In Awe….

Today I’ve slowed down. Today feels like a really great day to reflect on a busy month. There have been many beautiful things happen in the last month that I know are being organized by something greater then me and I’m in awe of that power. It kinda feels like after this long cold winter, spring has arrived inside of me too and if I let it, it will bloom in amazing ways.

I have met some absolutely wonderful women and am building friendships with people who share my passions and understand my life. I have always felt blessed by the special friendships in my life, and now even more so. To be surrounded by amazing neighbors, to meet fascinating birth professionals, and to see my children grow in their friendships is so special.

As I look back over the past month I see gatherings of friends, Doula presentations, playdates, baby visits, newspaper articles (Yes, one more for Red Deer coming April 23), networking of professionals, visits with the elderly, connecting with my hubby,  ladies nights, family gatherings and as the sunshine finally starts to melt the snow, a new found hope and energy for challenges in my days.

But this last week has special importance to me. Last week we said goodbye to a wonderful lady of almost 95years. Dean’s grandma had a long beautiful life, suffered very little and was visited by those important to her in her last few days. Only in the last few years was she in need of minimal care. She was a strong women, born in a blizzard one evening in 1919 at home, a premie, whom when the doctor saw her said she might not make it. But she proved them wrong, and I think her whole life she was an amazing women. So we say goodbye and celebrate her life.

And just as the saying goes the circle of life continues, I received an important call. An unexpected call as it came much sooner then anticipated. Last week I was told my certification is complete, and I can now call myself a Certified Birth Doula. I can now present myself as Christa Duquette – CD(DONA) – meaning Certified Doula with Doulas Of North America.  A new  chapter of my life is beginning as someone else’s comes to a close. How can we not be in awe of that?

Life is strange, sometimes we feel like we will not survive the winter, and other times the sky opens up and shines down on us. If we can only remember in the dark that the light will shine again, then we can get through that dark. I am now continuing on my journey of life, of careers, of motherhood, of marriage and of friendships. I feel like I can let it just be and go the path I am meant to for I am being guided and I want that to continue. I want to grow in knowledge, in peace, and in passion. I hope to see my business grow so that I can reach more women and their families and serve them in the way I am meant to do.

In honour of my celebration of a life, of my certification and my new business plan, today I donated to a cause that spoke to my heart. Samaritans purse allows you to gift to certain areas of service and this one spoke to me:

Provide critical prenatal care for expectant mothers.
1 Safe Birthing kit for a birth attendent in a remote community
Medical training for a birth attendant or local midwife
As I begin my journey as a Certified Doula, I want to know that I have helped someone else on their own journey through my donation.
Thank you so much for all your support, thank you friends and family and especially my husband. I look forward to the years to come. Today I feel renewed and peaceful. What a wonderful day for reflection and celebration. Easter is around the corner and I think it will have even more meaning for me this year! Cheers!
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It’s another Birth……day.

Another whole year has gone by. Wow. Happy Birthday Me. I told my Dad last night that I’m fairly certain as we get older the years go by faster. At least it seem that way. So much has happened this past year that is wonderful to celebrate. My baby boy turned 1, I attended 7 amazing births, we went on Family trips, Holidays with a friend, and at last the harvest is in the bins for another year. So much to be thankful for, much to look forward to.

But today I want to do one thing. I want to acknowledge the women who worked so hard to bring me into this world, and the man who stood by her side always as they witnessed the birth of their first born. To my Mom and Dad on this anniversary of my Birth Day, THANK YOU! And thank you for everything after that until this day. Your love, support, understanding and for being brave in trouble times. Thank you. Today it is my wish that you two know how much I love you and how thankful I am for all the hard work you did for me AND my brothers.

Love your Daughter.

PS. Expect a phone call from me also : )

Back in the saddle…

Today I get to jump back on the horse per say, and bring back a role I have not had for a while. I think the entertainer in me is very excited. The practical part of me is worried if I can do it again, but as I complied my music cd, the music called to me. Yes it’s time to SLOWLY get back to Bellydancing.  After almost two years away due to my pregnancy and birth of my third child, I am really to take on that role again in a small way.

I was (and still am) a professional bellydancer, part of a troupe and have danced at many events. Most of all I miss the ladies who I consider my dance family, and I look forward to seeing them again soon. But I do have to take it slow.  It is a big time commitment and with three kids I found I needed to be home more, my husband needed me home more, and I’ve learned that I need to make sure I don’t over commit. That all being said, about a month ago I really missed Dance; The music, the ladies, the costumes, the exercise and the way it made me feel to perform, so it was time to figure out how to make time for a little dance.

Tonight I get the honor of filling in for my mentor at her regular gig, dancing at the local restaurant to bring smiles to the local patrons. I’ve done it before and am happy to do it again. A small way to get my feet wet again, and in time I will be able to do more of the dance I love and enjoy so much.

 

Big Thank you Hug.

I just want to take a moment to thank you for joining me this past week as I celebrated World Doula Week on my Blog. I hope you enjoyed my posts this week and I want to thank you for your support of my new role and my journey to being a Super-Doula. LOL. Sorry for the pun. I am just excited to be a Birth Doula and will continue to search for ways to make my services better and personalized. The joy that comes from seeing a mom and dad become parents for the first time is truly beautiful.

I am fortunate enough to have more then a few births coming up in the next few months, and I can’t wait to stand by each of them and offer words of support and encouragement or to simply hold their hand, no matter what time of day it is. Being a Doula isn’t a job for me, it’s a gift I’ve been given that I want to share. Every birth I attend is a privilege and I am humbled and honored to be a part of it.

I want to say a big thank you to my past clients and to my future clients, but there is one person who deserves the biggest thank you hug more then anyone else, for without him, I could not do any of this. As I write, I am brought to tears….. You see I have the most amazing husband, and with out HIS support, I could not do this at all. Thank you Dean for your loving care, your hours of childcare, your ears that are tired of hearing about all things baby, and still sending me out the door saying “don’t worry just go, Good luck and have fun. ”  Even though this journey for me is just beginning I feel his support stronger then any other, like we are on the same page and I truly don’t have to worry. This is where I am meant to be and he knows it to. Thank you so much! I love you Dean.

PS…. Dean you were my Doula, my support and my rock at each of my Births. Without you by my side I would not have been able to do it. You gave me strength and you believed in me. Every women should be so lucky.

XOXO

Birthworkers…. A poem to share.

World Doula Week is almost over, but the learning will not stop. I was fortunate to come across this beautiful poem and asked the author if I could share it. She was happy to share it with me, and now I am happy to share it with you. You can check her page out…

http://www.facebook.com/induetimedoula

Birthworkers Poem

For all the birthworkers – doulas, midwives, obstetricians, family doctors, and nurses….Written by Nicole Morales With thanks to Oriah Mountain Dreamer for inspiration

 It doesn’t interest me how many textbooks you’ve read or conferences you’ve attended, I want to know what you are thinking after a birth when you’re laying awake in bed at night.

 It doesn’t matter what your background is or how many births you’ve gone to, I want to know the place in your heart and soul that comes alive when you enter a birthing space.

 It doesn’t interest me what your protocols are or aren’t, I want to know where you feel it in your body when a woman feels triumphant.

 Then there is the moment you put your hands on the mother’s belly, I want to know what words you whisper to the baby tucked in that belly

 I want to know what you know by the sound of a moaning mother in labor. I want to hear how you are truly connected with your heart and soul to the birthing family. I want to know what you feel when you see the baby’s head begin to crown.

 I want to know if in the dark of night, how you raise your tired bones and weary spirit and move on to the next birth.

 I want to know what your rituals for healing are be it of storytelling, daydreaming, or praying.

 I want to know if you are willing to give up your judges and ideals of a perfect birth and surrender to your heart and belly to supporting your mothers, fathers and families however they need to be supported.

I think I will read this each time before I go to a birth with a client. I think it will help put me in a really great frame of mind, open my heart and help me help my clients better. Thank you for letting me share your beautiful Poem.

Rewards

When I discovered the Doula program, I thought it might be something that would fit for me. I realized through out my third pregnancy how passionate I was about the concept of helping other women feel empowered through their birth experiences.  This was a role that I also felt very comfortable in rather quickly and it didn’t scare me. That’s what happens when you do something you love and are passionate about. It’s not work at all. When I took my course I was so excited through out the weekend, never did I feel tired or overwhelmed or scared or bored, I just couldn’t wait to learn more, and I still find my-self feeling the same way. I want to expand and grow in my knowledge and the services I provide to help people.

Doing something I love and that works with my life style is truly rewarding, but I wasn’t aware of the other rewards it would bring.

Being there during the moments a couple become a family is the most amazing experience. It is a privilege and an honour and it warms my heart.

Recently one of my Clients had this to say….

You truly are a great doula my dear….an angel.

Christa was a terrific doula! She not only helped me, but helped out my fiance Jason and my mom by answering questions they had. If it weren’t for her helping me focus on my breathing and reassuring everyone along the way, I’m sure my experience would have been not so great. She is amazing! After all, she did help out another mommy the day before and I’m sure she was exhausted, but very, very strong! Yay for doulas!!!

Thank you Amberly. It brings joy to my heart to read things like that, for that is the true reason I love being a Doula so much and am glad my life has lead me down this path. That is all the reward I need : )

Videos and Books

As a Doula, one of the things I would like to do is help educate people about choices, options and their rights. And we live in a world of information. You don’t have to look far to find a blog, a website, and some really good videos too,  but sometimes picking up a decent book can be just as good or a better source of information.

So here are a few recommendations:

Video – Netflix – Business of Being Born- A documentary by Ricki Lake – I think Everyone should watch this movie, not just expectant parents. It is filmed in the US, but still much of it applies to Canada too.

You Tube Video – 90 seconds to change the world: Alan Greene at TEDxBrussels – This is a great 15min clip about the benefits of Optimal Cord Clamping, something I myself hadn’t even heard about till I was pregnant with my third, and something I’ll tell all my clients about.

Books: I could go on and on about books, but here are few favs:

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth – Ina May Gaskin – Truly any book by this women is worth reading.

B.A.N.I – Birthing as Nature Intended – Teresa Van-Zeller

The Birth Partner – Penny Simkin – Again another great advocate in the Birth world.

Pregnancy, Childbirth & the Newborn – Simkin, Whalley, Kepler – A good all round pregnancy and birth book.

Birthing from Within   Pam England, Rob Horowitz

The list could be pages and pages long, I still have a stack of books on my shelf I’d like to read, but just cant read fast enough….. It might have something to do with all the extra kids in my house….no???  ; ) Regardless of where you decide to get your research,  Knowledge is Power. And if you know what your options are then you can make informed decisions.

 

World Doula Week March 22 -28th

I am excited to be part of this.

I am excited that my life has lead me down this path.

I am excited to be helping women in their own birth journeys,

And this week I’m going to celebrate!

I know this blog is more for personal writing then business, but this week I’m going to use this blog to celebrate my role as a Doula. I want to help educate, inform and get the word out about what Doulas do, and the benefits of having a Doula no matter what type of birth you have.

So what is a Doula?

n –DOULA: A women experienced in childbirth who supports the Mother and Her Partner both physically & emotionally before, during and after childbirth.
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A Doula does not replace a Doctor or Midwife, we do not perform medical  or clinical tasks, rather we work with the medical community and help the parents make their wishes known, protecting their space to have the best birth possible.
A Doula is about support. They are about education and information. They have knowledge and experience and want to help guide you to have the birth you want. I’m going to repeat that again….. THE BIRTH YOU WANT! It’s not about me, it’s about the parents and their baby and their birth experience. A good Doula can support all births and birth choices, but a good Doula also helps educate about those choices, so parents can make informed decisions. Recently I read a book that explained it like this: “A Doula is like the sherpa that guides people up Mt. Everest. You clearly walk to the top on your own two feet, but it sure is nice to have a guide that knows the trail, the tricks and can support your endeavor.” Experienced Doula – Cassaundra Jah
 And this is my goal as a Doula to help guide and to support ALL women, in ALL types of labour. Period!
I hope you will enjoy celebrating World Doula Week with me. I have met with three clients these past few weeks and am so happy to be working in my passion. The joy I get talking to these families and knowing they have asked me to be a part of something so special. It truly is an Honour, a Blessing and a privilege.

Re-blog of Renegade Mothering.

Here is a link to a wonderfully written blog that speaks of the powerful transformation that takes place when your first born arrives into this world. I don’t usually talk about topics like this, but this blog hit a home run for me.

Recently I came across a letter I had written to myself in early 2005. As I read it, silent tears ran down my face.  It was a reminder of a sad time, a time of mourning and loss, and yet I had been given so much.  But as I read my own words, my tears turned from sorrow to joy. How is it that just 8 years ago I was soo far away and now I have discovered a passion for birth; that I want to make a career out of helping other women make the beautiful transition into motherhood?? Wow I am truly blessed to have come so far. And I could not have done it without my husband. He was and still is my rock. He was always there and supported me as I transitioned into my role as a mother. And now I see the joy in his eyes as I pursue being a Doula. His support is strong.

Now I will probably never share my own letter, but this lady’s blog mimics my letter. She shared those things  most women hardly dare to think and it is wonderfully written. Thank you Renegade Mother, for sharing this with us. I believe all women should read this to know they are not alone, and it is okay to grieve for you loss in a time of great joy. Thank you so much. I feel like a part of me has healed even more after reading this.  Click on the link Below.

I became a mother, and died to live..

Renegade Mothering –  http://www.renegademothering.com