WELCOME TO SOLA GRATIA VITA

hello

Thankful we have crossed paths! Whether you are an expecting mama, love one, or hope to support one, while you're here I will share with you a bit of what led me to the birth world.

I'm Gab. Daughter, wife, mother, sister, and the heart of Sola Gratia Vita. I have been blessed to serve women over the last decade - with the mission to know and love and equip them for the job they have ahead of them.

I was moved from the beauty industry to women's ministry and currently serve as a doula in the birthworker community of Pittsburgh.

I was given 4 beautiful years to help lead the care & comfort team at my church serving expectant and new moms. That's just a glimpse of how my heart was prepared to now serve during the more specific sacred moments of birth and postpartum.

My heart's mission is to encourage and comfort women and couples in the tender season of expectation and new motherhood, sharing the hope and love of the gospel.

My prayer is that each woman I serve will feel known, loved, and equipped for their call to birth and beyond; and that the Holy Spirit would be invited into each birth for supernatural peace, comfort, and abundant joy.

w h y d o u l a ?

In kindergarten, when others wanted to be teachers, astronauts, and fire fighters... I wanted to be a mama. As I grew into friendships and found my maternal instincts, I enjoyed moments being the caring, cautious "mom friend."

My first experience with birth was at the tender age of 16 as a teen mom myself. I was able to appreciate and identify support needs within perinatal care from the unique perspective of a vulnerable, yet strong and resilient teen. I went on to experience a long preterm birth, a sad and beautiful stillbirth, a big rainbow birth, and a surprise breech homebirth!

I was blessed to have experienced labor support at varying degrees with each birth from my partner alone to a dedicated friend to doula and midwife support. Each of these has been used to shape me into the doula I am today, equipping me to walk with and serve others in the midst of preparing for birth and motherhood.

What keeps pulling my heart to this work?

What each birth, no matter the outcome, has in common. Every birth is a miracle seen, a heart transformed, and the glory of God revealed beyond what any mind could imagine.

w(under) work: moments spent serving a mama as she anticipates and is led through birth
see also: miracle witness, humble help

Portrait: Heather Tabacchi Photography, January 2021

reading list

recommendations for pregnancy, postpartum, and motherhood

consider this a menu for words of wisdom to take in during your childbearing year. i pray that select words would jump off the pages and speak life into your family for years to come...

RISEN MOTHERHOOD

Want to learn how to connect your Sunday morning faith to the Monday morning toddler tantrum? Tackling real life topics like postpartum body image, food choices, marriage, traditions, and school choices, Emily and Laura will help you discover that the gospel really does change everything.

Risen Motherhood Content

NONE LIKE HIM

God is self-existent, self-sufficient, eternal, immutable, omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, sovereign, infinite, and incomprehensible.

We're not.

And that's a good thing.

... ESPECIALLY throughout pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and all of motherhood.

None Like Him: Author's Message

LABOR WITH HOPE

Gospel Meditations on Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Motherhood.

Labor with Hope: Book Review

IN HIS IMAGE

Reading this through the lens of motherhood, this can be applied to the calling of motherhood!

By exploring ten characteristics of who God is—holy, loving, just, good, merciful, gracious, faithful, patient, truthful, and wise—this book helps us understand who God intends for us to be.

In His Image Book

HOLY LABOR

“Holy Labor is a thoughtful guide to approaching birth with wisdom, grace, and yes, even joy! A must-read for expectant and experienced mothers, as well as anyone seeking a deeper understanding for how the love of God shows up in the meaningful labor of childbirth.”

– Courtney B. Ellis

Holy Labor: Book Review

EXPECTANT

“What if pregnancy did more than change our bodies; what if it transformed our hearts? In a tone that feels like a warm conversation with a dear friend, Heather Cofer encourages us to see pregnancy as an opportunity to bring God glory. Let her words encourage you to worship the Life Giver as you prepare to welcome new life.”

– ERIN DAVIS

Expectant Book

REDEEMING CHILDBIRTH

The Postpartum Fog: The Week After Birth, Taking Time to Heal from Pregnancy and Birth - Postpartum Care, Not Every Pregnancy is the Same - Encouragement from a Mom of Seven, I'm Pregnant and my Youngest is Almost 5!, and more!

Redeeming Childbirth Content

READY TO CONNECT?

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Birth Plan Basics

launch into planning your birth with these easy-to-use resources

Should I Write a Birth Plan?

"Are birth plans for everyone?" "What happens if my doctor doesn't like my birth plan?" "People tell me writing a birth plan will make me feel discouraged... is that true?" In this video, I answer all those questions and more to help you get a better understanding of what a birth plan is, how to make yours, and then how to make it happen in your birth! (Bridget Teyler, Birth Doula)

Preferences > Plans

Childbirth educator Sarah Lavonne shares how to put a birth plan together.

"Wondering how to put together a birth plan? You’re not alone! I like to call birth plans your birth preferences, because as we all know, you can plan for all the things in the world for your pregnancy, labor, birth & postpartum, but it doesn’t always go as planned! It IS important however to know what your preferences are for your labor and birth- to help set you up for the most smooth, empowered and informed labor and birth experience! Don’t get stuck or overwhelmed the day -of with all these decisions and determining how you feel about them, learn now! Don’t know what your options are? Take my childbirth class! I talk you through everything and help you put this together.

In this video, I share with you my top 10 things that should be on your birth preferences list. The essentials- you can have more preferences but to be honest, you’re going to get more response from your nurse and have a higher chance of being satisfied with your birth if you keep it short and sweet! You can have preferences, figure them out, and use this as a communication tool for you and your partner and support team to use through labor."

Free Birth Plan Tool

Earth Mama’s Free Birth Plan is a list intended to be a conversation-starter between you and your health care provider — so you can find answers to questions you didn’t even know you had! Because when it comes to birth preparedness, you might be too tired, excited or overwhelmed to even know where to begin. Which, let’s be honest: is totally normal. - Earth Mama Organics

Birth Prep: What's Most Important?

having a spirit-filled, calm, comfy birth

Preparing for birth can be simple or elaborate, fun or overwhelming, and it can at times burden us, making it a challenge for peace and joy to fill our hearts. Keep these 3 priorities at the center of your planning for your best whole pregnancy & birth experience!

1. Prep Your Heart

With labor on the horizon, we want to do everything we can to prepare for a safe, healthy and stress-free delivery. But what starts as good desires for well-laid plans, can quickly become an unhealthy idol of control. We start to think that if we just get the right method, the right classes, the right scents, the right sounds, the right environment and the right helpers, then we are nearly guaranteed the birth of our dreams. In this episode, Emily and Laura share their high expectations from previous pregnancies, seeking to understand how our good desires intersect with hope in God's good plans. Because ultimately, our identities aren't wrapped up in how we gave birth, but to whom we belong.

2. Don't Bow Down to Your Birth Ball

"In a moment when my heart should have swelled with unobstructed joy that our child was born, I sulked. In a moment when my eyes should have looked to heaven in wonder that God would be so gracious to me, I wept angrily. My will had not been done, and that bugged me."

3. All You Need is... Faith?

"Sometimes people (even pastors) say things like, “just have faith” and “you’ve just gotta believe” and “claim it in Jesus’ name,” and THEN good things will happen to you. They teach that, “if you have enough faith,” God has amazing things waiting for you, just around the corner. Sometimes as moms, we can unknowingly take this false prosperity gospel and overlay it on our parenting."

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