Stay Curious.
Dig Deeper.
Nurture What Matters.
Be BoldHeart.
Enjoy Your Life.

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The BoldHeartMama desires to enjoy living out the choices that she’s made for herself and for her family. She is a relentless learner: curious, inquisitive, and open to the possibilities of her life and of the human condition. She understands that there isn't one right way—she asks questions that dig deeper to make sense of it all and to find her own path.

She pays attention to and nurtures whatever it is she really cares about, letting go of the rest (for now) knowing she can't do and be everything all at once. She embraces her imperfections in favor of "good enough"—her imperfect self, her imperfect home, her imperfect mothering, her imperfect desires—and she never stops evolving as a woman and mother. She is a BoldHeart, authentic and true to herself.

The BoldHeartMama knows there is only this one life and she's all in. She is present and engaged and making things happen. Her intuition is her guide. She seeks to be inspired and relies on her creativity and her resourcefulness to solve the big and little challenges that she and her family face together as they navigate their relationships and their world.

The BoldHeartMama is willing to take calculated risks to make her biggest dreams come true. She is living out her BoldHeart in the moment, making small moves and taking little steps that add up, and she's cultivating a good life for herself and her family in the process. Read More!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Welcoming Winslet. Empowering Preemie Birth.

Winslet Amaris Lee was born on Thursday night, March 3rd at 7:56pm. 2lbs. 12.5 inches. 25 weeks and 6 days gestation.

I have so much to share about the weeks and hours leading up to her birth but while we were living the ups and downs of it I wasn't able to process fast enough to write it in a timely way.

I've been riding the high of Winslet's birth for the last few days, a beginning that I cherish because the NICU journey sprawls out in front of us and the significance of feeling empowered as we move into the next phase of our story together can't be underestimated.

Delayed cord clamping for preemies is standard policy at the hospital we chose and all babies born early get 45 seconds of time to allow the placenta to pump additional blood into their bodies before the umbilical cord is cut. The benefits are many. Usually, the baby is held below the placenta—in the hands of the obstetrician—but a nurse on my team advocated for me to give birth on all fours so that Winslet could be passed between my legs and placed in front of me where I could look at her, touch her, and talk to her before she was taken to the NICU and hooked up to all the technology.

Having experienced a rather conservatively managed birth with Merritt, born at 33 weeks, and based on Winslet's gestational age and degree of extreme prematurity I just assumed she would be whisked away from me and that we would be reunited in the NICU some hours later. However, the whole team from the neonatologist to the obstetrician and labor nurses, supported and encouraged the idea of face-to-face time during the delayed cord clamping.

Photography Credit: Patience Salgado

I labored in another room but to give the NICU team sufficient space to properly support her I delivered in the operating room. My labor unfolded over the course of several hours, and when I could feel her moving down, and then an urge to push, I was wheeled down the hall to the OR. My water broke with one contraction on the way there, and with the next I turned on hands and knees and pushed her little body out before anyone else was even aware that she was coming. Someone reached through my legs moving her toward me and I picked her up and brought her closer. I was shocked at her size having given birth to 4 and 7 pound babies in the past, but she was perfect. And she looked like Merritt! I turned her face toward mine and I took her in. Her tiny hands, her big feet, her ears and hair. She didn't make any sounds, but she was strong and vigorous with her arms and legs.

Photography Credit: Patience Salgado

It had never been done before at this hospital, but we did it, and those 45 seconds were a gift to us. The opportunity to connect with her in this way lessened some of the fear I carried for her and made her early arrival feel less traumatic. Her birth was peaceful and intimate. Yes, she was fragile—intubated shortly-after for prematurity of her lungs—but not so fragile that she couldn't experience the benefits of delayed cord clamping, or the touch of her mama and papa.

Maybe other families here will get to experience such an empowering and beautiful start to their preemie parenting journey because we asked to do it first.

Photography Credit: Patience Salgado


  1. Well that was an emotional read! I love you! Beautiful birth, beautiful little Winslet! <3 I'm SO in love!!! Thank you for writing and sharing this with the world!

  2. Beautiful. Sweetest congratulations! Welcome, Winslet!

  3. This is such a beautiful and inspiring story. Brought tears to my eyes. Kudos to you for pushing change in an area that is often resistant to going against the grain. You took a challenging situation and made it positive and empowering. Empowered - that is what I feel reading this - you were empowered even with some (many) constraints. As you and I and many other women know, birth experiences stay with us for a long time (forever I assume) and I am beyond glad you had this beautiful moment. YOU ARE AMAZING. Sorry, got shouty there :)

  4. Loved this beautiful post. My heart is full for you and I send you strength for the coming day. Love + Light to your family. Congratulations mama.

  5. Hi Jacqueline!I have stopped by the NICU at least 3 times since I saw you last to say hi and tell you how much I appreciate the KIND WORDS you wrote in this beautiful blog. I shared it with Dr. Cross, and she beamed. Looking forward to seeing you SOON!!! PS: Winslet is adorable!

  6. Oh wow what a beautiful story, congratulations!! I hope you are all doing wonderful!


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