Julie Julie Ekstrom
Mother of Five! @julesekstrom
Julie Chad Ekstrom
Father of Five! @DaddyRooz
Calley Calley Pate
Mother of Two
Stacey Stacey Clover
Mother of Six
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Friday, October 4, 2013

First Friday Birth Story!
This month: Ashley Brown and her baby boy, Levi!

We love birth stories! Each one is unique and amazing. If you'd like to share yours, you can use the button below to submit it. We will read (and probably cry) over each one, and then post one on the first Friday of every month! 

Mama: Ashley
Baby: Levi
Due Date: Thursday, March 14, 2013
Birthday: Tuesday, March 19, 2013

My husband and I had intended on a very natural labor and delivery. We took the Bradley Method classes and hired a doula and felt very prepared. Saturday, March 16th I started feeling weird...upset stomach and different feeling Braxton hicks contractions. That morning I timed them and they were pretty consistent but then died off later that day. Sunday morning at 1:00 AM I woke up from a very strong contraction. I tried sleeping but awoke with each one. I woke my husband up around 7 AM and he started timing the contractions and they were between 6-7 minutes apart. We called our doula and let her know that I was handling them well and if anything changed we would have her come over. Monday at 3:00 AM comes and I lost my bloody show. I thought to myself, "this baby could come today!". I could not sleep that night because the contractions were keeping me up. My husband and I started timing them around 4:00 AM and they were between 5-6 minutes apart and getting more intense. We called our doula and she came over around 8:30AM. I knew we had to get rest so we took a nap and around 1:30 PM my water broke. I was in the middle of a contraction and felt a pop. I could not contain my laughter. Our doula even came in the bedroom to see if everything was okay. It was by far one of the best moments of labor. Contractions were between 3-5 minutes apart and since my water broke we decided to head to the hospital (a little later than we were told to but I just loved being at home so much). 

We got to the hospital around 5:00PM and when they checked me I was only 70% effaced and 1cm dilated. I was crushed. At this point I had already been in labor for 40 hours and I was sure I was having this baby yesterday. I break down and cry and then get very serious and ask what we need to do to get this baby out. We walk...and walk...and walk. I was checked a few hours later and was then at 3cm dilated and found out at that point that our baby was not in the right position. We did exercises, stretches, and side laying. Fast forward and now it's Tuesday. My husband, doula, and myself are all sleep deprived. It's been 25 hours after my water has broken and medical intervention is being spoken. The bathroom becomes my husband's and my safe place. The place where we go to think, discuss, and where I cry. This is not how I thought my labor would be like. The birthing class said I should have had my baby 15 hours ago. And now we are talking about medical intervention. So...Pitocin it is. At first the contractions were manageable and then they got ferocious as expected with Pitocin. I was checked again and was only at 6cm. My midwife really thought I just needed rest so I was given a narcotic because I desperately did not want an epidural. After no progression we decided on an epidural since the narcotic wasn't helping me rest. I very much felt like a failure at this point. I remember talking with my doula and she told me that I have already been through so much and I just need rest and at this point an epidural would do that for me. I finally slept for an hour and I felt great. My midwife was sure that once I rested and she came back a couple hours later that I would be at 9cm and ready to push. She came back to check on me and I was still at 6cm. Our baby was trying so hard to come through, which made it hard for the midwife to feel exactly what position he was in. She then breaks out the C word...C-section. She had noticed his heart rate dropping with contractions and at that point wasn't a huge concern but could become one. She told us we could give it more time but we decided on a second opinion and decided it was best to have it done before I needed to be rushed into surgery. I get prepped and at 10:38PM on Tuesday March, 19th our son was born. Born with a very large cone head because he was trying so hard to come through. He also ended up being face up and crooked. Poor guy! If you're trying to do the math, it was almost 3 days of labor. Next time there WILL BE a time limit! During labor I wanted what was best for him and I thought that meant no medical intervention but now looking back I realize that he was working very hard for 3 days too. He was healthy and has been since! It was definitely not the birth story I thought I was going to tell!

Thanks, Ashley, for sharing your marathon of a birth story with us! Levi is absolutely precious!

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Friday, September 6, 2013

First Friday Birth Story!
This month: Megan Halstead and her baby girl, Trystan!

We love birth stories! Each one is unique and amazing. If you'd like to share yours, you can use the button below to submit it. We will read (and probably cry) over each one, and then post one on the first Friday of every month! 

Mama: Megan Halstead
Baby: Trystan
Due Date: Thursday, June 21, 2012
Birthday: Thursday, June 28, 2012

I had an all natural (no meds, no interventions, vaginal) home birth. My husband and I had decided to go the home birth route after having a doctor deal with our previous miscarriage very coldly. We found an amazing midwife and absolutely were reassured that we were making the right decision.

As many women before me, especially those who go the natural non-induction route, my due date came and went. I was busy chasing after an almost 2 year old and sweating in the hot Vegas summer. My water broke at 12:30 am exactly a week after my due date. Within three hours my midwife, her assistant, my doula, and the doula we rented the birthing tub from arrived, my photographer showed up 30 min later.
I started pushing and was fully dilated at 3:45 am. This had me worried because my husband was working four hours away and I didn’t think he was going to make it in time! But thankfully, he arrived around 4:15 am to help me through the pushing.
I had done 90% of the laboring on my own, only needing help to walk between the toilet and floor and bath tub. We all made the decision to not set up the birth tub because we didn’t think there would be enough time since it takes a minimum of 45 minutes to fill it. The doula who delivered the tub decided to stay until I delivered, thinking it would only be a half hour or so. Thank goodness she did stay because she was probably the most helpful with her words in getting through the tough times.

Low and behold I was birthing a giant for my body size and it took until 7:12 am to push her out. Three and a half hours, med free. From Trystan crowning to being born was five minutes of burning h-e-double hockey sticks! They don’t call it the ring of fire for nothing! But, we got through it and I delivered a healthy, 9.5 lb baby girl. No tearing at all (this amazed me in itself).

My husband and I have so much gratitude for our midwife and whole birth team!

Thanks, Megan for sharing your story with us! What a blessing to have such a fantastic support team around you as you welcome your baby girl! Give Trystan all our love!

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Thursday, September 5, 2013

#WorkforceGEAR Labor Day Giveaway - WINNERS!

We had more than 1200 entries into the #WorkforceGEAR Labor Day Giveaway!  It has been a blast seeing all the different ways you all celebrate and take time off for Labor Day....and some of you, IN Labor Day! lol  

Here are some of our favorites... AND the WINNERS!









And the winners are...





Thank you to all who participated! Stay tuned for more fun!

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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Labor Day #WorkforceGEAR Giveaway!

RELAX! You've earned it, you hard working maniac!  For all you do, we thought it was high time for a reward - so how about a massive giveaway? How about THREE?

Show us all the fun and relaxing things you do with your family after the work is done! Don't forget the huge hugs at the end of a long work day, building forts and tree houses on the weekends, planting those delicious gardens, heck, even changing diapers!  Being a parent is hard work and you - are - awesome!

This time we will be picking 3 families to win a ton of cool baby gear.  Check out these great brands that are helping us reward some of the hardest working parents on the planet --

(Hold onto your pants, this may be the longest list of prizes, EVER!)

Here's what you could win:

Joovy Groove Ultralight - included in prize pack #2
At 12.78 pounds, the Groove Ultralight is among the lightest strollers.  You won't have to compromise anything! The Groove Ultralight has multiple position reclining seat, oversized canopy, contemporary styling and the very best in customer service.  Triple Black, Purpleness, Charcoal, Blueberry

Joovy Moon Room - included in prize pack #3
What child wouldn’t like playing in a playard as unique as the Moon Room? With over ten square feet of play area and awesome views, your child’s imagination will run wild.  100% cotton sheet & travel bag included.   

Joovy Spoon - included in prize pack #1
Walker meets highchair.  The Spoon walker combines these two essential products into one to provide the perfect balance of eating, playing and learning to walk!  Practical and good-looking, the Spoon will blend perfectly into your kitchen and home decor. Charcoal, Purpleness, Blueberry, Greenie.

Joovy TheBabaSling - included in prize pack #1
TheBabaSling by Joovy is a revolution in design, comfort and simplicity. theBabaSling is the most amazingly versatile, easy to use sling on the market today. JPMA Certified.We believe that held babies are happy babies and we are proud to bring you this award-winning baby carrier.

Red, White and Blue Prize Pack from Kanga Care - X3 (included every prize pack)
Six Rumparooz cloth diapers in Crimson, Bermuda and White (three with snap closure, three with Aplix closure), a Bermuda pail liner and deluxe white changing pad to make changes on the go as comfy as can be. 

Nuna PEPP™ - included in prize pack #1
The Nuna PEPP ultra, compact stroller is great for one-hand pushing and laid back lounging.  

Wonder Bumpers - included in prize pack #3
Wonder Bumpers:  Increase airflow and reduce CO2 re-breathing   Eliminate suffocation and entanglement risk   Protect baby's head and body Inhibit toddler from climbing out   Keeps limbs safely inside      WONDERS BUMPERS ARE EXCLUDED FROM THE MARYLAND AND CHICAGO BANS.

SNUG & TUG - included in prize pack #1
Perfectly size for babies:   0-3 months   Up to 16lbs Up to 25” long.   The Snug & Tug is a swaddle blanket with style and strength. The triangular design of the Snug & Tug is the ideal shape for swaddling. Their high quality breathable, soft cotton is the perfect material for swaddling. 

Pikkolo Baby Carrier and Babywearing Support Belt - included in prize pack #2
What makes the pikkolo unique? Two words: MEMORY. FOAM. And dual-adjustable buckles are WAY easier to tighten, our cinching strap makes the base adjustable for a perfect fit with NO INFANT INSERT REQUIRED, & the versatility of 4 carrying positions, including a more ergonomic facing out position.

Lassig Green Label Neckline Diaper Bag - included in prize pack #3
Without a doubt this eco-fabulous diaper bag is ultra-chic and modern. Made from recycled PET this stunning bag was designed in Germany; quality, organization and versatility were thought of from the beginning. Simply beautiful!

$150 Itzy Ritzy Gift Certificate - included in prize pack #2
The Itzy Ritzy prize is a $150 gift certificate that can be used on any new purchase at

$150 Super Undies Gift Certificate - included in prize pack #3
Super Undies are the masters of awesome potty training pants and provide amazing solutions for bed wetting. Our potty training pants are outstanding in fit and quality and our Nighttime Underwear are unprecedented in the industry.

Bamboobies Pregnancy, Breastfeeding and Baby Gift Pack - included in prize pack #1
Stretch Marks, Sore Nipples and Leaks Happen!  New mamas and babies need TLC!  This gift bundle includes a 4-pair pack of multi-colored Bamboobies nursing pads, 100% organic Natural Nipple Balm and 100% Organic Bellease Belly & Baby Butter.

Bamboobies Brahhh - included in prize pack #3
The Bamboobies Brahhh is “ahhh-so-soft”!    Great for maternity, nursing and beyond. Made to adjust to your changing body.  Designed for pregnancy and nursing with adjustable, tapered straps don’t fall down and easy pull-aside nursing access. No clasps or wires means it’s great for sleep too. 

Bamboobies Chic Nursing Shawl - included in prize pack #2
So stylish and discreet, no one will know it’s a nursing cover.    Unlike brightly-colored apron-style nursing covers, the Bamboobies Chic Nursing Shawl is stylish and discreet.    Great for both maternity, nursing and beyond!

Boba Carrier 3G - included in prize pack #1
The Boba Carrier 3G includes more than a dozen features making this carrier truly one of a kind! Ideal for babies and toddlers alike, the Boba Carrier may be converted to a newborn carrier without an infant insert or any additional items and used well into toddlerhood.

Better Be - included in prize pack #2
Is your diaper bag machine washable? It BETTER BE! Is your diaper bag lined with light colored, antimicrobial linings? It BETTER BE! Is your diaper bag organized, efficient, fashionable, and super, super fun? It BETTER BE! Are you ready for the best diaper bag ever? You BETTER BE!

Ergobaby Original Collection: Galaxy Grey Carrier - included in prize pack #3
This award-winning carrier holds your baby in an ergonomic natural sitting position. The padded shoulder straps & waistbelt ensure parents stay comfortable no matter where they go. Made from 100% cotton canvas, the neutral color and subtle embroidery make this carrier a mom & dad favorite.

Whirl balanceBIKE - White - included in prize pack #3
Prince Lionheart’s whirl balanceBIKE will teach your child how to balance and build their sense of independence and self-confidence. Learning at their own pace, your child can work their way up to a 2-pedal bike, first walking then gliding! Ages 2-5 years.

milkmakers cookies! - included in prize package #1 & #2
One month's supply of milkmakers cookies.
bumpboosters cookies - included in prize pack #3
One month's supply of bumpboosters cookies

JP Lizzy Patent Hobo-Caramel - included in prize pack #1
The new JP Lizzy Hobo boasts a contemporary silhouette that is designed with comfort and movement at the forefront, function and organization from the inside-out, and a fashion-forward sensibility you’ll love.

Happy Family's Newest Arrivals - included in prize pack #3

Our Happy Family is growing! We are happy to share with you our newest flavors and products! We have something for the whole family - from new baby cereals to scrumptious Greek yogurt Happy Squeeze for older kids and adults.

Baby Bib Triple Pack:
Strawberry Shortcake Bib - included in prize pack #1
Apples Bib - included in prize pack #2
Whale Bib - included in prize pack #3

Hip Violet baby bibs will quickly become your very favorites! Not only do they use trendy designer fabric or upcycled bedsheets straight from your childhood, they are oversize to cover adorable clothing AND feature toddler-proof snaps. They also make a unique (and practical!) baby shower gift!

Bebe au Lait Gift Set - included in prize pack #1
Containing a nursing cover and three matching burp cloths, a Bébé au Lait Gift Set is a fantastic gift for new and expecting mothers. Presented in an attractive and easy to wrap gift box, it will delight your expectant friends and family. Available in nine different beautiful Bebe au Lait prints!

Boppy Feeding & Infant Support Pillow - included in prize pack #1
The Boppy® Feeding and Infant Support Pillow is designed to give you and baby the support you need throughout the first year. The versatile Boppy pillow lifts baby to a more ergonomic position for comfortable feedings, then transitions to the perfect spot for propping, tummy time and sitting.

Moby Wrap - included in prize pack #2
Happy parents, happy babies! The Moby Wrap is a babywearing favorite, known for its comfort and versatility. The Wrap is 100% natural cotton and machine washable, available in a wide selection of colors. The winner can choose any Wrap carrier from Moby Wrap Originals or Moderns. #happybabywearing

Our Lady of La Leche Tea - included in prize pack #2
A blend for nursing mamas who might have seen a drop in supply due to common occurrences of illness, returning to work/school, surgery or other common events impacting lactation. Made with herbs traditionally used to increase quantity and quality of milk to support a nursing mother's overall health.

Family Immunity - included in prize pack #1 and #3
An antioxidant powerhouse! Along with healthy foods, having fun and exercise, and teaching proper hand washing, this tea is a proper first line of defense during cold and flu season. Meant to be enjoyed by the whole family, it is a delicious remedy to the "why are we sick all the time" concern.

Puj Hug - included in prize pack #1

The Puj Hug makes drying your baby a breeze! The Hug has two silicone tabs that interlock around the neck, allowing you to pick up your baby with two free hands. It’s made from thick, ultra-soft cotton and all the parts are completely machine washable.

Green Toys Rocket - included in prize pack #2
Made in the USA from 100% recycled plastic, the Green Toys Rocket is a fully equipped, 2-in-1 set that includes a detachable top capsule, two flip-down doors, and two astronauts. No BPA, phthalates, PVC or external coatings. Packaged with recyclable materials. Ages 2 and up. 8"L x 9"W x 11"H.

Undercover Mama - included in prize pack #3
Undercover Mama is a strapless camisole that works with your favorite bra! It keeps your back, sides, and belly covered. Perfect for pregnancy, breastfeeding & beyond!

Lion WubbaNub - included in prize pack #1 and #2
WubbaNub© Pacifiers are super cute for sure ... but it is the unseen aspects that Moms love the most! They are easy to clean, the patented design helps the pacifier stay near the baby’s mouth ... and ... best of all the plush attachment prevents the pacifier from being lost, dropped or forgotten!

How to enter:

Start: Tuesday, August 20th - 00:01 am
End: Tuesday, September 3rd - 11:59 pm

Use our easy form below to:
  • Like each of our sponsor's Facebook pages
  • (Bonus entry!) Post a picture of how your family relaxes on Instagram
  • (Bonus entry!) Follow our sponsors on Instagram
  • (Bonus entry!) Follow our Sponsors on Twitter
  • (Bonus entry!) Tweet about the Giveaway

How are winners picked and when will you know who won:

  • 2 winners will be selected from among the Instagram submissions
  • 1 winner will be selected at random through Rafflecopter
  • We will announce the winner on Thursday, September 5th.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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