Monthly Archives: September 2011

The Ripple Effect of the Oxytocin High


Oxytocin Love, Picture by Patience Salgado

Oxytocin:  (ox-y-to-cin) polypeptide hormone, produced during and after childbirth. Commonly known as the “love hormone”. Often imitated, never duplicated. 

Today I visited with my dear friend and her one day old baby. Born at home, pink as a rose and beautiful. And mama looked more effortlessly gorgeous than I’ve ever seen her look. Relaxed, in her own bed, nursing her new baby.

I sucked up all of the love in that room. Her birth alter feet away. Her candles still burning. That love. That oxytocin love. Such a sacred space. I was honored to be there. Honored to get some of that energy.

As I listened, soaking up her birth story, the real story, I listened so gently. Carrying this story so fragile and fresh. This space, really too intimate for me to be there. This space and time shared with me. Grateful.

So I take away this amazing Oxytocin high. This sympathetic high of being in your own bed, snuggling with your brand new baby all day as it drizzles outside and the world moves on without you. This cloud 9, this euphoria.

I thank you, mama. For this little piece of heaven. This everything will be alright. This, the whole world is simple and lovely. My heart is heavy and full for you tonight.

My blessing for you, my friend. That you stay in this cocoon for as long as life will let you.


A Young Person’s Call To Birth Work


Ellie, inspiring mamas and doulas

In this work, I am constantly surrounded by amazingly talented women. Occasionally, I meet a soul who shines so bright I feel compelled to learn more and dig deeper. Ellie Mestas is that kinda soul. 

At 18, Ellie is a birth doula. And man, I love her story. Homeschooled and one of eight children, she has a remarkable outlook on life, childbirth and maternal health.

At the age of 9, Ellie’s family was called to adopt twin baby boys who were born at 27 weeks. They joined Ellie’s family at home at 7 weeks old at just 4 pounds each. The family living room was a NICU for their first year. When they were 3, her family was once again called to adopt. This time, they adopted a 3-year-old little boy and his 9 month old twin sisters, from Ethiopia.

Below is my conversation with Ellie about her journey. I hope you are just as inspired.

What is the impact your family history has on your outlook?


“The Lord gave me such a heart for orphaned children after having 5 of them become my brothers and sisters. There are 147 million orphans in our world today who have no one to love them and care for them! I was blessed to travel to Ethiopia,Guatemala,China, and Ugandaworking with orphans in the years that followed and it changed my world forever.”

What sparked your interest in doula work?


“A conversation with some missionary friends; the wife was a doula and they were working with some natives to build a birth center in Papua New Guinea. The lack of health care for women in the bush was so great that their women and children were dying at alarming rates. It was the first time I had heard about the dire need in our world for maternal health care and it really sparked something in my heart.”

How many births have you attended?  


“As of today, I have attended two births, but I have a momma due any minute and several more coming up in the next few months!”

What direction will this work take you?



“I am in the application process for nursing school right now and my goal is to be a Nurse-Midwife in the next 5-6 years. I hope to work with women in my community, as well as overseas in areas where women do not have access to proper care. Because of my siblings’ stories, I now have a whole new perspective and want to help as many mommas and babies stay together as possible.”

My blessing for you Ellie, is that you continue to grow, soaking up all the wonderful birth energy you can. And that you continue to inspire, in your work and in your journey.