Easy Ways to Prepare Your Body for Labor

I’m one of those really crazy, weirdo, crunchy mamas who actually likes giving birth. Sorry, sue me. 😉 Birth is a very natural (obviously) thing to have happen, and I know it’s different for everyone, but I really believe there are some things you can do to have a faster, easier labor.

(And I’m not naive, I know there are instances where nothing like these tips will help- but it’s worth it to try!)

Preparing for Labor

#1- Walking, walking, walking! Walking is one of the best things to do to help your body get ready for labor. After 37 weeks, I incorporated lots of hill/incline walking to help encourage labor.

#2- lots of squats! “Squat 300 times a day, you’re going to give birth quickly.” – Ina May Gaskin. There are lots of different kinds of squats to do- normal, wide, deep. Do what feels good and mix it up! I definitely believe squats get your body ready for labor.


#3- red raspberry tea/third trimester tea! I didn’t do this with my first birth, and even though I had a very fast labor, I’ve been drinking tea religiously this pregnancy to see if it will help.


#4- stretching! Stretching feels good on a growing, stretching body, but also helps open up your hips in preparation of your upcoming birth. Check out all the awesome hip opener stretches online!

#5- read & watch positive births! When people want to tell you their “horror birth stories”, just tell them you want to have a positive experience. I watched lots of good homebirths to get my mind ready and to be confidant in my body’s ability of giving birth.

What did you do to help prepare your body for labor?
Hannah Diane
Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram 

22 Week {Pregnancy Update!}

On Sunday, we hit 22 weeks with Baby #2! What?!?! How in the world am I over halfway? It’s crazy how much faster pregnancy seems when chasing after a toddler….I just hope I’m ready for when this crazy boy comes! ❤

22 Week Update

The past week….

I’ve been craving- chocolate milkshakes and ALL THE CARBS. Seriously.

I’ve gained- a total of ~5lbs so far, thank the Lord! I started the pregnancy higher than I wanted, so I’m thankful I’ve kept the weight gain down, and the midwives are pleased, too!

I’m feeling- HUGE! Ha! I’m so much bigger in the belly than I was with Caleb. Guess that comes with having 2 in 2 years.

I’m looking forward to- the splash pad opening in a month. I know….not baby related. But it’s SO hot and humid but still a little too chilly to swim.

I’m wearing- maternity clothes alllllllll the way. Except dresses- the dress above is a regular dress and I can still wear a few non-maternity tops. But yeah….bring on the stretchy pants!

Favorite snack this week- carbs. Ha! Protein bars are my go-to, but trying to incorporate some carrots & hummus or apples & PB.

Hannah Diane
Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram 

My Three Must-Haves for the Third Trimester

Okay, okay, so I’m not pregnant anymore. I know. But I was very much pregnant just a few months ago. I went above and beyond the normal ~40 weeks being pregnant. I was pregnant for 43 weeks! So, I totally know all about third trimester pregnancy pains!

Third Trimester

My #1 must have for ALL during the pregnancy, but especially the third trimester, is Young Living’s Gentle Baby blend. It’s wonderful! It’s calming, great to diffuse, and is great massaged into your growing belly!

Number two would be a belly band. Now, unfortunately, I never got one of these. And I SO wish I did! By the end my back and lower belly were so uncomfortable from the extra wight. My midwives kept telling me to get a belly band to wear while I was sleeping, and any major things I was doing. I should have listened to their advice!

Another great thing for third trimester sleep a boppy wedge pillow! I seriously (finally) got one the week Caleb was born, but it definitely helped my lower back pain in the night. Plus, there was less stress on my belly that way!

What were your favorite things during your third trimester? How did you survive?

Hannah Diane
Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram 



Caleb’s Birth Story

I can’t believe how time flies. Caleb is three weeks old now! The past three weeks have been full of sleepless nights, tons of dirty diapers, and lots of nursing…but I’m loving every minute of it!

Today I want to share with y’all Caleb’s birth story. 

Home Birth

On Sunday, Sept 13, I was officially 2 weeks late. My belly was huge and I was just ready to have this baby. Since he measured big the whole pregnancy, we were sure he would come early. The Lord obviously had other plans….

That Sunday morning I woke up to lots of contractions. Painful contractions. Stronger than I had ever had before. Luke and I walked tons before church, hoping that would help the labor progress. After church, we went walking again and starting timing them….5 minutes apart, lasting about a minute and a half. Okay, this has to be it! I kept having them the whole day, but they never got stronger or closer together. So frustrating!

That night, I lost my mucus plug/had bloody show. I was still having contractions, so Luke decided to stay home from work, even though I wasn’t in active labor yet. Halfway through Monday, the contractions just stop. Not a single one. We decided to drive to my midwife to get checked. I was 3 centimeters and she wouldn’t strip me yet. Lovely. This was a waste… I think to myself. We go back home a little frustrated, but trusting in the Lord’s timing.

Well. No contractions after Monday. None! On Thursday night, I had a breakdown. I was so tired of being pregnant and just wanted that baby o-u-t!

I woke up around 12:30am on Friday to go pee, and had some contractions. They were about five and a half minutes apart, lasting only 50 seconds. I was pretty sure they would go away. I went back to sleep wondering when in the world I would have this baby. I slept until I got woken up to very painful contractions at 2am. I got up to go pee, only to have three contractions on the way to the bathroom. The contractions hurt so much, I was shaking through them and feeling nauseated. I woke Luke up to help me time them because they were coming so quickly and were so painful. They were two minutes apart, lasting about a minute and a half. Considering we had an hour’s drive to the house out of state where we were planning on the birth, we had to get going.

Luke called the midwife, and she didn’t believe that the contractions were that strong and close together. I got on the phone, and she quickly believed me. At 3am, we were on our way to the house out of state. All I could say on the drive was “dear God, keep this baby in until we get there”. I had never felt so much pressure in my life!

We got to the house at 4am, where I threw up for about five minutes before even getting into the house. I felt like…well, like crap. The midwife got there and wanted to check me. I told her if I laid on my back, I would throw up. She won out, though, and  she checked me. I was then more than 8cm dilated. She really believed me then! Ha! I spent the next few minutes throwing up (I tried to warn her!).

My plan was to labor and birth in the water, and I could tell I didn’t have much longer to labor. I just kept saying “can I get in the water now? Can I please get in the water now?”. After what seemed to be an eternity (it was really 20 minutes), I was allowed to get into the tub. What relief I felt! I was so thankful to be in the water. Luke supported my upper body and I just tried to relax into each contraction. It surprised me how much the midwives just left us alone, and let me labor how I wanted. Every so often they would pop in and see how it was progressing, but told me to tell them when I felt the urge to push.

At 6am, I felt the urge to push. I was honestly a little scared to push, so I tried to just ignore the urge for a few contractions. Around 6:15, I started to push, so both midwives stayed in the room. I kept pushing and pushing, and he was slowing making his way out. I could finally feel his head (with my hand), but I couldn’t figure out why it was taking so long. The midwives just kept saying I was doing well, and wasn’t tearing. Around 7am he started crowning (like, for real, painful)….and crowning….and crowning, but he wasn’t coming out, no matter how hard I was pushing.

The midwives had me stand up, and before I realized what was happening, my main midwife was in the water with me, helping my baby out. His cord had gotten across his shoulder like a seat belt, and that’s why I couldn’t get him out. In a few more pushes, he was out, but he wasn’t crying. Within a few seconds, he was crying and moving around, thank the Lord! He was born at 7:30am.

Within a minute, I was sitting in the tub, holding my sweet boy. I was so exhausted, I just held him, not really thinking much. Luke said “he looks like your mom!”, but I thought he looked exactly like my grandpa. Ha!

They clamped and cut the cord, then had to pull the placenta out (OUCH), but it looked perfectly healthy and normal. After a few minutes, they got me out of the tub and let me shower, while they dried off Caleb. By 7:45 I was in bed, skin on skin with my baby. He latched well within a few minutes. The midwives gave us some alone time, then came back in an hour to do his “check up” and message my uterus. Due to the placenta being pulled out, I had a lot more “afterpains” than the typical first time mom.


Caleb weighed 9lbs 5oz, and was 21.5 inches long. I just gave birth to a 9.5lb baby in 5.5hrs without tearing. Nope, I didn’t tear a single bit. Thank the Lord!


The three of us chilled at the house with one of the midwives for a little while longer, just to make sure we were all ok. We were back on the road to our house at 11am. We got home at noon and I was so thankful I was home, and it was all over with!

All in all, I had a wonderful first-time birth experience. I am so thankful we chose to do it at a home, with midwives, where I could labor in the water. I had no drugs, and everything was natural. I am so thankful to the Lord for keeping us safe and healthy, and so thankful for my amazing husband who was a big support and help. I couldn’t have made it through without him! He likes to say now, “that wasn’t at all as dramatic as a lot of people say it is. Not as scary as those books you had me read about birth!” Ha! That’s why I love him. 😉

What was your birth experience like? Thanks for reading Caleb’s story!

Hannah Diane
Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram 

Why I Love Doing the THM Plan

Happy Tuesday, everyone! I am officially ready for our little Caleb to come! It feels like I have absolutely no room left! I’ve been having lots of really hard, strong contractions….so hopefully he’s going to want to come out soon! Ha!

THM Plan While Pregnant

Today I am super excited to share with you why I love the THM plan….and why it’s the perfect plan for a pregnant woman, too.

First, a little about my pregnancy so far….

*When I got pregnant I was a little “fluffy”- not skinny any more, but not chunky yet. I could still fit into some of my 4’s, but I was wearing mostly 6’s by that point. (My lowest was a 0/2).  Here’s a picture of me at 12 weeks…..


At 14 weeks I got hit with a terrible bout of morning sickness….that lasted until 20ish weeks. I couldn’t keep anything in me, so I just started eating….well, anything that would stay in me. That led to a weight gain of ~16lbs by week 28. That’s not terrible, I know, but I’m 5’1″ and have a thick build- that extra weight was not exactly in my stomach.

So, I started the THM plan. It basically has you eating carbs and fats…separately. An “E-nergizing” meal has protein and carbs, and a “S-atisfying” meal has fat and proteins. There are also “Fuel Pull” meals that focus on just protein and low carbs & fats or there are “Cross-over” meals that have both good carbs and fats together.

From weeks 28 to 36, I was eating either “S” or “E” meals, with a “FP” snack every hour. That kept me full without gaining extra (un-needed) weight. Since 36 weeks I can’t keep a lot of food down, or eat a lot at one time, so I’ve been eating all “CO”s to help keep me full. At 38 weeks and 2 days, I have only gained 17lbs this whole pregnancy and feel SO good.

By eating more “Cross-over” meals for pregnant/nursing mothers, it helps keep (or give) you more energy to get through the day….and we all know we can always use more energy!

Being pregnant in the South….in the Summer….has had it’s difficulties, but having lots of smoothies and swimming a lot has helped keep me in shape, cooled off, and feeling good this whole time. Here are two of my favorite smoothie recipes:

Berry Spinach SmoothieTHM Mock Mocha Shake What else has helped me feeling good is working out….even if it’s just for a short time, or just stretching. It feels so good on my growing body, and it’s helping me stay trim and in shape for after Caleb comes! (I wrote some blog posts on just that: 5 Favorite Pregnancy Workout DVDs and Favorite Workout DVDs for the Third Trimester).

The Trim Healthy Mama plan is definitely not just for women! My husband does it with me, even though he doesn’t have an ounce of fat on his body. I give him just cross-over meals….but he says he has a lot more energy and feels better over-all eating this way.

My “little” brother and also my brother in law are semi-doing this plan along with exercising (they’re both seniors in HS), and my brother has lost around 20lbs and my brother in law has lost over 35lbs. I’m so proud of them both!

If you are thinking about trying out the plan, I would suggest reading the book- at least twice! Then join some of the official Facebook groups for accountability and tons of recipe ideas.

Have you tried the Trim Healthy Mama plan? Did you follow any plan while you were pregnant?

Hannah Diane
Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram 

Maternity Shoot Part 2 {and 37 week update}

Happy Monday! I am super pumped to share the second half of our maternity shoot with y’all! This part was taken at a family friend’s property while the sun was setting. It was such a fun time, and I just LOVE how they turned out!

Maternity Shoot Part 2

I also want to share with you my 37 week update since I haven’t shared an update in 5 weeks!

The past week….

I’ve been craving- again….nothing really. I’m not really hungry most of the time. 

I’ve gained- a total of ~19lbs this whole pregnancy, so far. So thankful for the THM plan! 

I’m feeling- very low in energy. I have spurts of energy, so I try to use those to clean the house, or get food in the freezer for after Caleb is born. 

I’m looking forward to- meeting this little man! He’s welcome to come any time now!!

I’m wearing- pretty much maternity clothes. I’m loving dresses….no pants! Lol

Favorite snack this week- a hard boiled egg. Yeah, really not liking food right now. 



Hannah Diane
Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram 

Maternity Shoot {part 1}

Okay, so we got these photos done a few weeks ago, but I’m just now getting around to sharing them…..after a bladder infection and kidney infections which are making me have all-day morning sickness again, I’m finally getting back into the swing of things.

Hannah&Luke42We took the maternity pictures at two different places- these were at our house. We had a dear friend take the pictures, so after supper at her folks, we finished off the shoot with sunset pictures at their place. It was magical! I’ll share those later….but first off, here are the first set. 🙂

Maternity Shoot pt.1That plaid shirt is actually a non-maternity shirt. I’m so glad it still worked! Ha! I don’t have a plaid maternity shirt and really wanted plaid for this shoot!


And, of course, we had to include our sweet horses. I’ve had Ameera since before Luke and I were together, and Cougar is a recent addition to our {growing!!} family. ❤

Hannah Diane
Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram 

Favorite Workout DVDs for the Third Trimester

A couple of months ago I shared some of my favorite DVDs for pregnancy. They are still some of my favorite workouts! But, sometimes you are just a little more tired and winded when working out in your third trimester. I did fine with all those other DVDs for the first month of the third trimester, but now I’m really enjoying these slighty easier DVDs mixed in with my walking and swimming. 🙂

Third Trimester

-Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred- this is a much easier version of the Ripped in 30 I was doing. I still have to modify some things– no jumping, but it’s definitely easier on this growing belly!

-T-Tapp Total Workout at Beginner Level- don’t let the “beginner” part of the name run you off. I was (and am) still in good shape, and it definitely challenges me. There is no modifications needed for this workout, and it’s amazing for helping to keep your back in place and good posture!

-Summer Sanders’ Prenatal Workout- so, I totally love this workout!! I’m still doing the second trimester workout, but it works up quite a sweat, and again, there’s no modifications to have to worry about….just pop it in and get your sweat on!

-10 Minute Solution Prenatal Pilates- yes, this was on my last list, too. I love it! This is good on those days I don’t have a lot of energy, I’m sore, or just kind of ache-y. Such a good workout for toning and breathing. 🙂

What are your favorite workout DVDs for pregnancy? Did you workout while you were pregnant?

Hannah Diane
Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram 

Favorite Pregnancy Books {part 2}

A couple of months ago I shared some of my favorite pregnancy books…..and today I am back with a few more awesome books to share with you. I’ve read a lot more than just these four pregnancy books since I wrote the last post, but I only want to share with you the best of the best when it comes to pregnancy (and breastfeeding!) books!

Pregnancy Books

The Birth Partner- this book is geared toward dads, doulas and midwives, but I learned a great deal by reading through it. After I read it, Luke took it and is slowly making his way through it. He’s going to be the only one (besides my midwives) present at the birth, so we both want him to be prepared to help and be apart of the process. 🙂

Pushed- wow. Just….wow. This is such a moving and eye opening book. Go out and get you a copy NOW! It goes through the changes that our modern medical system has gone through. As the review on the front of the book says- “Extraordinarily readable….No woman who is pregnant, has been pregnant, or plans to be pregnant should set foot inside the office of her OB/GYN before reading this.” (Woman’s Review of Books)

The Breastfeeding Book- this is written by a MD and his RN wife. It has so much medical information, along with what they learn through all of their personal breastfeeding experience.

Gentle Birth Choices (& DVD)- this was such a good read and a moving DVD. It shares the changes our country has had in the medical field and shows the sucess other country are having by using midwives and birthing in water. The DVD was SO powerful and tear-jerking. It’s a must read and watch!

What has been, or is, your favorite pregnancy, labor or postpartum book?

Hannah Diane
Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram 

32 Weeks {Pregnancy Update}

I can’t believe how quickly this pregnancy is flying by! The past four weeks (since my last update), I have been following the Trim Healthy Mama plan about 90-95%. I feel SO much better. Plus, all my swelling is gone and I’m fitting back into my small maternity tops!  Yay! Lol.

32 Weeks

The past week….

I’ve been craving- THM’s Tomato Soup and grilled Pepperjack Cheese sandwhiches….my favorite lunch right now! 

I’ve gained- a total of ~16lbs this whole pregnancy, so far. I haven’t gained any weight the past four weeks, but my stomach has grown tons! I am sure this is thanks to the THM plan. 

I’m feeling- very, very tired. I have to get up all the time during the night to pee, so I don’t get good sleep. {sigh} 

I’m looking forward to- the baby shower for Caleb coming up this month. And hopefully making a lot of progress on the addition to the house!

I’m wearing- pretty much maternity clothes. If I’m home….pants are optional. Lol. It is SO hot here in the South! But, I have a good tank-top tan. 🙂

Favorite snack this week- peanut butter and a granny smith or lunch meat and cheese. Depending on if I feel like I need fats or carbs. 

Hannah Diane
Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram