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Erica Andrews  A lover.Mother.Lover of the other. Crafter of light, spinner of words. Keeper of sacred space.A portrait to remember your face. Writer Midwifery Today


A case study: An Amish husband calls me to tell me his wife thinks her waters released. I ask all the pertinent questions: when? How much? What color? Any contractions? Which mostly he doesn’t know any of the answers to 😆which instantly reminds me that I need to make Amish papas a cheat sheet since they are often the ones doing the phoning. He does know that she isn’t contracting, so I remind him: nothing in the vagina, take a temp every 4 hours when awake, & call me when rushes begin. I anticipated a call that night but one never came through. That next AM, the husband called again to update me: still no rushes, no fever, will call when something changes. By 1pm having not heard a word, I decided to pop over and listen to Baby, and place eyes on mama. I inquired about baby’s movements, the amount of leaking/gushing she has had, additional leakage, & we tested some wetness with an amnio swab. Mom felt only a little trickle, just enough to dampen her panty liner. The test was Negative. Baby was great. Mom great. We chatted & made a plan and I left her with instructions to continue taking her temp every 4 hours while awake & left her with a few more amnio tests & some more litmus paper to test any future tricklings. That evening I was once again updated. The test was negative on another little bit of wetness she had experienced. Still no fever. All was well. (Luckily, as another Amish mama has SROM that evening & called me out at 3am!) The next day around 3pm, the husband called again to request the birth team. It was go time.
Mama was rushing with regularity. Her labor was slow & steady. Long & gentle. Relaxed & right at the end, fast like a steam locomotive. With a good push her amniotic sac popped & a fountain of clear fluid raced into the air, landing squarely upon my lap. Soon after her fifth baby, fourth born little lady, was born into a darkened room surrounded by sacred awe. Upon inspection of her placenta while motherbaby bonded, we noticed a peculiar site. Way at the very tip top of the amniotic sac, as far away from the big hole created by the popping of her bag of waters....was this tiny hole. (Cont in comments!)

Okay, let’s try this again! Hey there Instagram! I told ya but had to take it down cause I forgot to blur out my address 🙈🙃😜 (thank you for bringing it to my attention friend 😘) So here I am again sharing this epic stage of my #NARM #PEPprocess journey! I have successfully navigated the 1st phase of certification for Midwifery and now the test is left 🙌🏼 #jazzhands!! 🎉

I started this journey in 2011. It has involved hundreds of forms and paperwork. Countless signatures and initials and the endless love and support of many, many people. Poured into this is the guidance and wisdom from spectacular senior midwives. 1000+ contact hours. 55+ births (4 in hospital and the remaining all home births.)(sitting currently at 100+ births!) 120+ prenatal exams. 100+ postpartum exams. 40+ newborn exams. 9 months of Midwifery school. 2 formal apprenticeships. All while giving birth to two more children and finishing off a bachelors at OU.

Reading an amazing article by a paleoanthropologist detailing strong evidence that the prominent typology of four pelvi most notably defined by Caldwell (think: gynecoid, android, anthropoid, platypelloid) are not actually categorizable at all, yet an ever-evolving, overlapping, cloud of pelvi. Meaning some pelvis may have an android inlet with a gynecoid outlet, where one has a gynecoid inlet and midplane, but a flattened outlet akin to a platypelloid pelvis. Truly a mixing of all known variances and thus eliminating the “obstetrical dilemma” that has enabled the medicalization of childbirth. Some mind blowing stuff actually! Basically, the human pelvis is unique but totally capable of birthing a person, it’s pretty much evolved over 10,000s of years to facilitate bipedalism and childbirth. There does not exist a “perfect” pelvis and save for certain variations that exist due to congenital anomalies or malnutrition, they are all the perfect passageway for life. #themoreyouknow #thesacredpassage #pelivcbowl (linked in story for those who want to read!)

To touch a laboring mother deep in her labyrinth is like touching a nebula in deep space. Magic. Power. Beauty. Love. #keepingbirthsacred 📸: the amazing @milkandhannah

In her shoes. 👡👠👟👞👢 Join us in raising awareness and funds for maternal malnutrition by challenging yourself to eat the limited diet of a mama in a crisis zone for 3 days, or by donating $60 to COHI to feed a mama for a whole month. Walk in the shoes of a mother in Syria, Nepal, Sierra Leone, Hurricane Harvey, or Haiti, and share your reflections with your friends and family. (An alternative challenge for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers is also available.) To show our support for your participation, one challenge participant will win a prize pack of awesome gifts, including:
✨A Postpartum Counseling Session with Genevieve Slonim (certified Family Therapist MA and founder of @birthofamama )
✨Entry to the @birdsong online Doula Mentorship Program
✨$50 shop credit to Laughing Moon Designs ✨$50 shop credit to Spirit&Sol ✨$50 shop credit to @andrearoussos
To enter:
Register for the challenge at https://inhershoes.greatfeats.com/ by Nov 10
Join team “Circle of Support for COHI” after you register (search under Join/Start tab at top of screen)
Post this flyer on your page before Nov 10 and challenge 5 friends to join you or to donate $60 to COHI to feed a mama for a month.
Post your meals and reflections each day for the 3 days of the challenge (Nov 10-12). Be sure to tag #circleofsupportforCOHI and #inhershoesCOHI2017 so that we can find your posts.
Can't participate but still want to help? Register for the challenge, donate what you can to COHI, and spread the word about the challenge to family and friends!

Real talk, folks. I’m currently hiding in the mud room with my super pregnant dog. Seeking solace in the quiet and dusty space intended as our catch-all. It’s currently doing great at catching it all right now, even my huge feelings that just seemingly are bubbling, effervescently, furious little pops of release. You know how a duck looks so graceful on the surface....master of the quickly moving, turbulent waters of rivers and streams?
Yea, but have you ever had a sneak peek at what is happening under water? Their quickly paddling feet, haphazardly slashing about, working oh so hard to keep themselves afloat. Well folks, that has been me my entire life. When I first heard the description of the duck analogy, I sobbed. Like my chest broke open and a water fall tumbled out of the dam my rib cage once was. I was washing the dishes listening to a TED talk and a woman’s voice spoke through my iPhone speaker, telling us her story, and then she spoke of how hard she was working internally to grow, to process, to transmute her trauma but no one noticed because she had grew skilled at moving so gracefully externally.
So I’m starting again the process of being transparent. Of growing even more. Of transmuting the trauma that is still so real, so evident, so tangible to the little girl still begging to be heard in my heart. In front of the Instagram world I taking off the mask. I am bearing this heart of mine. Growth requires us to shed what we build walls to protect, you cannot go up if you continue to allow yourself to be weighted by the anchors of fear.
I ask of you to remember that we all have a story. You never know another person’s story until they have told you. What you see may not be how it is and what you think they have may not be at all what they have. Never assume, never take it personally, and try to be kind. Your kindness goes a long way. I want to bring back stories...our stories....the stories that connect, the woven words that remind us how truly the same at so many levels we all really are, the stories that remove the masks and show us our humanity. #thestoriesofbeinghuman #heartwideopen

Tucked into the four walls of her home, lit aglow with soft lights, nestled into the laughter of her children, excitedly decorating a cake for their new sibling, held by the loving hands of her intuitive husband...she redefined normal. Redefined her pattern. Redefined surrender. (Pt 2) #laughingmoonmidwifery #keepingbirthsacred #birthinthelabyrinth

With deep honor, I invite you warmly to watch this family’s birth journey...#birthinthelabyrinth #keepingbirthsacred {pt 1} videography & stills: 📸 @alliebphoto


Story-telling. One of my all time favorite pastimes. Wrapping up in stories of hope, of courage, stories thick with experiences, of love, woven with the multitudinous expression of humanity. And you all know that birth stories are especially my favorite. As I was reflecting over my thickening birth journal, pregnant with story after story of empowerment, of wisdom, of mystery, I realized it’s been far too long since I have shared a few birth stories! Raise of hands 🙋🏽🙋🏻🙋🏿🙋🏼🙋🏾if ya want a heavy dose of birthy goodness! Coming up soon....a scrumptious, family centered, oxytocin packed home birth video 😱💕#laughingmoonmidwiferybirthstories 📸: @alliebphoto

✨🎁Congrats to @joyful_hope_ 🎁✨ YOU are the winner!! PleaS email social@sakurabloom.com to claim your gift card 🙌🏼💕 And thank you ALL for playing along! Hope to see you on this journey! You guys, this was such a hard secret to keep, BUT....I am a Sakura Bloom Sling Diarist! To kick off the launch of Sling Diaries Vol VII I am giving away a $100 gift card to Sakura Bloom for one lucky winner to shop for a Sakura Bloom carrier of their very own! To enter, just follow me + @lovesakurabloom and tag a friend in the comments! Giveaway ends 10/31 at 3pm and the winner will be announced in an updated caption on Halloween evening!! #slingdiariesvol7 #ericasslingdiaries 📸: @elizabethnihiser

Oh. Em. Gee. His little tiny face 😱 (is it absolutely nuts to miss this?) #alwaysgonnawantmorebabies #mamaadventures #oldmotherhubbardlivedinashoe 😂

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