doula-do: new informational support sessions via skype

i wanted to use this platform to flush out a new service i’ll be offering. you know that feeling you have when you’ve thought of a really good idea but you don’t know if it will actually work? that’s me right now. but i think i just heard someone whisper “if you build it, they will come.” so i’m going for it. oh, wait. that was just my neighbors’ lawnmower. here goes anyway!

since starting the birthwork trail i’ve happily been a resource for a few friends for prep & planning of their own journey into parenthood. i’d like to pat my own back and smugly say that i think i played a small part of positive birth experiences for a few people. smuggy humor aside, helping folks whenever and wherever is what i’m hoping to do with this birthy brain bank up there.

so what’s a doula to do when she’s got friends across the globe with buns in the oven? skype. the answer to all time/space conundrums.

i will now be offering informational sessions over skype to help you prepare, plan & celebrate the birth of your child. for a nominal fee you’ll get a series of 2-hour sessions with me to flush out all things pregnancy related. in short, you’ll basically be getting prenatal doula support even if distance doesn’t allow me to be at your birth with you.

this is perfect for any stage of your pregnancy! i feel it would be especially helpful in the beginning phase when there is a little bit of that “so we’re pregnant! now what?” going on. i will also provide email information back-up to guide you towards good resources.

is this a good idea? yes? if you think so, please feel free to send my info to anyone you know that is expecting even if they are not sure they’re going to need doula care or not. I have included info about the sessions over at columbus birth arts under the birth work section.

so who wants to be first in line? wish me luck.

the cesarean thing

i wish i had something really eloquent to say in regards to the cesarean thing. i’m afraid i don’t. i know i’ve read a good deal of very good, honest & earnest writings in the past month that dig into what i feel is real about c-sections for women. i know my own views on cesarean birth have evolved and i couldn’t be more thankful. what i think we’ve gotten right about the whole situation is letting women have their own voices. women are sharing. whether it’s to process, validate, heal, inform or advocate doesn’t really matter. what matters is we are involved in a big way.

so i have a couple shirts that can help you tell your story. maybe you want to warn other women not to fall prey to the pressure of the medical machine. maybe you want women to know their options. or maybe you want to tell the natural birth cult to stop making you feel like a villain for your surgical birth because some births legitimately require a cesarean for a healthy baby to be placed in your arms. in the end, the best thing we can do for one another is honor birth. we can inform, support, care and assist and most importantly we can honor one another.

so if you feel like voicing yourself and advocating in the passive aggressive form of donning a t-shirt* to speak your message here you go. you’re welcome:

unnecesarean.american-apparel-unisex-tank.white.w760h760necesarean.american-apparel-unisex-tank.white.w760h760honor-birth-tank.american-apparel-unisex-tank.white.w760h760

i also wanted to mention the sale of these t-shirts helps make it possible for me to lower my fees for couples/mothers who want a supported birth but might not be able to afford the full fee. so thank you for supporting me and for supporting them.

basically, buying one of these t-shirts makes you a really good person. bye!

*i actually think t-shirts such as these can be great conversation starters. i am being a bit facetious above.

a day in may

the first day of may was very picturesque here in columbus. today is starting off pretty grand as well. i like what you’re offering so far, may:

 photo 0F28BB34-00AD-4D6C-A7F1-4DB6D74FD16B-4091-0000051621C7107F_zps00fb21d3.jpg photo 9B4AEFDA-2D78-4A1B-B66B-79253E64E2DB-4091-000005161558D1EE_zps96d655a4.jpg photo CDB312D6-C7BF-4E56-A39A-E573DD827EF6-4091-00000516021725A8_zpsc4b6696b.jpg photo 705995BE-13A4-4011-B5A6-55677B8BB4BE-4091-000005162FB2A195_zps67beb84d.jpg photo 5A50299E-DB3D-4E24-A80A-B1FC3D90FB59-4091-000005163F552D5B_zpsf2293ec6.jpg photo 03BD8AF6-295D-439B-9036-C0226EA2FF58-4091-0000051658EE144E_zps5a695da0.jpg

our day included picnic in the park, my first load of laundry out on the line for the year, a prenatal meeting for my june clients, and popsicles and nail painting on the porch. that’s a lot of P activities and it wasn’t on purpose. can you tell darla talked me into letting her paint mine too?  i just had such a good time with her yesterday. it’s during these days that i say in my head “can we just always be this way? can she just stay with me and we’ll read books in the park and go on adventures and she won’t need school, we’ll learn together along the way?”  i guess we’ll find out the answers to those questions in their own time.

actually now that i’ve looked at it longer, sorry about that picture. it’s pretty gross. outdoor feet = funky feet.

may, i give you permission to let all days be just like may day.

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i’ll be posting a few more eco-friendly posts this week in honor of being in the running for Circle of Moms Top 25 Most Eco-Friendly Mom Blogs. If you would be so kind as to vote for me, click on through to the badge below. Thanks!

a gifted doula: a chelsea perkins print

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i received this beautiful print from a client earlier this week. i fell in love with it instantly. i will cherish it all my days.

and i’m happy to announce that the artist, columbus’ own chelsea perkins, is going to let me host a give-a-way of one of her “ode to a mother” prints next week. stay tuned for that announcement to win one of your very own. i’m very excited about it!

in the mean time, head on over to her facebook page and etsy to check out her cute custom prints.

please stop by for the details next week.

{and a public thank you to the thoughtful momma who gave this to me. this truly makes me a “gifted doula” now ;-) }

birth links

some links that my laptop explored lately:

This first link is especially interesting to me because I didn’t even start to like {read: love} the taste of coffee until I became pregnant with Darla. Fortunately, the bakery next to my work had huge self-pour dispensers and I got through with 1/3 caffeinated, 1/3 decaffeinated, 1/3 cream concoctions and kept the caffeine to a minimum. This write-up on a decade long study highlights findings that if you have a more-than-2-cups-a-day habit you’re at risk for low-birth weight babies and prolonged gestation and labor. And check this out: “one daily average cup of coffee lengthened child labor by as much as eight hours.”  Is that reason enough to switch to decaf?

Evidence Based Birth is live-blogging the NIH Consensus Conference on Diagnosing Gestational Diabetes.

I’m considering swinging into the old stomping grounds in September for the Rally to Improve Birth. September will be my month off birthwork due to other commitments so why not just make the most of it. Or maybe Columbus will have their own rally. We’ll see!

and lastly,

Who loves infographics? Lovely graphic on birth settings and research in the US. Let’s just go ahead and include it. pay special attention the average cost of birth in a hospital vs. a birth center. i’ve been in lots of lovely hospitals now that have provided great care to moms but i think we can agree that lowering the average cost of birth is something our healthcare system desperately needs:

Source: iom.edu via Elaine on Pinterest

full moon baby

i pulled out of the parking lot last night and onto the road. my first real look at the horizon revealed an absolutely stunning full moon on the rise. it was crimson turning golden and it was huge. a perfect round sphere and it seemed closer than i can recently remember.

i couldn’t help but think of the couple i had just witnessed become parents. i couldn’t help thinking about how similar that crimson sphere looks to the first glimpse of a new life pushing his way into the world. i couldn’t help thinking about how awesome it is to have your child born on the night of a gorgeous moonrise like that, having the celestial bodies sending their blessings. not that the new parents were viewing it. they had much more precious sights to behold.

but it was a moment of immense gratitude for me.

i sound really hippy dippy when i talk about birth. i get that. one of my clients told me recently i’m a little “new age-y.” i’ll take it. the thing is, i love birth work. i absolutely love it. it excites me and gets me closer to my deep love for humanity.  it makes me feel connected. yes, i do actually believe there is a connection between that new life, that courageous and strong mother, that supportive father and that beautiful full moon. i really do.

and let me tell you, if you can’t find that excitement for yourself about your birth then that may be why you need me. if you can’t see or feel the connectedness of it all then you really need me. this is not a call of judgement here. this is simply something i have to offer you and if you need help getting there, then i’m your gal.

blessing

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i was invited to a client’s mommy shower this past weekend. the hostess conducted a bead blessing ceremony in which each attendee contributed a bead to the mother and gave her a blessing. then the mom can string them all together to wear as a necklace/bracelet for her labor, birth and transition of the new family dynamic. it was an incredibly sweet event and i hope to conduct a mommy shower for friends in the future to be able to do this again.

my blessing, coming from the doula’s perspective, was that the mother finds her power in surrender. it’s something birth has taught me that i try to remind myself daily. so much about our modern world is about control. sometimes surrender is our greatest power.

birth linkz

just a few birthy links and reads for you for some weekend reading pleasure:

A new article highlighting the findings of the National Birth Center Study II. the study shows profound evidence that more of our mommas should have access to birth centers:

Evidence for Birth Centers One of the most important findings of this study was that more than 9 out of 10 women (94%) who entered labor planning a birth center birth achieved a vaginal birth. In other words, the C-section rate for low-risk women who chose to give birth at a birth center was only 6%—compared to the U.S. C-section rate of 27% for low-risk women.

and some more good news that the number of birth centers and parents opting for birth center care is on the rise: 5 Reasons Birth Centers Have Met Their MomentAccording to the AABC, the number of centers in the United States has grown by 27% in just the past 3 years, accelerating a growth trend that has been seen for decades. 

and lastly, a W. Eugene Smith photo essay from LIFE magazine from 1951 about Maude Callen, a South Carolina nurse and midwife. I hope people can see past the “poor porn” aspect of these photos because what i see is a great sense of community. Maude was a pioneer nurse midwife. My favorite photo is #8 and also #29.

happy reading. have a fantastic weekend.

teez

starting up your own doula business is anything but lucrative. since i’m broke, i’m going for broke and putting a little project of mine out there into the universe and webiverse. I designed a few t-shirts that i think are pretty simple and cute. I designed them with a Columbus business called Skreened {yay local business!}. if you’re looking for a conversation starter or a way to proudly display your doula status then maybe check them out and get one or two or five. smiley wink wink. i of course get a little kick back. linkage is over there on the side or you can find them here.

stay tuned for more designs and sales updates soon. My first two purchases pictured below: doula tank photo doulatank_zpsad1bfa00.jpg

doula tee photo doulatee_zpsdc2a36e2.jpg

and this.

dear santa,

please, please bring me this. i will wear it proudly around my neck while helping parents bring their babies into the world.

smiles.

pregnantbelly

i wasn’t going to do another post about an material item that i want but this is sort of a celebratory post. i just got to witness another amazing birth. and this time something just clicked. i’ve been grooving along on this path for a while but today pieces fell into place. momma’s got a whole new bag of tricks.

today is the day i became a doula.