Hello world!

Hi everyone!  This is my very first blog post.   I guess I'll begin with why I decided to start blog.  As you all know Jeff and I are new parents to our handsome baby boy, Cooper.  Most of you also know that about a year ago I started my photography business.  Well, during the past few weeks while on maternity leave with Cooper I began to get more and more stressed about leaving my little man to return to work.  Deep in my heart I just knew that leaving him was out of the question, even for just a few days a week.  So, after much deliberation we decided I would quit my job at the doctor's office to stay home with Cooper and to focus on my passion(s). I've been taking pictures for years and loving it.  I hope to continue doing what I love and I also hope to make a little money to support our insurance bill in the process!  :)  But what really prompted me to start a blog was my newfound passion for natural childbirth and women's advocacy.  During my pregnancy I spent countless hours researching and learning everything I could about natural childbirth.  I feel so blessed to have met so many wonderful women in the natural birthing community who all helped influence me, teach me and most of all support me in my journey.  I can honestly say that I had never felt so confident.  I knew, no matter what, that these women were going to be there for me, through thick and thin, day or night, until the end.  Learning what I learned and then having a natural childbirth myself, I can't help but feel that now I have to pass on the love, support and empowerment that I received.

I plan on eventually obtaining my doula certification.  It seems to be a pretty lengthy process and with a new baby my time is somewhat limited.  So, I'll be using this blog to update everyone on the progress of the photography business (Nicole Simon Photography - web-site will be up soon:) but I'll also use the blog to tell the story of my journey and to hopefully help other women in their journies through pregnancy, childbirth and parenthood.  Although I'm still new to this parent thing!  :)  I will also use the blog to just ramble about what's going on in the lives of the Sawulski family.

The Beginning - I never realized how important natural childbirth is until I actually got pregnant myself.  To start, let me just say that I am a huge wuss.  I will literally cry over a paper-cut.  I have absolutely zero tolerance for any amount of pain.  So naturally I would never want to intentionally put myself through any pain whatsoever.  On the other hand I just couldn't imagine pumping my body full of chemicals and medicines (all which would be transferred to my tiny baby's body) just so that I wouldn't have to feel any pain during childbirth.  Deep down I honestly felt like as a mother that was just selfish.  I mean if I couldn't give my child every opportunity to be completely healthy and drug-free as he entered the world, what kind of mother was I?  If I couldn't do this for my child, then what could I do?  Where did I draw the line on what I would do for my child?  What could I sacrifice?  Or what would I sacrifice?  These feelings are what inspired my journey into the world of natural childbirth.  These feelings and a book titled 'The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth' by Henci Goer.  A friend of mine (who had a natural childbirth) let me borrow the book during my pregnancy.  I can honestly say that I believe this book changed my life.  Or, at least it began a journey for me that would end up changing my life.

Because of my extreme intolerance for pain I completely understand why most women in the U.S. choose to obtain an epidural, or some form of pain relief, during childbirth.  Giving birth, especially for first time Mamas, can be scary and overwhelming.  Most women don't want to know the details, they prefer to leave everything in the hands of their caregiver.  As a matter of fact, when I began my pregnancy I did what I assume the majority of women do, they go see their OB/GYN.  I had been using my OB for over 10 years for all of my yearly check-ups, etc., and I continued to see her for the first half of my pregnancy while I slowly researched natural childbirth.  Originally I thought that I could have a natural childbirth with my OB, in her hospital.  It wasn't until I brought up the subject of natural childbirth to her that I realized what I wanted and what she wanted were two completely different things!  I had absolutely no reason not to trust her, she had been my doctor for so long and had always treated me with respect, I loved going to her.  Unfortunately I learned very fast how an OB's model of pre-natal care and childbirth differs from a  midwife's.

This is when my journey really took off.  When I really started researching and learning what I know today.  It was a long journey, I couldn't possibly fit it all into one blog entry!  So, I'll end here for now.  Hopefully, if you are interested in my story, you'll follow my future posts about it.  Even if natural childbirth is not something you are interested in or something you think you could do, hopefully my story will inspire you to at least spread the word to other women who may be interested or who may need help and support.  And don't forget, I'll be posting about my photography business, my family life and about any other random stuff I feel the need to ramble about also!

One last note, Jeff and I hired a birth photographer to capture the most important event of our lives so far, the birth of Cooper Wyatt.  I cannot put into words how much we love the images and how glad we are that we did this.  Most of the images will be kept for us, as they are very personal moments shared between husband and wife, but others I would like to share so I will post one every now and then.  The following is my absolute favorite image taken.  It was captured just moments after Cooper made his way into the world.  To me it tells the entire story of childbirth.  The pain, the joy, the relief...

image by Patience Salgado   We love you Patience!

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