To my midwife—thank you 💜

You believed in me. You, quite honestly, gave me the power to believe in myself.

To my midwife—thank you 💜
Cavan Images/Getty

How do I thank you? Where do I even begin?

You gave me two of the best gifts I could have ever asked for—my baby, and a positive birthing experience.

You helped bring my sweet newborn into this world.

You believed in me.

You, quite honestly, gave me the power to believe in myself.

You shared in an intimate moment with me, my husband, my mother and my baby—and you handled it with leadership and grace.

I have given birth three times in my life. Twice under the guidance of midwives, and once under the guidance of an OB-GYN. Each birth was different and each birth was beautiful and special in their own unique way.


My midwives helped me feel empowered—not panicked.

My midwives lifted me up and helped me move mountains. Because, as a lot of us know—birth is not easy—not even close. It's one of the hardest things I have ever done or will do in my whole life. But, it's life-changing, miraculous and it will prove to you that you are one strong mama. And, as I learned, my provider was hugely important in helping me feel this way.

My midwives helped me take on something I was apprehensive about with confidence and a sense of calm.

My midwives treated me with respect—and gentleness.

They were nurturing, kind, attentive and, well...very maternal in a way.

They made me feel comfortable 100% of the time.

They respected the way I wanted to give birth.

They listened to me—really listened—to my wildest worries and craziest concerns.

They were an integral part of my birthing team. They never made me feel like it was them and me. It was always us.

My midwives helped me trust the journey—and not to waste time on doubt.

They made me feel like I was this really strong, amazing, warrior mama. They taught me how to trust in my body—that it knew what it was doing, to trust in the process of giving birth—that this has happened successfully before (many, many, many times), and to trust in them—that they knew what they were doing and that they had all sorts of procedures and tools and strategies in place should we need them.

My midwives kept their cool.

Both of the midwives who were in the delivery room with me brought a sense of peace and calm and positivity to the room. They didn't pressure me to do anything, they didn't continually ask me how I was feeling. They let me tell them when I was ready to push and they worked with me to get my baby out safely.

With my middle daughter, that actually meant working through shoulder dystocia (basically when the baby's head has been delivered but one or both of their shoulders get stuck) so efficiently and calmly—that I didn't even realize there was a 'challenge' in my daughter's delivery until after the fact.

My midwife Aki, who was about six months pregnant with her first child, did what she needed to do (basically, magical midwife moves) to place my Lucy on my chest without any additional interventions or distress.

I think what's most important to me, thinking back on my birth stories, is that the midwives were with me throughout the whole process of labor and delivery. Not here and there, not just the end when I needed to push—the whole time.

I never felt alone or in the dark.

Which is no coincidence, because the term 'midwife' means “with woman." Their constant presence and support made me feel safe and ready. Ready to labor, ready to give birth—and ultimately—ready to become a mother.

So to my midwives—thank you for being the most incredible source of support and encouragement for my birthing journey. You were with me then, and you'll be with me forever—in my stories and in my heart.

These are only the vitamins I give my children and here's why

It's hard to say who loves these more—my kids or me.

When I became a mama five years ago, I didn't put too much thought into whether my son was getting the right vitamins and minerals. From breastfeeding to steaming and pureeing his first bites of solid food, I was confident I was giving him everything to support his growth and development.

But then the toddler years—and the suddenly picky palate that accompanied them—came along. Between that challenge and two additional children in the mix… well, I knew my oldest son's eating plan was falling short in some vitamin and mineral categories.

I also knew how quickly he was growing, so I wanted to make sure he was getting the nutrients he needed (even on those days when he said "no, thank you" to any veggie I offered).

So when I discovered the new line of children's supplements from Nature's Way®, it felt like a serious weight off my chest. Thanks to supplements that support my children's musculoskeletal growth, their brain function, their immune systems, their eyes and more, I'm taken back to that simpler time when I was so confident my kids' vitamin needs were met.*

It wasn't just the variety of supplements offered by Nature's Way that won me over: As a vegetarian mama, I'm the picky one in the family when it comes to scanning labels and making sure they meet our standards. The trick is that most gummy vitamins are made with gelatin, which is not vegetarian friendly.

But just like the other offerings from Nature's Way that I've already come to know and love, the children's supplement line is held to a high standard. That means there's no high-fructose corn syrup, gelatin or common allergens to be found in the supplements. The best part? My two oldest kids ensure we never miss their daily vitamins—they are so in love with the gummy flavors, which include tropical fruit punch, lemonade and wild berry.

Nature's Way Kids Mulitvitamin

Meanwhile, my pharmacist husband has different criteria when evaluating supplements, especially when it comes to those for our kids. He appreciates the variety of options from Nature's Way, which gives us the ability to rotate the vitamins based on our kids' daily needs. By keeping various children's supplements from Nature's Way on hand, I can customize a regimen to suit my kids' individual requirements.

Of course, high-quality products often come at a higher price point. But (to my immense gratitude!) that isn't the case with Nature's Way, which retails for a competitive value when compared to the other items on the shelf.

Like all mamas, my chief concern is supporting my children's health in any way I can. While I see evidence of their growth every time I pack away clothes they've outgrown, I know there is much more growth that doesn't meet the eye. That's why, for my oldest son, I like stacking the Brain Builder gummy with the Growing Bones & Muscles gummy and the Happy & Healthy Multi. My 3-year-old also enjoys getting her own mix to include the Healthy Eyes gummy. And both of my older kids are quick to request the Tummy Soothe tablet when something isn't sitting right in their stomachs.* And I'll admit it: I've tried it myself and the berry blast flavor really is tasty!

Although my current phase of motherhood may not be as "simple" as it once was, there is so much to appreciate about it—like watching my kids play and sing and create with their incredible imaginations. Along the way, I've eased up on some of my need for control, but it does help to have this range of supplements in my motherhood tool kit. So while I may not be able to convince my son to try kale, having the Nature's Way supplements on hand means I do know he's right on track.*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

This article was sponsored by Nature's Way. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners

There is rightfully a lot of emphasis on preparing for the arrival of a new baby. The clothes! The nursery furniture! The gear! But, the thing about a baby registry is, well, your kids will keep on growing. Before you know it, they'll have new needs—and you'll probably have to foot the bill for the products yourself.

Thankfully, you don't have to break the bank when shopping for toddler products. Here are our favorite high-quality, budget-friendly finds to help with everything from meal time to bath time for the toddler set.

Comforts Fruit Crisps Variety Pack

Comforts fruit snacks

If there is one thing to know about toddlers, it is this: They love snacks. Keeping a variety on hand is easy when the pack already comes that way! Plus, we sure do appreciate that freeze-dried fruit is a healthier alternative to fruit snacks.

Comforts Electrolyte Drink

Comforts electrolyte drink

Between running (or toddling!) around all day and potentially developing a pickier palate, many toddlers can use a bit of extra help with replenishing their electrolytes—especially after they've experienced a tummy bug. We suggest keeping an electrolyte drink on hand.

Comforts Training Pants

Comforts training pants

When the time comes to start potty training, it sure helps to have some training pants on hand. If they didn't make it to the potty in time, these can help them learn their body's cues.

Comforts Nite Pants

comforts nite pants

Even when your toddler gets the hang of using the toilet during the day, nighttime training typically takes several months longer than day-time training. In the meantime, nite pants will still help them feel like the growing, big kid they are.

Comforts Baby Lotion

comforts baby lotion

Running, jumping, playing in sand, splashing in water—the daily life of a toddler can definitely irritate their skin! Help put a protective barrier between their delicate skin and the things they come into contact with every day with nourishing lotion.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners

Errands and showers are not self-care for moms

Thinking they are is what's burning moms out.

A friend and I bump into each other at Target nearly every time we go. We don't pre-plan this; we must just be on the same paper towel use cycle or something. Really, I think there was a stretch where I saw her at Target five times in a row.

We've turned it into a bit of a running joke. "Yeah," I say sarcastically, "We needed paper towels so you know, I had to come to Target… for two hours of alone time."

She'll laugh and reply, "Oh yes, we were out of… um… paper clips. So here I am, shopping without the kids. Heaven!"

Now don't get me wrong. I adore my trips to Target (and based on the fullness of my cart when I leave, I am pretty sure Target adores my trips there, too).

But my little running joke with my friend is actually a big problem. Because why is the absence of paper towels the thing that prompts me to get a break? And why on earth is buying paper towels considered a break for moms?

Keep reading Show less