Every Mother Counts: My Birth Story


I had the immense pleasure of meeting Christy Turlington Burns, super model and mother at Alt Summit in January. She shared her birth story and how she came her Every Mother Counts organization.  I knew right away I had to get involved.


(NOTE TO SELF- do not ever have your photo taken next to a super model, especially while wearing a cookie monster fur vest…UGH) 


In honor of Mother’s Day I am sharing my birth stories of when I became a mother.


January 19th, 2001

The birth of Nancy Violet Phillips “Violet”

I sure look sad. Not actually sure why that is, I was just exhausted.  In hindsight, I realize how amazingly lucky I am to have three safe deliveries in the comfort of clean hospitals with well trained doctors and staff.

All three of my children were delivered about a week early. I developed slight Pre-eclampsia during the later stages of each pregnancy.  My physician decided it would be prudent watch the conditional closely and deliver early through inducing me.  I arrived at Carolina Medical Center at 7am on January 19th, 2001.  I was checked into a room, changed and settled in to my doctor starting pitocin and breaking my water. All within an hour or two of arriving.  Soon after this, I started contractions, and the pain grew.  Next, the anethesiologist came and inserted the epidural. It was uncomfortable to have him tap into the spine but certainly welcomed. The pain went away and the delivery progressed steadily until I was 10 centimeters at around 5:45 pm. At the appropriate time many nurses gathered in the room with Dr Palermo. I started pushing and in 2 pushes my baby girl was out.  It was a breeze.   

After the delivery the next several hours were all a blur. They cleaned up my baby, checked her and all was well. I was so blessed to have had a safe delivery. My blood pressure remained elevated for a few weeks but soon returned to normal. The most stressful part was going home with our beautiful baby girl and realizing I had no idea what in the world I was supposed to do next.  Of coursed that feeling eventually passed and all was well. 


October 11th, 2006

The birth of Virginia Valentine Phillips “Gigi”



What a fun thing to go back these pictures and feel the gratitude I have for all the blessings that have been bestowed upon me. Bo, my son, is in the top pictures from soon after his birth in January 2003. 




As we celebrate the fact that with each and every child’s birth, a mother is also born, we also keep in mind that this Mother’s Day, like every other day of the year, 800 women will lose their lives during what should be a joyous and empowering experience—becoming a mother.

That’s one woman every 2 minutes.

But it doesn’t have to be that way: 90% of these deaths are preventable.  A

nd who better to help make that change than mothers themselves?

Now here is where you come in.

We are asking mothers, mothers of mothers, sisters of mothers, friends of mothers and so on to Take 2 minutes to Take 2 actions that will help us raise awareness and resources that will support mothers and mothers-2-be globally.

Do you want to get involved?

There are many ways including:

Screen Shot 2014-04-27 at 6.50.39 PM

Screen Shot 2014-04-27 at 6.44.31 PM

Tell your birth story. One of the most important things you can do is to use your voice because so many other girls and women can’t use theirs. By simply telling your own birth story, you are helping to raise awareness about maternal health.

Whether you breezed through, suffered a complication or are just grateful for the care you received, you share a bond with mothers everywhere and by sharing your story with us on social media, you can play a critical role in recruiting your own network to join us at Every Mother Counts.

Screen Shot 2014-04-27 at 6.49.53 PM

Make your miles count! Whether through a 5k race, a marathon, or even your own daily walk around the neighborhood,
you can help improve the health of other women when you take control of your own.
View our list of upcoming races for the year and email us to check availability.To fundraise, click here. to set up your own race fundraising page.
If you’re not quite ready for a full race, sign up for Charity Miles, a free app for your iPhone or Android that lets you
earn 25¢ per mile for Every Mother Counts, whenever you run OR walk, and 10¢ per mile whenever you bike.Anyone who raises $500 or more for a race they are running will receive an Every Mother Counts racing singlet.


Screen Shot 2014-04-27 at 6.50.05 PM


A half-million mobile phones are discarded in the U.S. every day & pollute the environment with tons of plastic & toxins. Recycle yours to help improve maternal health.
HOPE PHONES recycles your old phones and uses the funds to purchase mobile technology on the local market in countries around the world with high maternal mortality rates.The phones are then put in the hands of health workers to help them connect patients with clinics, collect and transmit health data, and call for transport to ensure women get to a health facility when they need to.

Collect all your old cell phones (even ones that don’t work).
No need to include chargers
or accessories

Package them all in a padded envelope and print out
this pre-paid shipping label
– it’s free!
Engage your community to recycle their old phones:


Screen Shot 2014-04-27 at 6.50.15 PM

We created a list of some volunteer-friendly organizations we know of or have learned about through our community. While we do not have any volunteer opportunities at Every Mother Counts at this time, we hope you will explore some of the following groups. We also welcome your suggestions so please add to this list and share your experiences with us.
The Afya Foundation – Volunteers sort medical supplies, fundraise and do projects that require specific training to expand services and delivery of goods to underserved populations.
Forever Angels Baby Home in Mwanza, Tanzania cares for orphaned and disadvantaged babies and children.Volunteers needed for childcare, teaching, nursing, physiotherapy, psychology, massage and plumbers, electricians, carpenters, farmers and gardeners.
The Foundation for African Medicine & Education (FAME) Africa provides on-site care and mobile medicine in Tanzania, as well as sponsorship and volunteer opportunities.
Global Health Corps provides yearlong paid fellowships to work on the frontlines for global health. Maternal health placements include JHPIEGO,  Marie Stopes Intl.,  mothers2mothers, & Planned Parenthood.
Midwives for Haiti educates Haitian women and men to provide prenatal care and skilled birth assistance.Volunteer midwives needed to assist in training and on-site work.
Seed Global Health is a public-private organization partnered with the Peace Corps to provide direct medical care, expert technical support and medical and nursing education in resource-poor settings.
The Shanti Uganda Society provides care for birthing mothers and women with HIV/AIDS in Uganda. They need volunteer midwives & women’s health professionals, but others are welcome.

Screen Shot 2014-04-27 at 6.50.24 PM

NO WOMAN, NO CRY is a gripping documentary that tells the personal stories of pregnant women and their caretakers in four different countries as they try to avoid the barriers of maternal heath.


Drawn into the issue by her own experiences as a mother and inspired by the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goal 5 (MDG 5) — to reduce maternal mortality by 75% by the year 2015, Christy Turlington Burns tells her own harrowing birth story and then sets out to see firsthand what can be done to prevent so many women from dying. The film subtly points to four different types of barriers to care that prevent many pregnant women from getting the care they need to survive their pregnancies: physical barriers in Tanzania, cultural barriers in Bangladesh, legal barriers in Guatemala, and bureaucratic barriers in the U.S.
Plan a small gathering in your home or talk to someone at your school, university or conference about screening the film on a larger screen for a bigger group.

Here is the trailer to the movie,  “No Woman, No Cry.”



For intimate screenings in your home, download from iTUNES or stream from AMAZON,  HULU, NETFLIX
For institutional and educational public screenings, please CONTACT US.
DOWNLOAD screening guide for more detailed instructions.
Screen Shot 2014-04-27 at 8.21.32 PM
Screen Shot 2014-04-27 at 8.09.45 PM
Screen Shot 2014-04-27 at 8.09.30 PM
Screen Shot 2014-04-27 at 8.10.01 PM



I urge you to go to Every Mother Counts and get involved.  Please take 2 actions on your own.

Even sharing the message on social media.

Be sure to subscribe to THE ENGLISH ROOM for extra news, giveaways and discounts.
Please make sure you “like” The English Room on Facebook.
Follow  @theenglishr on Twitter
Follow Holly Phillips @ The English Room on Pinterest
Follow The English Room in Tumblr
Follow The English Room on Instagram
Follow me on KEEP too!
Please feel free to contact The English Room if you are interested in our interior design services in Charlotte or beyond.