Viewing entries tagged
baby

New owners?! Oh, no!!

1 Comment

New owners?! Oh, no!!

 

 

"New owners?! Oh, no!! I heard all these great things about Issaquah Doula - are they still true??"

 

Yes! No worries. It's true, a new team is continuing the Issaquah Doula mission... and you can still believe all the great things you've heard about us!

 

We are committed to providing amazing support to families, babies, and professional doulas. Our job is to connect you with each other, and to take care of the boring stuff so that you can focus on the important part: Your Family!!

Our mission is to provide non-judgmental support to families - before, during, and after your baby is born.  We support you emotionally and physically, the way you want.

Your baby, your birth experience, your first year with your new baby. We leave our opinions at home - we won’t judge or question your choices or your philosophies. We’re here to support you and your baby, whatever you need!

Professional Doulas - it’s not an easy job, and it takes a lot to be a great doula. We have enormous respect for the doula community and all the doulas who have supported so many families and babies over the years. We’re here to support doulas, too!

Our Fearless Leader is Christi Nixon - PALS and ProDoula certified, and committed to excellence, professionalism, and caring. In upcoming posts, we’ll tell you more about Christi, and introduce the rest of the team. Meanwhile, we are here for you!

1 Comment

You Are Not A Statistic

You Are Not A Statistic

Every new year is an opportunity to compile statistics from the last. I see them broadcasted all over the Internet the first few days of the new year. It's disgusting. I wonder how those clients feel about suddenly being seen only as a number? As a successful outcome? As a negative one? Who decides what is a successful birth outcome? 

You do.  

My agency does not keep track of birthing statistics. There is absolutely no reason. Every birth is different and there is no right or wrong way to bring a baby into this world.  

I have read the comments on such posts trying to determine why the stats were posted in the first place. It became obvious: They want to be able to show clients how good of a doula they are! I saw comments on these Stat Posts that read "Good job!" "Those are great numbers" and "Keep up the good work!"  

Are you serious right now? Those stats seem to be posted for one reason. Self-satisfaction. And that's just gross. Those births are not about US! 

"But studies have shown that birthing with a doula provides a greater outcome!" Who decides what great is?! I'm so tired of OTHER people telling families what birth "should" be like.  

Non-Medicated, Epidural, Planned C-Section, Emergency C-Section, TOLAC, in a house with a mouse! We will support you here AND there. We will support you anywhere. And in any capacity.

As a professional doula, we are trained to provide 100% nonjugmental, unbiased support to every client. Period.  

Perhaps a great interview question would be, "Will you be recording my birth outcome as a statistic for future clients?" 

Our answer? Absoluely not.  

The WHO's who of Placenta Encapsulation

The WHO's who of Placenta Encapsulation

Looking for somebody to encapsulate your placenta? The Issaquah Doula agency currently has the ONLY TWO Postpartum Placenta Specialists north of Olympia. 

But there are plenty of placenta encapsulators throughout King County right?  

True.  

So what makes Issaquah Doula stand out?  

YOUR SAFETY. YOUR HEALTH. YOUR PEACE OF MIND. oh and this little diddy by the World Health Organization:

According to the World Health Organization's Guidelines for the Safe Transport of Infectious Substances and Diagnostic Specimens the following practices should be observed:

  1. Specimen containers should be watertight and leak-proof
  2. If the specimen container is a tube, it must be tightly capped and placed in a rack to maintain it in an upright position
  3. Specimen containers and racks should be placed in robust, leak-proof plastic or metal transport boxes with secure, tight fitting covers
  4. The transport box should be secured in the transport vehicle
  5. Each transport box should be labeled appropriately consistent with it's contents
  6. Specimen data forms and identification data should accompany each transport box
  7. A spill kit containing absorbent material, a chlorine disinfectant, a leak-proof waste disposal container and heavy duty reusable gloves should be kept in the transport vehicle

Issaquah Doula loans you a kit and takes your safety a STEP FURTHER and only processes your placenta in YOUR home. 

Since you are responsible for the transportation of your placenta from your chosen place of birth to the safest environment after, (your own home) you are 100% guaranteed that the placenta being processed (and ingested by you) is in fact the one that nourished your baby.  

No other encapsulator of placentas can guarantee that.

If it is being processed in a "work space" or their own home kitchen, YOU WILL HAVE DOUBT. Doubt that the placenta belongs to you, doubt of their handling process, doubt of their sanitation and equipment. Just as a child's top can make you dizzy, so can the list of encapsulators in our area. 

The training and standards that Issaquah Doula instills within their agency supersedes this dizzying collection. We are deliberate and intentional with raising the bar within our community.  

Why?  

Because your safety, health, and peace of mind are OUR priority.  

Birthing at Swedish Hospitals

Birthing at Swedish Hospitals

On average 9,000 babies are born annually within the four Swedish facilities here in the PNW.  

Each Issaquah Doula typically spends upwards of 18 hours with each of their clients with prenatal and postnatal visits including the duration of the birth.  The time spent with a doula affiliated with the Issaquah Doula agency is valuable. We encourage conversations about your birthing and parenting philosophies and we take time to determine what comfort measures will suit you best. Your doula will be an integral part of your birthing team, not only supporting you but your partner as well. 

A lot of our clients are delivering at the Swedish hospitals throughout King County (First Hill, Ballard and Edmonds), but most notably here in Issaquah. The relationships that have been built on professionalism and the bridges that have been constructed with care have taken time and effort. The midwifery staff, nursing staff and doctors have been welcoming and receiving of the Issaquah Doula agency.  

Keeping up to date and knowledgeable about the hospital policies is key for a doula to work in synchronicity with the hospital staff. The doulas affiliated with the Issaquah Doula agency have been given the tools to obtain such policies and the outcomes have been glorious. Swedish Hospitals throughout the greater Seattle area have benefited from the doulas affiliated with the Issaquah Doula agency. Each month Issaquah Doula participates in the Midwifery Centering class. Teaching the expecting parents about the roles of a doula and answering questions. The Issaquah Doula agency has carried out many conversations with Swedish staff and attended the on-site Breastfeeding Drop-In to determine the community's need for a Postpartum Support Group, now another faucet of care and support for our growing community. 

My agency has a ProDoula foundation. Each of the affiliated doulas have been trained/certified by ProDoula.  The certification process is extensive and leaves each doula with a better understanding of the facilities she works at with her clients, along with being CPR & First Aid certified. 

Our Postpartum Placenta Specialists have the highest standards of practice in the industry. We follow strict guidelines set forth by the World Health Organization and we are the only Postpartum Placenta Specialists who can guarantee that the placenta you are consuming is in fact the one you birthed, since you are responsible for its transportation and we process inside your home.  

I aligned my agency with the doula certifying organization that understands the value of professionalism within our industry. I aligned with ProDoula to instill strength into my community. I chose ProDoula doulas for my agency because professionalism and compassion are the core values in my philosophy. 

When you hire through Issaquah Doula, your doula's backup is built in.  That means that essentially you are hiring the whole team. We are able to collaborate on ideas, gather information and provide you with the comfort and support you need to have a fantastic pregnancy, labor, birth and postpartum period.  The moment you sign a contract through the Issaquah Doula agency, your contracted doula is available to support you via phone, text, email or in person. There is no waiting until you are full-term, we are there from day one and we will remain by your side for as long as you desire. 

Having the team of Issaquah Doulas at your beck and call leads to a desirable postpartum period.  You may parent with confidence in knowing that your Issaquah Doula supports all of your choices and she will become an extension of you and/or your partner. 

The fluidity of support by extending your care by utilizing the expertise of a postpartum placenta specialist,  knowledge and comfort of a postpartum doula allows the transition into parenthood to be as seamless as possible. Our postpartum doulas are trained to recognize behavior that falls outside the range of normal. She will help care for your newborn, your older children and teach you newborn tricks that correspond with your parenting philosophies while preparing delicious meals for your family. Our Postpartum Doulas also provide Overnight support so that you may rest. 24 hour live-in care is also available.  

The training and continued education our doulas receive is standard within the Issaquah Doula agency. The team of doulas meets regularly to stay current in our field. The doulas affiliated with the Issaquah Doula agency are professionals. Each of us are providing for our families and we understand the importance in our role as your doula. Our commitment to excellence puts you first. 

The ProDoula family extends it's on going support to all their doulas and by maintaining professionalism with the nations most progressive, and compassionate doula certifying organization you can have confidence in the doulas you hire through the Issaquah Doula agency.  Choosing to hire through the Issaquah Doula agency provides you with doulas who were trained by the same certifying organization, implementing the cohesive and professional support you deserve. 

You are our number one priority. You have the opportunity to attune and connect with our affiliated doulas. Our agency doulas provide you with support, education, information and validation. We trust in your ability to birth. We believe in your choices. We hope you choose to hire through Issaquah Doula; where you will find integrity within the care you will receive from one of our agency doulas. We will surpass all of your expectations. 

The Issaquah Doula agency is your leading professional support and we look forward to serving your family! 

 

 

 

 

With Pride

With Pride

To Whom it May Concern,

Recently Ina May Gaskin and many others signed an Open Letter to MANA (Midwives Alliance of North America) that requested a change of vocabulary used in their organization's Core Competencies document. 

The document has replaced words like "woman" with the updated and politically correct "pregnant individual" and "birthing parent".

These changes however have created quite a stir and thus the Open Letter was created and signed by many.  

I will not be signing that letter.  

The foundation of the letter is biology and women's oppression and autonomy regarding birth. What I don't understand is the need to exclude others who also identify as being a woman or a birthing person.  

The letter reeks of heterosexism.  

I can't imagine working in this industry, one that is based on nonjudgmental support, only to turn my back on fellow humans by signing and agreeing with the Open Letter.  

The Issaquah Doula agency will never turn our back on you. We support every person and every family. As professionals, using inclusive language is just as important as giving all of our clients the same amazing support.

With Pride, 

Denise Foreman 

Interested in other doulas who stand up to nonsense? Check out these blogs:

Intown Doula & Hamilton Doula Group

 

 

 

Weekend Recipe #1 "Issaquah Doula's PB & Chocolate Cake"

6 Comments

Weekend Recipe #1 "Issaquah Doula's PB & Chocolate Cake"

Being a Postpartum Doula is the best.  I get to help families bond, I get to snuggle babies and I get to cook or bake. 

The Weekend Recipe Blog means you can get in the kitchen too.  

Let's Begin.  

While caring for a family of twins I mentioned to my client (who was in charge of dessert for a weekend event) that I bake cakes. Beautiful and delicious cakes.  So once the babes were asleep I washed my hands and got to work.  

Issaquah Doula's PB & Chocolate Cake

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a bundt pan. Mix all dry ingredients first, then add the wet ingredients stirring until smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake on center rack for about 45 minutes. Use the dry toothpick method to be sure.  

Chocolate Cake

1  3/4 c. Flour

2 c. Sugar

3/4 c. Powdered Cacoa  

2 tsp. Baking Soda

1 tsp. Baking Powder

1 tsp. Salt

*************** 

2 Eggs

1 c. Milk

1/2 c. Oil (I used canola) 

8oz. Coffee

2 tsp. Vanilla

Once slightly cooled, remove from pan and place in freezer. Time to start the frosting and ganache.  

Frosting - Using a stand or hand mixer whip together until smooth:

8oz. Cream Cheese  

1/2 Stick of Butter, softened

1 tsp. Vanilla

1 c. Peanut Butter (I used chunky)

2 Tbs. Heavy Cream

1 lb. Powdered Sugar

Ganache - Use a double-broiler method for the ganache. In the top pot add ingredients and stir until smooth and creamy. Remove from heat as soon as it's done:

8oz. Semi-Sweet or Dark Chocolate Chips

1/2 c. Peanut Butter

1 tsp. Vanilla

2 Tbs. Heavy Cream

Remove cake from freezer and place upside-down on a pretty dish. Coat the cake with the PB cream cheese frosting, be generous! Once done, gently pour the PB ganache over the top and help it drip down to make it look fancy.  

Unwrap a bunch of miniature PB cups and slice them in half to encircle the cake base. Chop up the remainder and sprinkle on top.  

Store in fridge until ready to serve. Don't forget a tall glass of milk.

Interested in hiring Postpartum Support? We'd love to meet you! The Issaquah Doula agency serves families throughout King County Washington.  

 

Issaquah Doula's PB & Chocolate Cake

Issaquah Doula's PB & Chocolate Cake

6 Comments

Placenta Encapsulation

Placenta Encapsulation

When you choose Issaquah Doula to encapsulate your placenta, you can feel confident in the service you will receive.  

As Professional Postpartum Placenta Specialists we are committed to you. We uphold industry standards to ensure the safety and treatment of your placenta.  

Prior to giving birth Issaquah Doula will provide you with a Placenta Transport Kit and contact information so that you may signal us when you deliver. 

According to the guidelines set by the World Health Organization, you need to be responsible for the transport of your placenta. The kit we loan to you has everything you need to safely store and secure your placenta with proper labels and required spill kit accessories.

Once your placenta is safe in your refrigerator your Postpartum Placenta Specialist will arrive and begin the encapsulating process. Using all of our own equipment and only a portion of your countertop, you will hardly take notice. Being trained as postpartum doulas we are devoted to support you during our stay. Perhaps you need breastfeeding support or someone to listen while you recall your birthing experience? We are there. And we are coming back tomorrow! The entire process requires us to share your space for about two hours for two sequential days. 

These extra details matter. Since you were the one storing and transporting your own placenta after delivery, you know that the placenta being processed in your home is in fact the one you birthed. Having a postpartum doula in your home just days after delivery to provide support, education and comfort will be emotionally rewarding to you and your family during this transitional time. With you in mind we use only latex-free gloves and vegetarian capsules. We even take the extra time to wipe off each individual capsule, so that any leftover residue will not be tasted.

Every step to the entire process has been fine tuned with your comfort and safety in mind.  

When you choose Issaquah Doula to encapsulate your placenta, you can feel confident that you've made the right choice. 

Serving all of King County, Washington.  

 

Placenta Transport Kit #nodoubtplacenta 

Placenta Transport Kit #nodoubtplacenta 

Bananas & Babies

1 Comment

Bananas & Babies

Being a postpartum doula is so rewarding. I get to provide comfort, support and nourishment to a family.  

Along with facilitating your bond, I'm in your home helping with chores, helping with baby and helping you. I'm supportive of your parenting choices and I respect them. 

I do not need to be told what to do, I'll see a task and complete it.  

What do I do when the chores are finished and the babies are asleep? I notice the bananas on the counter. The ones you bought with healthy intention. The ones that are a day away from the compost bin.  

Banana Bread.  

Because. Why not?!  

Postpartum Doulas fill your home with support, love and if you're lucky baked goods!! 

Have you had a taste of what a postpartum doula can do for your family? 

1 Comment

MILK

Comment

MILK

I grew up watching my mother breastfeed my younger siblings. It was the normal thing to do in our house.  

When I was ten my parents became Foster Parents and within a few years our home was shared with over 200 children.  

A lot of these children were infants. It was unusual for me, as a young impressionable girl who only knew about Breastfeeding, to watch and to help my mother formula feed. But it became a new normal. I embraced it.  

When I had my first son, I knew without a doubt I'd breastfeed him. And I did.  

With our second, things got complicated. It hurt. My son screamed and my nipples bled.  

Thankfully my neighbor and friend was not only a doula but a LLL Leader! Jula the Doula. She was my saving grace. She helped me try different nursing positions. She brought me lanolin for my sore breasts. She also passed no judgment when I supplemented with formula while I gave my nipples a much-needed rest.  

After the scabs healed and I mentally prepared myself, she was there to help. She showed me how to get that proper latch.  

I never had these difficulties with my firstborn.  

Finally my second child was nursing like a champ.  

By the time our third son made his boisterous appearance I was grateful for the hardships and for the advantageous experiences I'd already endured. I was ready for anything. 

I'm thankful for watching my mother nurture not only my biological  siblings but my foster siblings as well. 

If you need assistance with Breastfeeding or want judgment free support, I'm here to be your "Jula the Doula". 

Comment

Happy Unofficial "World Baby Feeding Week"

Happy Unofficial "World Baby Feeding Week"

That's right. World Baby Feeding Week.  

I think celebrating Breastfeeding should be a thing so long as we also celebrate Formula Feeding. 

What kind of judgment must formula-feeding parents feel this week, during World Breastfeeding Week? I imagine they must feel pretty rotten. 

There are blogs, memes and images all over social media celebrating the breast this week.  

As a doula you may think I'm all about breastfeeding, but as a ProDoula I'm all about you FEEDING your baby. By whatever means YOU choose.  

I've noticed a trend with parenting. Some people think one way to parent is better than another. Someone always has something to say, and it's usually negative. 

Why not band together as parents? We have the same goal! We want to raise a child into an adult. The paths we take to complete this journey, though matter immensely to those taking them, are ours alone. Respect your fellow parent. Breastfeeding or formula feeding, your baby needs to eat.

And you get to choose the way that is best for you!

So that's it.

I'm unofficially announcing "World Baby Feeding Week". 

I celebrate all parents and parenting philosophies.  

If you want to learn more about how my agency can support your parenting choices please feel free to check out our Postpartum Services.  

 

Do Not Touch

Do Not Touch

"Do Not Touch" was recently scribbled on a piece of lined paper and taped to a plastic container in the office refrigerator.  

There's always someone forgetting their lunch and sneaking into your sack to "borrow" your yogurt, apple or sodapop.  

Wouldn't you love to see the surprise in their eyes when they discovered the contents within this particular container?!   

A human placenta.  

Yup.  

A doula took her client's placenta in order to give it to the placenta encapsulator, but first had to go to her new day job for her scheduled shift.  

Solution? Why a piece of paper ordering her co-workers to KEEP OUT of course! 

This is real life.  

But this does not have to be your life. As a PROFESSIONAL Postpartum Placenta Specialist trained by the amazing Deb Pocica and upholding standards set at an industry high by ProDoula, you will have #nodoubt that YOUR placenta is treated with respect, honor and professionalism.  

One of the main differences is we supply our clients with a Transport Kit that meets the World Health Organization's guidelines. You are responsible for the transport, this way your precious placenta NEVER leaves your sight. We arrive to your home to not only process your placenta into encapsulated pills, tinctures and salves, but we are there as Postpartum Doulas. We can answer questions and assist you during this transitional time.  

Our clients are grateful for this professionalism. They know without a doubt that their placenta is in fact the one they birthed and that it was NEVER in a communal refrigerator in jeopardy of being contaminated or worse! 

 

 

The Issaquah Doula agency is proud to uphold ProDoula's high standard of practice here in King county Washington. 

Interested in having your placenta encapsulated? Hire a professional.  

The Baby Whisperer

3 Comments

The Baby Whisperer

If you google "postpartum" you will be overwhelmed with articles relating to depression.  

Postpartum does not always equate to postpartum depression. Instead, postpartum is simply the time after the birth of your child.  

You know, that fog of time that blends together chock-full of crying, diapers, feedings and lack of sleep.  

Did you know that you can hire a Postpartum Doula to support you in this transitional time? 

What does she do? When does she come? How do I hire her?!

Your Postpartum Doula is professionally trained to provide newborn care along with making sure your needs are met. She focuses on your bond, as this is of great importance throughout this time. She is certified in basic life support and first aid. Your Postpartum Doula is happy to help. She may do light housework like: dishes, sanitize bottles, sweep, laundry and straightening up. She can prepare meals for you and your family. Sometimes you forget to eat! She can make easy to grab snacks so you have no excuse. A bowl of hard-boiled eggs, cut up veggies and fruit and maybe even a batch of cookies would make your life so much easier and happier. 

She is trained to recognize signs that are out of the norm and she can refer you to a professional that can meet that need.  

Your Postpartum Doula is an extension of you. She respects and follows your parenting philosophies. She will not arrive in your home with an agenda. Like your Birth Doula, she supports every choice you make.  

Your Postpartum Doula happily works for your family day and night! She can work day shifts with a minimum of four hours and overnight shifts with a minimum of eight. Overnight Doulas gift you with sleep! If you are Breastfeeding, she will bring baby to you and then retrieve baby after their feeding. She will burp, change and soothe your little one back to sleep so you can rest. If you're using formula, you may sleep uninterrupted for the entire night! Your Overnight Doula will care for your baby so you may be prepared to seize the day. Some Postpartum Doulas provide Live-In packages for a few days immediately beginning once you arrive home. This means her support is constant while your family adjusts to life with a newborn. 

The support that your Postpartum Doula provides is tremendous. The postpartum period can be challenging and sometimes leads to postpartum depression. Lots of women have attributed this depression to feeling overwhelmed, exhausted and feeling judged and unsupported. 

Why not ease this transitional time with professional assistance? 

We're here to help. 

3 Comments

I Felt So Alone

Comment

I Felt So Alone

I spent nine whole months preparing for my first baby. I ate right, I kept active and made sure I went to all of my prenatal appointments. After we discovered the baby was a boy, we chose a name (after vetoing a thousand!) We decided to incorporate a Transportation theme into his brand new nursery. Primary colors, trains, trucks and cars! I remember going into his nursery, standing by his empty crib and rubbing my enormous belly. Tears welling up in my eyes because I was just so happy and excited!

We were so prepared! My labor was pretty standard textbook and everything seemed great.

And then...

The hospital allowed us to take this six pound, adorably handsome, fragile human home.

It was scary. I was so afraid. Would I hurt him? Can I do this? Can I be a MOM? Am I normal for feeling this way? What if MY mom knew I was so frightened? What if my husband knew? What a failure I must be. Everyone is thrilled to be a new mom! No way other women feel like this.

My books told me about those Postpartum Baby Blues, and how they are normal and that it lasts for roughly a few weeks. But, there I was, three months in and falling apart.

The generic "How are you?" from the grocer, or co-worker would induce tears. "Fine" was a lie. I was not okay. I was sad. I was anxious. I was depressed.

"But why? Everything in your life is so great. You have a healthy baby! What's there to be upset about?"

I. Don't. Know.

And I still don't know. I'm not a doctor. I don't know why I felt the way I felt. I was loved and supported. There is no rhyme nor reason. It just was.

I sought out help. I spoke to my family doctor who referred me to a therapist. I found that medication and a safe place to talk were very helpful.

Eventually I felt better. I was able to stop the medicine and the counseling.

I am thankful that my husband recognized the signs. He saw that I was down, tired and not wanting to participate in the things we loved. He made it possible for me to not be ashamed.

As a doula, I too can recognize those behaviors and I will be there. To support, to listen and to encourage you to get the help that you need. You are normal. It is okay to feel this way.

Comment

The Morning After...Mother's Day

The Morning After...Mother's Day

 

Have you ever had one of those dreams where a monster is trying to attack you and your voice is trembling and your punch is beyond weak? You keep trying to scream and hit but the monster keeps ascending no matter what. 

I recently had a similar dream. Except I woke up because my voice got loud. Real loud. 

YOU ARE NOT MY MOTHER!

I hollered over and over again, until my husband woke me and held me as I sobbed into his warm body. 

So who was this imposter mother? Why was I still sobbing ten minutes later?

In my dream I confronted this mystery woman. I listed fact after fact the reasoning behind my meloncholy.   How she simply is toxic and harmful to my life. She never shown pride for me. She never had my back. She never will. 

The fear I felt in the pit of my stomach as she ascended toward me was blood curdling. Thinking of it now, it still makes me cringe. It was one of the scariest feelings I've ever felt, asleep or otherwise. 

Why?

Because the monster in my dream IS my mother. 

She once longed for me to arrive. Had a clown themed baby-shower to celebrate me. She once nursed me and sang songs to me. I was wanted. 

But that nightmare I had is my reality. 

She didn't defeat me. I stood up and faced my fear and screamed into it's face with power. With confidence. With pride. 

I am not alone in this. I know there are lots of us motherless mothers. Mother's Day is bittersweet. I'm proud of the mother I've become despite the pitfalls I've endured. I'm saddened that the mother I long for is non-existent. She could never mother the way I need. I have learned through counseling that I have grieved for the loss of her, though she is still alive. I've managed my sorrow with meditation and love. I was taught to mother my children how I wish I was mothered and to not only mother them but to mother myself. If my situation rings true for you too, know that you are incredible. You are special. You are loved. You are wanted. I promise. 

The Joys of Motherhood

Comment

The Joys of Motherhood

This year was our inaugural Mother's Day Essay Contest. I asked for a short essay describing your joys of motherhood. The winner would receive a $50 gift certificate to Jak's Grill, a delicious steakhouse located here in Issaquah.

I read many entries. All of them made me smile, a few brought tears to my eyes! The love you have for your own mothers and the love your children evoke is glorious. Thank you for sharing these with me. I look forward to next year! Happy Mother's Day.

The winner of this year's essay contest is a mother of three; Jill Burk. Her words speak for themselves:

Joys of Motherhood

By: Jill Burk

From my first day as a mother, I was hit with the hard truth that this wasn't going to be all fun and games. I was "gifted" an infant who never slept. Ever. I say "gifted" because in the depths of despair I remember reading that children are gifts from God, and that God will never give you more than you can handle. I don't consider myself a particularly religious person, more of a spiritual type, but it's funny how much more of a relationship I have with God now that I'm a mother. It usually involves me bargaining with him on the toilet, where most of my praying occurs since that is where I can lock the door and have 30 seconds of peace, trying to summon the strength to get through another day. So at age 25, I remember holding this baby and just crying, pleading for him to sleep so that I could get a few precious moments of rest. With days and nights blurring into one another, I remember holding his soft, downy head against my cheek one night and whispering to him how much I loved him, as tears spilled out of my eyes with sheer exhaustion.

For me, these are the moments where I experience the most joys of motherhood. Those moments where you think you will break apart from frustration, where you just want to throw your hands up and say, I'm done with it all, and feel like you want to run away, then you look down and feel a little hand in yours. A hand that is probably sweaty and sticky with who knows what, but that curls itself into yours and a child looking up at you saying, "I love you Mama". Those moments make it all worth it. When the baby you've been rocking for hours finally lets go and drifts off on your shoulder, allowing you a moment to sit down and relax, or when you're potty training your naked toddler and hear a familiar grunt, and leap across all the furniture in your living room like a superhero, in time to catch a little present in your hands before it hits the carpet. Those times where you never thought something was humanly possible, and you were able to accomplish it, most likely while breastfeeding, talking on the phone and cooking dinner at the same time. Those times where you are up the entire night with a sick toddler and nursing an infant thinking to yourself, I just can't go on, but you pour another cup of coffee and keep plodding. Those times where you can hardly recognize the woman you've become, someone who has traded perfect hair and makeup for clothes that have been spit-up on, used as a tissue and as a napkin to wipe messy spaghetti faces. Hair that is thrown up in whatever style that keeps it away from grabby baby fingers.

Those times that you wouldn't trade all of it for the world, because at the end of the day every mother knows there's nothing better than looking at your precious angels, sleeping cozily in their beds, knowing that you successfully made it through another day. Nothing better than curling up in your own amazingly comfortable bed, a bed that you spend far too little time in, telling yourself that if you had the choice, you'd choose motherhood all over again in a heartbeat.

 

Comment

The Doula Revolution

3 Comments

The Doula Revolution

Throughout my life I have been faced with issues that shape me. I often find myself standing up on my handcrafted soap box with my cheerleader megaphone and pouring my heart out for what I believe in. More often than not, I'm left standing all alone. Except for now.

There is a #doularevolution happening. And I'm part of it.

This revolution is shaking the ground all across the country and I am responsible for some of the quakes. See, for many years the role of a doula has been deemed our responsibility to society. Culturally women have gathered around women during childbirth to assist them in this primordial transition from woman to mother. I get it. It's in our nature to nurture. But it's time to evolve.

The destruction of the common misconception is occurring. What is the common misconception? There are a few. First, is the notion that women NEED a doula. Guess what? You don't. Women have been giving birth since the dawn of time and though birthing with the support of a doula has been proven to drastically improve the outcome of the birth, we are not necessary or responsible for it. You WANT a doula. To educate you, to comfort you, to support your birthing and parenting philosophies. You want the luxury we provide. Two, this bizarre idea that doulas should work for free or for pennies. I think this ideal is stemmed from the nature/nurture thing and it's truly devaluing this profession. Yes, you read that correctly. PROFESSION. This is not a hobby. I am not an #oxytocinvampire. I am a ProDoula; and in more ways than one.

So, what's the solution? The plan? My contribution? It's simple.

The solution is to promote doulas across the country as professional, certified, businesswomen and men. Get out from under those prehistoric rocks and value yourself and the women you serve. It's okay to earn a living wage! Doulas work. Hard.

The plan is to increase the living wage of doulas everywhere by elevating the roles of doulas. We are valuable, important and key players in the birth team. We deserve to be compensated for our time. Though you may think the doulas on this money-mission are greedy, take a moment and ponder how they pay for their training, certification, business licenses, insurance, websites, extended education and tools of the trade. Just one client could consume anywhere from 6-46 hours of doula face-time. (sometimes longer!) It is absurd to think she should be away from her family for this time without being paid.

My contribution is to promote this #doularevolution and to shout into my megaphone about how important it is. I may not be the popular vote in my neck of the woods, but like I said before, I'm used to standing alone in my beliefs. The difference is the amount of like-minded support I have from across the globe. Together we are showing the world that we matter. We are making changes. Doulas are succeeding and the ones who balk, badmouth and shame are going to be left trapped in the subterranean bitumen, burned out and broke.

Don't you know it's going to be all right? Yeah. All right!

 

 

 

3 Comments

1st Annual Mother's Day Essay Contest

1 Comment

1st Annual Mother's Day Essay Contest

I want to hear from all the mothers in my community. Share with me your joys of motherhood. Make me laugh or make me cry! Is it those precious bumps, thumps, and butterflies of your baby within? Or when you first heard your little one exclaim, "I love you!" Maybe it was the time you took photos of them with their Prom date? Share those moments with me, and if I choose your essay as the winner, your beautiful story will be featured here on my blog. Plus, Jak's Grill has graciously donated a $50 gift certificate to the winner!

Essay must be no more than 500 words and submitted through email. Send to: issaquahdoula@gmail.com  If a photo is also submitted it may be used online with the feature's announcement.

Entry deadline is April 30. Winner will be announced May 3.

untitled.png

1 Comment

The Doula Guide

Comment

The Doula Guide

A lot of dads have major reservations about hiring a doula. They think she will get in the way, take over his role and maybe even out-shine him during his wife's time of need.

I'm here to tell you these ideas, though valid, are simply not the case.

Think of birth as an exotic trip to a foreign city! The two of you are super excited and can't wait to see all the sights together. But there is a problem. You don't speak the native language and you've never driven on that side of the road before! Solution? You hire a guide. This guide is well versed in the native tongue and has seen all the sights in all their seasons. Your guide can navigate the land with ease and help you choose the best restaurants, comfortable hotel accommodations whilst providing you with the knowledge and history of the town.

Like this guide, a doula can be your interpreter. She is trained and knowledgeable of all those foreign birthy words like; lochia, perineum, ociput posterior, asynclitism, the ring of fire and so much more! She will assist you in becoming knowledgeable yourself; supporting you to make decisions based on what you've learned.

A doula can teach dad how to perform the Double Hip Squeeze and show him different ways to use a Rebozo. A doula can relieve dad while he needs to grab a bite or take a nap; knowing that his wife is taken care of by someone they both know and trust.

One of my favorite parts of birth is witnessing the intimacy between a couple. I'm focused on applying strong counter pressure to mom's back, while dad is forehead to forehead whispering how amazingly, strong and beautiful his wife is. Having a doula there to help dad navigate labor and birth is key.

So, book that trip! Plan for an amazing getaway with the comfort of knowing you will have a trained guide to help you on your way.

Comment

Dare to be Great

Comment

Dare to be Great

We've all seen that awesome 80's movie, Say Anything; the one where he holds up the boombox blasting Peter Gabriel's In Your Eyes, while wearing a fashionable brown trench coat. Did you know it was featured in nearby Seattle? I love movie trivia. In the movie John Cusack's character, Lloyd Dobler remarks, "I am looking for a dare to be great situation."

What's yours?

Is it the way you want to birth your child? At home, in a hospital, in a tub?

Is it the way you choose to feed your child? With your breast or a bottle?

Whatever philosophies you choose, they will be the right ones.

My "dare to be great situation" is to provide you with education, support and strength.  I do this by being your pillar, your shoulder, your doula.

I do see it...in your eyes. You hold the power, the light and the force. You are a mother. You are able. Instead of a boombox, I want to hold up a mirror for you. I want you to see with your own eyes how spectacular you are.

Comment