Tuesday, May 6, 2014

More Blogs By Our Very Own

A Michiana birth photographer's blog Hartstein Photography (a birth photographer tells the story of the birth of your baby thru photos; from the beginning of labor until after baby is born)

 Andrea Hartstein photographer:

 "It was a starry, starry night one warm early Monday in August...."

That's how my mom always started the story when she'd tell me about the day I was born. They stopped at the ATM before going to the hospital, because they thought they'd need money to pay for the birth before they could have me. I believe my dad dropped my mom off before finding a place to park. Her laboring at Butterworth Hospital was pretty quick - maybe two and half hours? I remember her telling me that she was nervous he wouldn't get back from parking the car in time. And once I was born, my big sister met me. And she said, "that's MY baby". Which is where the story usually ended, because my sister would chime in and say something like, "well, I don't feel that way anymore!!"

I have one picture from the day I was born.

It's just of me. It's not of my mom and dad, who had me. It's not with any of the nurses or the Dr who delivered me. It's not with my adoring, big sister. It's not with my grandparents who came to visit me in the hospital. It's just of me.

I have to imagine the rest.

It took us four years to conceive our daughter, Abigail. Oh, how I wanted her. I've prayed for her since I was in my late teens. Not necessarily to HAVE her, but I prayed for her future. I prayed that she would be healthy and strong. I prayed that she would make wise choices. I prayed that she would know love and that she would know how cherished she would be.

Once we finally found out we were pregnant with Abigail - I cherished every moment of it! Because, really, who knows if she might be the only baby I ever have? My labor story is that I was induced two days early, to expell the fear of pre-eclampsia. I labored for 30+ hours. I only made it to 4cm. The anesthesiologist who administered my epidural visited my room 5 times, which was 3 times more than how often he'd ever visited one patient before. They tried a spinal tap. Nothing worked. When they decided we were going in for a C-section, I distinctly remember the Dr pricking my leg and asking me if I could feel anything. Um... yes! I could feel everything. The last thing I remember is hearing the anesthesiologist say they were going to be knocking me out. So when my daughter was born at 1:37 in the morning on the first hot day of the year of 2010 in April, I was unconscious and my husband wasn't allowed in the room.

Our first picture of her was taken by a nurse in the hallway. Thankfully I had my camera with me at the hospital and I snapped away while in my hospital bed recovering -- I got pictures of her with her daddy and with most everyone who came to visit. While I'm glad I caught those moments in the hospital, I feel something sad when I think about the day she was born. I have no memory of her first breaths. I have no pictures to show me what it was like when we ceased to be one and finally became two. There are no pictures of us holding our baby together for the first time, because I was always on that side of the camera.

And with that, my interest in birth photography was born.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Blog's by our very own!

Have a local blog? Let us post it like the following 
A Michiana doula's blog B.B. Birthwork.  
Betsy Black childbirth educator, doula, birth assistant

Mother of three kiddos, I spend my time caring for them and our home. Working in childbirth is a passion that comes second to my family demands, but I sneak in bits of teaching childbirth classes, doula work and attending home births as a midwife's assistant. Much of my work is with my Amish neighbors, as they are a large percentage of the childbearing women in my area.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


BABY YOGA: Thursdays 8th, 15th, 29th, 10:30-11:30,  Contact: Sara Bolen sarabo@holyyoga.net 574-220-7786 (South Bend)
PRENATAL YOGA: Every Tuesday 4:30-5:30, Contact: The Studio https://www.facebook.com/The.Studio.124 (Elkhart)
ICAN (South Bend Chapter): Thursday 8th (every 2nd Thursday), 7:00-9:30 pm Contact: Sarah Gollner https://www.facebook.com/sarah.gollner?fref=ts&ref=br_tf (South Bend)
LA LECHE LEAGUE OF SOUTH BEND: Every Tuesday, see times on their webiste, Contact: http://lllofsouthbend.blogspot.com/ (South Bend)
HEALTHY PREGNANCY CLASS SERIES: Wednesdays 7th, 14th, 21st, 1:00pm, Contact: Women's Care Center Niles https://www.facebook.com/wccniles
HYPNOBIRTHING: Every Saturday, 3:00-5:30pm, Contact: Becky at beckyjanehypnosis@yahoo.com or call 574-267-1598 (Warsaw)
BREASTFEEDING SUPPORT GROUP: Every Monday & Thursday, 11:00-12:30pm, Contact: Breastfeeding Support Services at 574-647-3475  http://www.qualityoflife.org/childbirth/breastfeedingsupport/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=photo&utm_campaign=2014childbirth (South Bend)

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Went to a birthday party at Imagine That and had to nurse the twins. I just have to say that the owner was more than accommodating, she offered me multiple places to sit, water, AND SNACKS! To sum it up, Imagine That https://m.facebook.com/mishawakastore?id=140535809073&_rdr is breastfeeding friendly!

There hasn't been a post in a long time so let's start back up with a short video clip...

Ever wondered what a prenatal visit in your home would be like....check out this short video!

In it you will see a local 27 week pregnant mama being shown some techniques to help loosen up ligmants that can help in optimal baby positioning.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Have You Heard...

Two Sustainable Businesses in South Bend Connect!

Ecological Babies, a cloth diaper, sling, and natural parenting business and resource in South Bend is now offering some of their top cloth diapers and accessories for sale in the storefront Just Goods in downtown South Bend. Besides the items in the store, anyone can visit Ecological Babies’ site, place an order for any items, and then pick them up at their convenience at Just Goods.

Ecological Babies provides all the education, support, and cloth diapering items you to get started.  In addition, they carry slings and provide complimentary tutorials, so you can wear your baby comfortably and safely.  Finally, they carry a range of natural baby and mama products.

Just Goods focuses on fair trade, organic, and local products in their store. You can find a variety of household items, fair trade food items, women’s clothing and jewelry, eco-friendly baby items, and much more.

 Becky Reimbold, owner of Just Goods, and Jen Starks have been connected since Jen moved into town about 1.5 years ago.  
 “She's (Becky) one of the only woman-owned local businesses in town where I (Jen) felt our mission of social justice regarding fair labor and ecologically sound goods matched up.  She's also one of the leaders in the Michiana Green Pages who really works hard to boost local businesses.  In her store, she has a decent size baby and children's section and I believe the products I carry help round out and compliment what is already in the store”.
 “Many have either never heard of or never actually been in Just Goods and by bringing the cloth diapers into her store, it will allow new potential customers who would really benefit from knowing about her store, to come in and check out all the great products.  It allows me to show the community what a cloth diaper looks like and allow me to connect with them to provide all the education they need to get started.”
“More concisely, my mission is to help families, especially those pregnant and/or with babies and young children, learn how to create a foundation of sustainable living as a family unit.  I believe cloth diapers are one of the first big decisions on raising "ecological" babies but also one of the toughest choices for those who are not located in an area where cloth diapers are common.  Therefore, I hope to be that local access to walk them through how to get started and then provide unlimited support once they start using them.”  

For Downtown South Bend's "First Fridays", Ecological Babies will be featured there in March.  The prior Wednesday evening, we're going to have a reception to kick off our official partnership, Just Goods & Ecological Babies.  It will be 2/27 from 5-7pm and all are more than welcome to come in the store!  On my website, Jen has a link to how and why she started Ecological Babies: http://ecologicalbabies.com/story.htm  

 Jen and Ecological Babies are active in South Bend Green Drinks, attend Memorial Hospital's Childbirth Unit's Open House, have started a "cloth diapers support group in Michiana", hosted the Great Cloth Diaper Change last year (and am planning for this one on 4/20!), am an advertiser and big advocate of Edible Michiana, connected with Michiana Midwives in Goshen (for personal use as well!), and have reached out to mom's groups like Le Leche League, Holistic Mom's, and Michiana Moms groups specifically in South Bend.  I hope to become even more involved in the Michiana Birth network, LLL, and Purple Porch Co-op's new natural store opening in the summer to help continue to build up our growing community of those interested in sustainable living.