''Infertility at it's Finest...''
In order for my story to be told the way I want it to be told, we have to go back to a time in my life where having a baby was the last thing on my mind!
I had gotten my period at age 12. From the very beginning, I had terrible periods: Non-stop bleeding, sometimes with only days in between each period. I had a lot of pain from the start, but I had just thought everyone had the same type of pain. When I finally told my mom about my non-stop bleeding and pain she thought it would be best to take me to see a gynecologist. You see, my mom suffered from Endometriosis. At the age of 13 I had NO idea what that even meant, but I would soon find out.
So there I am, 13 years old, at the gyno’s office. I had just had an internal ultrasound, which even as an adult makes you feel uncomfortable. So imagine a 13 year old girl! They had come to find out that I also had endometriosis. At the time, I had no idea that diagnosis would define me for a short time in my adult life. I started on birth control the summer going into my 9th grade year. By my senior year in high school I had been on 5 different birth controls and had gone through a small procedure to burn off my scar tissue that had been causing me a lot of pain. That procedure helped for a bit, until it didn’t.
By age 22 I had met the man who is now my husband. To be honest, we spent the first 4 years of our relationship trying to not get pregnant! On December 12, 2012 Jon got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! I had always been told to “ have kids young” , “ with your severity of endometriosis it may take some time” , “when you meet the right man talk about your chances of needing fertility help”.
So needing some type of help to get pregnant was always in the back of my mind. In June of 2013 I went in for my yearly appointment with my gyno where I had said “I’m getting married and we want to start a family right away!” I went off birth control that day to let my system clear out. We got married on December 14, 2013 and we started trying for a baby! The first month came and went and we knew it would be almost impossible to get pregnant on the first try. But, with each passing month of negative pregnancy tests we started to lose faith. Within the first year of us trying my best friend and my sister-in-law both had gotten pregnant. Obviously I was happy for them both and I would love these sweet babies, but at the time when they both told me all I could do was feel betrayed. If you have never been through infertility I know what you are thinking, “WOW, she is selfish!” Trust me I know because I thought the same thing. But these feelings wouldn’t go away! “Why do they get to have a baby and I don’t? They both already have had a baby before so why is it their turn again?!” After a while, I was finally was able to burry my feelings. I obviously love these babies and one is now my goddaughter and they other is my Little BESTIE!
By October of 2014 we had been off birth control for over a year and not using protection. Jon and I both decided that going back to the doctor to figure out our next step was the best choice. It was that appointment that we got our referral for the Institute of Reproductive Health! We were so excited! We went in the next week and began our testing. I obviously knew I had endometriosis, but I was also diagnosed with PCOS. In addition, my husband was diagnosed with low motility so we had a lot of things working against us. We came up with a game plan and we decided to try timed intercourse.
We ordered all of our medications and injections; all we had to do was wait for my period to come. We waited and waited and waited... but it didn’t come! How could this be?! After over a year of trying I got a positive pregnancy test! With no help we had gotten pregnant! We were so excited and our families were equally excited. On Christmas we had told our families and were were on Cloud 9! On New Years Eve of 2014 we were going in for our 10 week appointment. We were going to hear the heartbeat at this appointment, so we couldn’t wait! We went into our room; myself, Jon and my AMAZING doctor were all so excited... until we heard no heartbeat...
My doctor told us, ‘not to worry, sometimes this happens.’ So we went in for an ultrasound where we discovered that our sweet baby never made it past 6 weeks. We were crushed, to say the least. On January 8th I had my D&C and we were told that we could start trying as soon as we felt comfortable. So in February we went back to our fertility doctor and started with our original plan. February came and so did my period and in March the same; we felt so defeated. So in April we decided to kick it up a notch and do IUI. Wouldn’t you know, we got pregnant! We had learned that I had low progesterone so I was on supplements to help me sustain pregnancy. After 12 weeks we were released back to my normal OB and I had the perfect pregnancy! I was induced on January 14th , 2016 after learning that my pelvis had separated early. Which, fun fact, really hurts but also made for a very easy and fast delivery! At 4:19pm on January 14th we finally became parents to the most amazingly beautiful little girl, Caroline Rose, weighing in at a whopping 6 lb 4 oz! She was perfect. We came home two days later and, as most people put it, the REAL fun began! She was everything we had ever hoped she would be. My world, my everything! By this time I was 25 and I had started to have pain again from my endometriosis… so back on birth control I went.
When Caroline was 9 months old we decided to start talking about having another baby. So when Caroline turned 1, back to the fertility clinic we went! Since IUI worked for us the first time we went right back to our normal pills for 3 days and then our trigger shots. The first month was a flop as was the second. Finally, with the third try in March we were pregnant again! Now, this pregnancy was totally different than Caroline’s. I threw up every day for 23 weeks!!! EVERY. DAY. But I was so happy to be pregnant again that I didn’t mind. We found out in August of 2017 that we would be welcoming a beautiful baby BOY; Oliver Michael, named after my dad who passed when I was 18 years old. At 26 weeks I started to notice a lot of pelvic pain. By 30 weeks, just to stand up brought tears to my eyes. Sleeping was horrible and walking had become difficult. So at 38 weeks we decided to induce again! I went into the hospital at 7am on December 22nd and he was here by 11:01am. My beautiful, sweet Oliver weighing in at 8lbs 7oz. We came home on Christmas Eve and our family was complete.
Here I am now, age 27. 5 years of an incredible journey that at times I thought I wouldn’t make it through , but I did! In the past 5 years, I have grown in more ways than I can even begin to tell you! My marriage is something that, because of our journey to grow our family, is stronger than I ever thought possible. We have learned how to rely on each other in times of need rather than point the finger in blame. Our amazing babies bring us so much joy and we tend to take things in a little more with them. For a long time we had thought having a baby just wasn’t meant for us. So we tend to let our house get dirty a little more than others so we can soak up this amazing gift that we were given. I am a stay-at-home Mom because, if I’m being honest, I want to be able to watch the two things I truly had thought I would never have grow. I don’t want to miss anything! Being a Mom is HARD! Being a Dad is HARD! I truly believe that God gave my husband and I this gift of infertility, yes I said gift, because it made us the people we are today! We needed to learn patience, kindness and learn how to depend on each other. We needed to learn how to not worry about what the world thinks and only worry about what WE need! If you are going through infertility right now, it sucks! You are not selfish for not wanting to attend that baby shower or that first birthday party! You are not selfish for being a little hurt when someone close tells you they are pregnant! I always say, “have your moment, cry your tears! Just don’t unpack your bags and live there.”
I am happy to say that now we have a crazy almost 3 year old and a sweet little 10 month old.
What does the future hold for Jon and I? Who knows?! But I’m so happy I got to go on this life journey with him. I am happy that I was given the gift of infertility. It may define a time in my life, but it does not define me.
Why Hire a Music Therapist?
Written By: Bethany J. Rice, MT-BC
Most of us have experienced music’s therapeutic qualities; hearing your favorite song on the radio brings back good memories, humming a lullaby to your baby can soothe her as she falls asleep, and having music playing while you are in labor can help to take your mind off the pain. Music has many therapeutic qualities that can help us cope with stress, bring us a sense of unity with others, and allow us to express ourselves.
If music itself has these intrinsic qualities why would you want to hire a music therapist? What makes music therapy administered by a professional different from these positive experiences with music? What sets music therapy apart from listening to your favorite song on the radio?
Music therapy is an allied health profession which has existed in the United States since the 1950s. There are currently over 5,000 music therapists in our country and thousands more worldwide. Music therapists have at least a bachelor’s level education and have received over 1200 hours of clinical training. Music therapists are trained in piano, guitar, voice, percussion, song-writing, psychology, counseling, and physiology. Music therapists understand how music effects our brains and bodies, and have a broad body of research regarding music’s role in our health and well-being. We are trained to bring you experiences that address a vast number of needs from self-expression, communication, and mood improvement to pain reduction and relaxation.
When might you find yourself, as a parent, in a situation when these services would be useful?
More and more parents are choosing to use music therapy services during pregnancy and delivery. Perinatal music therapists offer services that can assist in all of the transitions regarding pregnancy and birth. Prenatal music therapy services include a package of four sessions encompassing self-care, birth song creation, playlist-making for labor and delivery, and a postpartum visit to assist with integrating music experiences
with the child.
Some parents notice that as their children get older, they may have developmental, social, communication, or mood-regulation needs. You are not alone if your child has a difficult time with transitions, has sensory needs that are difficult to address, or if their speech development is not matching up to what is considered “typical” for their age group. Music therapy has been shown to assist children and teens with such needs and can provide a space in which a child can use the expression of music and the relationship with the therapist to reach new goals. We can do this through interactive singing, instrument-play, songwriting, music-listening, movement to music, adapted music lessons and musical improvisation.
Sometimes, parents may find themselves in need of support. Maybe you experience daily stress which can take a toll on your mental and emotional health. Perhaps you need a place where you can create and express yourself musically while feeling supported and grounded. Music therapy can reduce stress, bring awareness to the body, and facilitate expression in a supportive environment. We provide experiences with music and relaxation, songwriting, improvisation, and lyric analysis, to name a few.
If we can assist you in any way, or if you would like more information on music therapy, feel free to reach out to us via email, phone, or visit our website! We provide free, 30-minute phone consultations and would love to speak with you.
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Give the Gift of Birth or Postpartum Doula Support
Doula services are a thoughtful, practical and unique gift. I mean, really, you know that the parents are already going to receive one million onesies, burp cloths, and bottles....
Birth and Postpartum Doulas provide information, resources, and support. Not only do doulas provide peace of mind, but postpartum doulas provide hours of opportunities for... sleep!
Sleep is something that all new parents and their loved ones can get behind!
Things to know:
Shop Birth or Postpartum Doula Services Now
Choosing a Supportive Care Provider in Cincinnati or N. Kentucky
Choosing a supportive care provider is one of the most important choices you will make in your pregnancy.
In my 6 years of doula experience, choosing a supportive care provider has made much bigger an impact on experience than where a family gives birth.
Your care provider can and will make a huge impact on your pregnancy and birth experience.
Early in your pregnancy is the best time to choose your maternity care provider and birth setting, but you can switch all the way up until 32-34 weeks and I've even seen families switch as late as 41 weeks, but it wasn't easy and was very stressful.
Choosing a care provider will impact:
I want you to ask yourself these questions:
If you are thinking about switching care providers for a better experience the next time you have a baby, I encourage you to switch now.
Click the link below to download ''10 Questions to Ask Your Care Provider'' from the Lamaze website.
Care Provider RECOMMENDATIONS
The care providers I've listed here have a reputation of being incredibly respectful of birth and a patient’s right to informed consent. These providers also either work solo or with a very small group. I won't list or recommend a care provider that is within a huge practice where Dr. x may be great, but Dr. Y is always condescending and rude.
If you don't see your care provider on this list, don't be alarmed. I'm only one doula and I've only attended 250ish births. There are soo many more care providers than I've had the opportunity to work with.
It is important to choose someone you are comfortable with.
Atrium Birth Center - Middletown
Premier Physicians - CNMs and OBGYNs
Dr. Daniel Bowen, OBGYN
Tina Pearson, CNM
Tina Pearson, CNM
Michelle Zamudio, CNM
Family Beginnings - Dayton
Dr. Stephen Guy OBGYN and CNMs
Seven Hills Midwives - West Fork
Homebirth Care Providers
Cincinnati Homebirth Circle
Cincinnati Homebirth Collaborative
Seven Hills CNMs - State Rd.
Dr. Varnau and Patridge
Seven Hills Midwives - West Fork
Dr. Vormbrock, OBGYN
Should you have any questions about my experience with certain care providers, feel free to ask!
How to Become a Professional Doula in Cincinnati, OH
If you are dreaming about becoming a Professional Doula in the Cincinnati area, you're in the right place!
Maybe you've always loved all things pregnancy, birth and babies, or maybe you were inspired by your own experience that you fell in love with all things related to this stage of life or maybe your pregnancy, birth, or postpartum was so hard, lonely, or even traumatic that you want to do everything you can to make a difference for another person walking this path. Maybe you're an OBGYN, nurse, midwife, yoga instructor, or other provider hoping to gain more knowledge around doulas to better support your current clients or patients.
No matter what, it sounds like you've heard the call and I commend you for seeking out the next steps!
Becoming a doula certainly isn't for everyone, but for many, it leads to an exciting and ever-fulfilling career. There is such joy in supporting families through pregnancy, birth, and postpartum...and getting paid for it too!
Here, I'm going to answer some common questions I get from people thinking about becoming a doula. At the bottom of this article, you will find 3 upcoming doula training opportunities. I encourage you to take the leap and sign up today.
What is a doula?
Birth and Postpartum doulas are non-medical professionals who help and support families, physically and emotionally through the huge life transition of welcoming a new baby to their family. Read more about the role of a doula in this blog post.
Who can become a doula?
Anyone can become a doula. Aside from reading material, there are generally no prerequisites to taking a doula training. I've seen people who identify as male and female, young and old, with and without kids at doula training events. You can become a doula.
How long does it take to train to be a doula?
It's normally a full weekend, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at a training before one can consider themselves a trained and professional birth and/or postpartum doula.
How expensive is it to become a doula?
Your initial training cost will vary, from $400-$600. There may additional expenses associated with additional classes, reading materials, organization membership, and certification fees if you choose to certify.
How much money can a professional doula make?
It really depends on your availability and client load (how many clients you take at one time.) and how quickly you are able to connect with as many clients as you need to reach your goals. Birth doulas in the Cincinnati area charge between $400-$3000 per birth. Postpartum doulas charge between $20-$45 per hour. Honestly, there are so many variables but the sky is the limit, depending on your drive to connect with clients, how much you charge, and how much you work.
Are there any certification or licensure requirements?
At this time, doulas are not required to obtain licenses to practice. After a person completes their training, doulas can begin to see clients. Many doulas begin the path to certification through a certifying organization or agency of their choice as a way to continually learn and grow, have accountability, and to have an organization backing them up.
My Experience and Mentorship Opportunity:
Upcoming Birth Doula Traning Opportunities in Cincinnati, OH:
I personally know and love all of these trainers and the organizations that they are bringing to the area. I have seen doulas train with CAPPA and DONA and come out of their training well-equipped with information and support as they begin their doula pactice.
Upcoming Postpartum Doula Tranings:
CAPPA Postpartum Doula Training:
March 9th - March 10th
Who are we?
Cincinnati Birth and Parenting, LLC was founded by Molly Murray, a birth and postpartum doula and childbirth educator. Through this growing company, Molly connects parents with information, resources, and support while also staying committed to building up fellow professionals and connecting them with the people who need their services most.