimes at a birth I'll use everything in my bag...sometimes I'll only take out my camera. The most important things I take with me aren't actually in my bag. You see, I bring my heart and my hands, my comfort and confidence...I don't EVER want to walk into a birth setting without them!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

An Unforgettable Day!

"Let your tears come.
Let them water your soul."
~ Eileen Mayhew

Currently, the Birth Journey workshop is held once per month on a Saturday. In order to allow more couples to experience this unique childbirth class, I am considering adding a Wednesday/Thursday evening class from 6-9pm each night. If you or someone you know has a due date in November or December, the October class would be perfect. The all day Saturday class will be held on October 22nd and if there's enough interest, we'll add an evening class on October 19th and 20th. The dates for upcoming Saturday workshops are November 19th and December 17th. Classes are held at Babymoon Inn, but are open to anyone regardless of where you are having your baby. Cost is $150 per couple. To register, email me at I look forward to meeting all of the beautiful couples that I am privileged to take on this journey!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Excited Big Brother!

Ethan is making sure mommy is comfortable while patiently waiting for his baby brother to be born.

It was way past Ethan's bedtime so he was resting on the couch in the living room of the birth center when his dad ran out and told him it was baby time! He was SO excited as he watched this little body emerge from his mommy. Overcome with emotion, he shouted, "Oh, I love him!" and you can see that love all over his face! What a beautiful way to innocently witness birth; standing beside Daddy while his hands catch your baby brother. Beautiful...just beautiful!

Meet Aiden James
Born Septemter 13th, 2011 at 10:42pm
At Babymoon Inn - A Birth Sanctuary
Weighed 7lbs 12oz and 20 inches long
Proud parents are Jessica and Ryan
Big brother is Ethan

Friday, September 9, 2011

Such a sweet "little" guy!

Mama Lisa worked SO hard to get this little guy out! When he finally arrived, we found out why...he weighed 9lbs 13 oz! He has the sweetest disposition that will blend right into this wonderful family and I'm sure his big brother Elijah can't wait to get him home!

Meet Micah Angelo
Born September 8th, 2011 at 11:14pm
Weighed in at 9lbz 13oz and 21 inches long
Proud parents are Tim and Lisa
Big brother is Elijah

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Labor Day 2011!

It was a Labor Day to be celebrated...This little one was in a big hurry to meet her mommy! I arrived at the hospital with Tracy at 2:15pm. She was 1cm dilated and 90% effaced. We walked around for an hour and came back to be checked again...1cm! Jump ahead to 6:42pm when this mama pushes out a beautiful little girl she named Rivers...Happy Labor and Birth Day!

10 centimeters, unmedicated and still smiling!

Meet Rivers Katherine
Born September 5th, 2011 at 6:42pm
Weighed in at 6lb 3oz and 20 inches long

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sushi at a Mexican Restaurant?

You just found out that you're going to have a baby! Now it's time to figure out what kind of birth you'd like. What do you want the environment to be...quiet? conservative? respectful? natural? medical? Do your research and find the provider, facility and support people that will give you the best chances of helping you achieve your desired birth experience. If your desire is to have an unmedicated, intervention-free birth, then choosing to birth in a hospital that has a 99% epidural rate might not be the best environment to achieve those results. You want your body to be free of all electronic equipment? Labor in a nice, warm tub? You'd like to eat and drink whatever you want during labor? You want to walk around outside? Can it happen in a hospital? Yes, it can and I have been privileged to be part of several such births.

If you've had a cesarean birth and are now planning to have a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean), going to a care provider that has a policy of only allowing you to gestate to 40 weeks most likely will not get you a VBAC. Do your research and find a care provider that is excited about your desire to have a vaginal birth and will do anything within their ability to help make that happen!

Do you want your care provider to really get to know you and you them? That is going to be a difficult task if you go to an obstetrics office that rotates you through all six OB's in the practice. Not only that, it's hard to get to know someone by spending 10 minutes with them once or twice per month. If that's the kind of care you want and expect during your pregnancy, you probably should check into receiving care from a midwife. A midwife will spend close to an hour with you at each appointment which allows her to get to know you, your body and your baby!

Can you have the outcome you desire even if all the circumstances aren't in your favor? Yes, it is possible...but it would be like craving Sushi and expecting to get exactly what you want at a Mexican restaurant. You better hope they have the right ingredients to make your favorite Sushi. If they do happen to have the ingredients (and they're fresh!), you also better hope the cook who's working that shift knows how to make your Kamakazi Roll and Tobiko! Edamame?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A fun, informative day with two great couples!

One couple is planning a birth center birth; the other a hospital birth. After a full day of discussing what to expect, ways of laboring and learning to trust the birth process, these two couples feel more prepared for the upcoming birth of their little ones!

Surrendering is a powerful force!

These are the dates for the workshop through the rest of the year. To register, email me at

September 17th
October 22nd
November 19th
December 17th

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Epidural Anesthesia

You will need to mute the Playlist on the right side before beginning the video.

This is a great video to watch if you have no idea what is involved in getting an epidural. Where you see the anesthesiologist moving the needle in different directions, he's trying to find the exact space in your spine to place the catheter for the epidural. Since no two spines are alike, he has to go by feel.

There are a few things that are left out from the video that are important for you to be aware of. You will also need to be catheterized to empty your bladder since you can't get up to go to the bathroom. You will have an oxymeter placed on your finger to tell them what your oxygen level is. Often times, your blood pressure will drop too low so you'll be given something to bring it back up. You may itch, shake or run a fever. An epidural will often slow a woman's labor and she is three times more likely to be given pitocin to speed things up. All of these are normal responses and are monitored closely by the medical staff.

The pushing stage of labor is particularly slowed due to the relaxing of the pelvic floor muscles. These muscles are very important in this stage of labor as they're used to guide the baby's head so that it enters the birth canal in the most optimal position. This can lead to an increase in the use of forceps or vacuum extraction to help get your baby out.

Don't get me wrong...epidurals have their time and place. Many women have been saved from a cesarean section by receiving an epidural. The following are just a couple instances of when an epidural is beneficial. If a woman has been in labor for an extended period of time with no sleep, her body can become extremely exhausted and begin working against her. If a woman is struggling with high blood pressure during labor, often times she may benefit from an epidural due to its affect on blood pressure.

As a doula, I support a woman's decision of whether or not she wants an epidural. If I can help her have a labor and birth experience that allows her to get through without one...That's icing on the cake!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Date Change for September Workshop

The date for The Birth Journey workshop has been changed to September 17th. There's room for three more couples...Don't miss this unique one day childbirth class!

To register, email me at

Saturday, August 6, 2011

It was a beautiful journey!

On July 24th, two couples participated in the first ever Birth Journey Workshop held at Babymoon Inn. This is what one of the couples had to say:

"The things I liked best about the workshop were learning different labor positions and going through the Birth Journey. It was definitely worth our time and it brought a new sense of closeness between us. The different labor and pushing positions that Dianne suggested specific to Carmen's body type were great, as well as different ways to use the equipment and tools at Babymoon. We have already recommended the class to other couples!

Thank you so much Dianne! We're so glad we got the opportunity to participate in this workshop!! Thanks again, it was quite a journey! With love, Carmen and Tony"

Join us for the next Birth Journey Workshop on August 20th...There's room for three more couples! To register, email or call Dianne at 602-881-2729

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

We made it to Disneyland!

I tell parents that labor and birth is like going on a trip to Disneyland. You could have a flat tire and you might come upon some road construction; there may even be a detour...BUT you're still going to Disneyland. That was the case with this mama whose water broke and no contractions in sight for at least 30 hours. The Cook Cervical Balloon worked great to get her to 4cm and then she worked so, so hard over the next 18 hours to get to 6cm. Things didn't quite go as planned, BUT they still made it to Disneyland and when the ride was over, this gorgeous little guy awaited their snuggles!

Meet James Grayson
Born July 24th at 2:58am
Banner Desert Hospital
Weighed in at 8lb 13oz and 22 inches long
Proud parents are Grahame and Joy

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Announcing: The Birth Journey Workshop!

I am very excited to announce my first Birth Journey Workshop that will be hosted by Babymoon Inn on Saturday, July 23rd. If you are due in August or September, this would be a great class for you! We have space for four more couples so get your spot reserved soon! You can contact me at or Julia Hall at Babymoon Inn. Looking forward to meeting the first couples!

Click on photo to enlarge

Workshop dates through the end of the year are:

July 23rd
August 20th
September 24th
October 22nd
November 19th
December 17th

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Labor is Hard Work!

Sometimes all that is needed is to be wrapped in the arms of the one you love!

You did an AMAZING job Mama...Meet Silas Matthew!

Sylas Matthew
Born June 24th, 2011 at 2:23 pm
Phoenix Baptist Hospital
Weighing 7lb 14oz and 19 inches long
Proud parents are Tim and Sokun

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Summer Solstice Baby!

What a way to kick off summer!!!

Dad did such a wonderful job of supporting his wife while she was laboring all day and waited till the tough part to call me to help out. This was one AMAZING mama every step of the way! In the wee hours of the morning, little Pepper made her entrance into this amazing family. Waiting outside to meet her were both Grandpas, Grandma and her Auntie Carrie!

No words are needed here...

Meet Pepper Elaine
Born at Scottsdale Shea Hospital
June 21st, 2011 at 3:16am
Weighing in at 7lb 8oz and 20 inches long
Proud parents are Sam and Amanda

Friday, May 27, 2011

Welcome Little Alexander!

"There is no reason to be rushed along with the rush. Everybody should be free to go slow."
~ Robert Frost
Nicole did such a beautiful job of laboring and only pushed for 16 minutes! Little Alex loved being held and seemed to know just who his Daddy was!
Meet Alexander Matthew
Born May 24th at 7:16 am
Scottsdale Shea
Weighed in at 6 lbs 13 oz and 20 1/4 inches long
Proud parents are Nicole and Matt

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Arizona is Blessed with Birth Centers!

I love that there are several options for birth centers in the Phoenix area and I've had the opportunity to tour them all. The first one I visited was where I met Julia the Director, and Certified Nurse Midwife Connie Garcia. This is a quaint little place that has the cozy feeling of a bed and breakfast. There's a nice, large birthing tub in the same room as the full size bed and a gorgeous spa shower just steps away. As part of their package for first time mamas, they include doula services and a childbirth class!

Last Saturday, I went to the open house of the Women's Birth and Wellness Center in Mesa This is a non-profit birth center and at the heart of it is Family Nurse Practitioner, Claudine Calligan. Claudine is also a Certified Nurse Midwife and works alongside her two daughters; one who is becoming a Nurse Practitioner and the other is an RN. This is quite the family operation and quite the ministry as well. If you've had a cesarean and desire to have a VBAC outside of a hospital, stop in and see Claudine. She will do an interview with you to see if you are a candidate for birthing at the birth center.

The most recent birth center I visited was in central Phoenix. I had the pleasure of meeting with midwife Mary Langlois who shared the story of how Blossom Birth Center came into existence. With having Dr. Nichelle Whitehead as part of the team, they have the added benefit of having an experienced OB who has a heart for natural birth! They did a wonderful job of designing the two birthing rooms with tubs in each room and a common kitchen area that is state of the art. This is a full service wellness center that includes accupuncture, aromatherapy, massage therapy, and even a one-stop lactation center!

We are truly blessed to have so many options of birth centers and wonderful midwives. I am excited to meet another great midwife, Stephanie Soderblom. I've heard nothing but wonderful things about her and the work she does through

If only I could have one more baby and have my dream birth...On second thought, I'll just enjoy my grandbabies and help other mamas have their dream birth :0)