Heidi Thaden-Pierce lives in Denton County with her husband Kit and their six children. She's a doula, birth photographer and homeschooling mom.
12:39AM I get a call from a client that they’re in labor. Good thing I went to bed early. I dress quickly, grab my doula bag and head out to meet them.
5:59AM Coming home from a perfect, beautiful birth – that was fast! I'm hoping I can catch a nap before the kids need me for the day.
6:23AM Everyone’s still sleeping, so I shower quickly and sneak back into bed. I'll upload and back up the photos as soon as I'm up.
7:34AM I can hear the kids waking up, but my husband tells me to stay in bed and he'll go in to work late. I know he'll start breakfast, get the kids going on their chores, feed the dog, clean up the kitchen and get in a workout. I try not to feel guilty about sleeping while he juggles everything; sleep wins.
9:15AM I'm up. The little kids are playing in the living room, and the big kids are scattered around the house reading. They know whenever I come home from a birth, we'll have an easy school day.
9:28AM Kit's going to head to the office and get in a few hours of work. It takes at least five minutes for him to kiss and hug everyone before he can get out the door. The kids are wandering around looking for the math books, and I tell them to meet me at the table.
9:42AM I'm eating breakfast and checking messages on my laptop while the kids are working on lessons and/or daydreaming. The photos are uploading into my editing program, and I love them. Our littlest is finger painting, and I'm ignoring the mess since she's happy. I pick a few photos for the sneak peak and do a quick edit.
10:17AM I post the photos online and email copies to the parents. I remind them that I'll be checking back to see how they’re adjusting to life with the new baby.
10:34AM The kids are asking for snacks, so I cut up some apples and make peanut butter honey dip to let them munch on while they finish their work. After math we'll call it good and head to the park.
10:52AM Packing for the park means gathering snacks, filling water bottles, bathroom visits then locating all the missing shoes. Somehow there are five shoes for our 3-year-old, none of which match.
11:07AM Sunshine always helps keep me awake after being up for a birth. I realize it's almost lunchtime, so I throw some extra food into our park bag – hummus and pretzels, clementines and grapes.
11:32AM Friends are meeting us at the park. We spread out the picnic blankets we keep in the car. I attended the births of two of the babies at the park, and I love catching up with their moms.
12:14PM A client due next month texts me with a question, and I'm able to respond quickly while pushing kids on the swings. My littlest demands my attention: “Mama, put down phone! Push me higher!” I apologize to her and stick the phone back in my pocket.
1:12PM One of the kids needs to use the bathroom, so we head home. Amidst the protests, we pack up and say our goodbyes to friends.
1:52PM I have no idea what to make for dinner. I text Kit, and he suggests the soft tacos. Perfect. Our oldest is in charge of helping with meals this week, so I talk him through making the beans and rice.
2:17PM The kids have scattered, and I wonder why the house is so quiet. I take advantage of the quiet to edit a few more pictures and start the birth timeline from my notes.
2:44PM There's a fight over something … a toy? Someone being in someone's space? I debate whether to intervene when I hear them calming down. I know any minute there will be snack requests, so I save my work and close the laptop. I don't even want to know how trashed the bedrooms have become during playtime, so I don't look.
3:12PM I tell the kids I need a five-minute “tornado” to help me clean the kitchen and dining area before there’s more mess from dinner. Some help more willingly than others. Two children have wandered off and are riding the wiggle car around the sunroom.
3:44PM Kit texts me that he's heading home and will hit the store on the way; I cheer loudly. I get our oldest started on some dinner preparation and ask our third to set the table. I've not seen our fourth and sixth kids in a while … better go check.
4:01PM The littlest refused all offers for a nap. Now she tells me she's sleepy and crashes on the couch. I text Kit a quick apology, knowing he'll be the one up late trying to get her to sleep.
5:07PM Dinner is served. Kit promises the kids popcorn and a cooking show as soon as we get the chores done. The bribe works; everyone moves fast. I know I can sneak in some editing time on my laptop while they watch the show.
7:14PM Pajama time. The kids change and grab toothbrushes. Kit's playing guitar while they get ready for bed. Then it's story time, family prayers, kisses and hugs.
8:34PM After multiple requests for more cuddles and water and bathroom trips, they’re all in bed – the older ones reading and younger ones asleep. Except the littlest; she’s wide awake.
9:47PM I can stay awake no longer; I'm falling asleep editing. Our littlest has been coloring and playing dolls next to me. Kit's working on his laptop and tells me to go to sleep; he'll try again to get our littlest to bed.
Published February 2014