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From Belly To Birth: A Blog Created to Empower, Inform, and Amuse

I found out I was pregnant on the coldest day in January, during the particularly cold winter of 2014. I had my suspicions about being pregnant, but the test was negative that morning as I left to drive my husband to work. I got home, went to throw the test away, and saw the faintest little second line. WHaaaaa….?!? My husband (a surgery resident) was doing a rotation in electroshock anesthesia at that time, and texted me before he started his next case: “I’ll be done at 5, are you pregnant?” I responded, covertly: “Sounds great! See you then.” Phew…dodged that bullet. I’ll tell him in person tonight, I thought. Ding! “ARE YOU PREGNANT??” Not sure how else to respond I typed the three words that would change life forever: “I think so!”

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Photo credit: Studio 10101 @ www.karadunbar.com

New to the area, I had no idea who to request for an OB so I took the first available, and ended up with a doctor who would punch me lightly on the arm and say “Everything looks great, champ!” Every time he finished giving me a pelvic exam. It was awesome. Throughout the next months I scoured the internet for any and all information I could find on delivering at the University of Iowa Hospital – and other options for OB’s.

I really just wanted to know what to expect (Do they encourage skin to skin? Will I have to fight to avoid an episiotomy?) and how would it be delivering with this doctor? Luckily I had a different OB for delivery, and my experience was great. But it gave birth to the idea for my blog (sorry, I had to). I started with the vision of collecting thousands of birth stories, and with that, details of thousands of health professionals and birthing facilities. I wanted a woman to be able to find a birth story from someone who used her hospital or doctor. To be able to see how that doctor responded to a complication, what that hospital’s policies were for rooming in, or how the nurses responded when she didn’t want to breastfeed. Real life accounts are hard to find, especially for a specific practitioner or facility, and I wanted to be able to provide that.

As From Belly To Birth has grown and evolved, the birth stories coming in have ebbed and flowed. So I started sharing more of my own journey (and mishaps) as a mother and young woman navigating these years that so often revolve around babies. I definitely don’t have any accreditation as a mom, but I love sharing what works for me, and more often what doesn’t. Because it turns out, we’re all in a more similar place than we realize. I also love posting stuff that might make you smirk, or at least roll your eyes, because I feel like so often the stuff I scroll through makes me feel like I’m not good enough, life is hard, and the world is evil. So I hope I can make you to feel like you’re not alone in your shortcomings, life is pretty damn funny, and the world is good.

You’ll find birth stories from around the Midwest (and beyond), my favorite Pinterest recipe board, Friday Funnies every week, updates on things like Zika, and much more.  I’d love it if you’d consider sharing your story to help empower women in your community. I think we all have more to give than we realize and what better place to start than with our stories of loss and birth, of heartache and life’s miracles.