weekending

this weekend was superb. lots of things made me happy. here’s a few:

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^^^ 1. sunshine and a girl who loves skygazing.  2. sunshine and my new doula shirt  3. all dressed up with someplace to sparkle.  4, 5, & 6 growing things and finished projects. ^^^

i hope yours was superb as well. good luck with monday.

waiting on a baby; birth doula style

i’ve been waiting patiently for that phone call. my client has been having her warm-up contractions for several days now. she’s well within her due month so, yes, it’s just a fun waiting game for baby and momma’s body to know what time is the right time.

i rightly declined a trip to indiana for an important family event and have been waiting to spring into action these past few days. i tried going to bed early in anticipation of getting up in the middle of the night. no call. i tried going to bed late thinking that it’s because i was going to bed too early and the universe wanted to catch me off guard. because clearly this is all about me here, right?

no call.

since neither of those tactics have worked so i’m just taking the time to mediate on my gratefulness that the momma is being a champ and patiently waiting through each of these warm-up episodes, trusting in her body and baby.

this is what i signed up for. i wouldn’t have it any other way, except that i’m really hoping my life path takes me closer to my family so i could be there for both my family and my clients. yes, i said it indiana folks. i put it out into the universe. i’m hoping someday i will be a HOOSIER again and help you all birth your babies. HOOSIER DOULA? {seriously indiana friends – who’s your doula?}

well, i haven’t tried going to bed in the afternoon yet so i think i’ll do that and see if that works. g’night!

ps. it’s fun watching me figure all this “doula stuff” out, isn’t it?

i need help

y’all, i just sent in my payment for my last requisite class for my birth doula certification. the class will be in April, almost 2 years from the day that i supported my first birth. i am beyond excited to be so close to having this life goal completed. beyond excited to be certified and have some credentials to add to my street cred.

i recently watched an interview with Miranda July for the Makers series in which she stated “whatever you put energy into grows. if you want something to grow you must put your energy into it.”  well, that’s a paraphrase.  the past 6 months have been a period of immense growth for me in my birth work path. i’ve put all my energy into it and i’m ready to blow up. i really want to get deep into this world and support as many families as I can. I took a minute to read my astrological profile this morning and it said When Aries sets her sights on a goal, it becomes an all-enveloping quest.

That is how i feel. I feel that i’ve been scratching away, clawing at this goal for two years. i feel i’ve almost exhausted my energy in trying to inch this goal along. In turn, it has been rewarding when movement forward has been accomplished.

but i’ve come to the point where i have to give some of it up. what i mean is i have to relinquish this feeling of doing this on my own. my astrological profile also says this: Aries strives for independence, and success is defined by a series of distinctive or high-reaching personal achievements.

So, I want to make myself vulnerable right now and ask for your help, which isn’t easy for me because the stars even state that i’m an independent lady, but we all know being strong entails knowing when to ask for help.

Please share my info, please consider me for your own labor support team, please keep me in your thoughts and send me your good energy. i will send you mine. i’m trying to focus on finding the path the universe has laid out for me and relinquishing my ideas of what that path should be. but maybe with your help, i’ll meet more families and achieve these high-reaching personal achievements.

thank you.

http://www.ColumbusBirthArts.com

http://www.facebook.com/ColumbusBirthArts

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

bizness of being born

well, this week was a fantastic one in my world. i supported two couples in three days and saw two sweet baby boys born into the world. i’m so thoroughly excited to do more of this work.

my lessons this week were about the institution of birth. yes, the business of being born. the care providers, nurses & doctors, i interacted with this week were some of the best i’ve worked with thus far. these births lifted my heart and left me feeling “yes, this is the way it should be. we really are all in this together.” in short, it gave me a little hope for the future of birth. {i’m still fairly new so just let me bask in these hopeful moments. i need them right now.}

these doctors really let these mothers birth their babies. i tell you there is nothing more awe-inspiring than watching a mother tap into her instincts and bring her baby into the world. it feels great to witness nurses, women who see birth many times a day, discussing how inspired they were by a client’s birth. having experienced some callous and controlling doctors with my daughter’s birth, it fills me with hope when i witness doctors go to lengths to honor their patients’ wishes and treat them with respect.

i’m just happy to be part of the equation, making a difference where i can. please keep making babies people. i hope you’ll invite me in to help. it’s a real honor. and yes, birth work truly is my jam.

Source: skreened.com 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

winningz

managrabbag

midwife bag

my MANA prize package came yesterday. Woot Woot! lots of good stuff in there that made me very stoked. I’m looking forward to adding some of these to my doula bag. i haven’t watched Penny Simkin’s Comfort Measures for Childbirth since my training weekend so i’ve got some new and old study materials to visit. I’m very thankful to MANA for holding such a great giveaway and thankful to the universe that i was the recipient.