World Doula Week has begun

World Doula Week has begun, and I’ve been a very busy Doula.
I have:
– Helped two moms with their special deliveries
– Had an article in the newspaper
– Attended local Mom’s groups to promote Doulas
– Volunteered at the Olds Location for Central Alberta Pregnancy Care Center
– Helped Organized more Q&A’s events in Olds, and one in Red Deer.

It’s been a really good month here for me even if the weather has been sub-par. I really wish the sun would melt all the snow. I feel like I’ve accomplished much and am blazing the right trail this time in my life. I hope it continues, And Happy World Doula Week to you from Me.

Keep it Simple

We’ve all heard our parents or maybe our grandparents tell us about the good ole days. A time when things were simpler and people more friendly. Perhaps as teenagers, like I know I did, we rolled our eyes at them and thought crazy ole people, don’t they see how far we’ve come? The advancements that have made our lives better, faster and more efficient? Maybe we still rolled our eyes at them in our 20’s, because look at all the amazing things that have even happened just in the last two decades. Internet, email, touch screen, smart phones, smart TV’s, Hybrid cars, medical advancements in treatments, surgical advancements, social media, and all the like. The ability to access and publish information quickly to a large portion of people. And now as a parent and only since then do I see things in a different light. All of these things have their benefits for sure, but I think there is something to be said for keeping it simple, less is more, and simple pleasures, especially when it comes to the pressure these things place on us.

I’m talking about the pressure to know things, to be informed, to share, to do the “right” things, wear the “right” things, say the “right” things and be with the “right” people. Again all of these can be good sometimes too, like knowing what your buying, or what options are available, but with all things, too much of a good thing can be bad. I’m sure we could all write a blog about how too much TV or Video games is bad, but today I want to focus in on a different issue I see that keeps recurring.

With internet and social media, parents have access to information like never before. Parenting sites, blogs, pages, support groups and research information is everywhere. We are constantly bombarded with articles, letters and posts on parenting.  Again good in moderation, but how do all those articles we read and posts we see about parenting make us feel?

More and more often I am reading encouraging blogs about not worrying if your not a perfect parent or a perfect mom. Articles about enjoying the simple things in life, or letting your kids have more independence and saying no to attachment parenting. And the scary part….. we need to read those articles, we need to be reminded to not be so hard on ourselves. So that got me thinking…. Why do we need to be told these things?

It would seem that sometime in the last two decades something happened to the standards of parenting. Socially have we expected too much, set the bar too high, and made it our business to be in everyone else’s business? Parents are scrutinized and measured up to some kind of standard set by “THEM”. And when we don’t measure up we feel guilty. It seems now that as parents we are taking a stand and saying no to this. More and more I’m reading about being a good mom is being true to yourself and trying your best. How not to be so hard on yourself if there’s toys everywhere and your home does not look like the IKEA catalouge. A reminder that our kids wont remember the clothes we wore, or the color we dyed our hair, but the times we sat on the couch and read them a bedtime story. Those articles truly encourage and inspire me. They remind me that if we really do try our best, show respect and don’t be so quick to judge, that we don’t have anything to be guilty about, except for being human. And maybe that is what we are realizing…. that we are just that Human. We make mistakes and that’s okay. Reading these things makes me hopeful that we have not lost touch with a simpler time, and that maybe we can continue to make our world a better place for our own children’s children.

Gone are the days when Mom gave you $0.25 to go see a double feature at the theatre downtown with your brother on a Saturday and told you to not to come back till supper (True recollection from my Father-in-Law) but is organizing every minute of the day being with your child and then trying to cook, clean, dress and look perfect better? I think we are desperately searching for a happy medium right now, and we are looking for other parents who feel the same way. I know I’m not the only one out there as I have found friends who share this view. Right now I believe we are in the process of trying to learn from the past and grow in the future taking the good things from both. I think we now recognize the benefits of encouraging independence but know the importance of guidelines. I want my children to be aware that people watch everything they do and say but to also not be trapped by this. I wonder what the world is going to be like for my children in two more decades, a thought I never worried about till now. Will it truly be a better place?  Only time will tell.

This mom is going to try putting her guilt and judgement out with the trash, and set realistic expectations. Live by example and not worry if my floors are sticky. I can clean them tomorrow. I will also not try to stress about those 10lbs and remember that my kids care more about hugs then my love handles. As long as I stay healthy and keep my kids feed and healthy, clothed and happy, then the rest can follow. We need to start with the simple things which are the most important. Love, food, shelter and grow from there.

My mom who inspires me always gave me a gift for mother’s day and I think it is a really good reminder…. GOOD MOMS HAVE STICKY FLOORS, DIRTY OVENS AND HAPPY KIDS. My dad who cares about my happiness with all his heart gave me another gift that says: In this house we do real, we do loud really well. we do sorry. we do fun. we do mistakes, we do second chances. we do hugs, we do family. we do love…… So my parents really get it. They know what its like. And these pictures and sayings are out there to purchase, so that tells me deep down our whole society believes it too and we want to bring it back to the forefront. We want to live it daily and for that I am glad.

Cheers to all the moms and dads out there who are trying to keep it real and simple. Be proud, Do your best, Learn from your mistakes and let your kids be kids, so in turn they can do the same.

 

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.

Not a Nurse, Not a Midwife; She’s a Doula.

I think more and more people are learning what a Doula is, but for some it’s still an unknown. We are trained, we are experienced, we are passionate, but we are somewhere in between the nurse and a midwife. Nurturing, caring, compassionate, knowledgeable, but we do not perform clinical tasks. That is something different….a Montrice… You can look that up if you like. A Doula provides emotional, mental and physical support that the other healthcare workers may not have time for.

Below I have provided a link to a website with a great article titled: What is the difference between a doula and other healthcare providers? Its from New Beginnings Doula Training out of the US.

http://www.trainingdoulas.com/uncategorized/what-is-the-difference-between-a-doula-and-other-healthcare-providers/

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.

Power – as in Electricity.

Well I’m not quite sure where to begin. There are so many random thoughts running through my brain, I am not sure how to make sense of all of it to put it into a post that is organized at all. I’ll start by quoting a friend….. ” What a weird week”

It seems this week has revolved around power, or the lack there of.  And in this century it is a big deal when there is no power. We had to fight two days in a row to get our kids sent home when the power was out at our rural school. Zumba was also cancelled as there was no power.

Now since we live in the country, the majority of us have a back up power sources for emergency’s like these. There is so much humidity in the air the power lines and trees are covered in Ice. It was making me nervous on Wednesday, as I had visions of Ontario Ice storms.  But like I said I am fortunate to be married into a family who understands these weather things and is prepared. We don’t have a wood stove like some of our neighbors, but my husband has a tractor run generator that hooks to our main poll to power the farm. Now before I go any further, I need to clarify why exactly we have a generator. Lol. I know Lesley-anne is laughing.  We have beef cattle and electric waterers for them, and the TRUE reason the generator gets hooked up is so the waterers don’t freeze and the cows can drink. Make sure you read that again : ) The fact that our house gets power is just a benefit of having cows.  Mind you we’ve been off and on with power since Wednesday, so we need to make sure our house doesn’t get too cold. We managed to figure out the right RPM on the tractor to get our furnace to kick in and work the stove. All other house work has been put on hold. I am only writing this blog because the cow are drinking.

So we have been usimg candles and flashlights during the night just in case. And last night we got a shocker, literally. At 3am we were jolted out of bed to sounds of popping and zapping and the light flickering everywhere. It was similar to a house being struck by lightning.  I quickly turned of the lights and calmed the kids. Dean ran outside to the generator that had been off and started it up. But that wasn’t what scared me, I smelt burned wires, and my fear of fire began to rise.  Deanna said she smelled smoke. So a frantic run to Dean to shut down the power, and a search through the whole house presumed.  NO FIRE! THANK THE LORD! We could relax.  But boy it stunk. We soon discovered that one of our surge protectors couldn’t handle the amount of electricity and it fried the TV, our Wii, and desktop computer. Just another thing to deal with. We are not sure if insurance or the REA will cover any damage, so we will just wait and see. Our neighbors  said it was like someone had run into the side of their trailer. They lost a microwave and stove.  Now something to note about all of this; both Dean and I realized how reliant on power our society is. In dealing with the TV satellite, he wanted to call Shaw, only to discover that the brochure had no phone number to call; It quotes “visit shawdirect.ca for information” . REALLY!!! Wow. That’s how much we are dependent on power to run computers, so we can get information. We can’t even pick up a piece of paper and call someone. How soon before Phone books are a blast from the past?

We survived, we are all okay and our house is okay. Like Dean said the TV is just stuff. It can be replaced, it just costs money.

Our year has been full of “replacement”. Most of Deans farm equipment has had parts replaced for various reasons, and more then normal this year. It’s just been one of those years, every time we turn around, something else needs to be fixed. I had high hopes that the end of the year would be better, with harvest over and such. You know that saying “In like a Lion, out like a lamb”  well is there such thing as ” In like a lion, out like a lion? ” Thats how I feel  this year. I’ll be happy to see 2013 and hopefully a fresh new year. It’s been a strange week, and a strange year. All little things, but little things add up.

And despite all this, I feel I am the happiest I have been in a long time, I am where I need to be and I have wonderful friends and a great family. Even with all those little things going askew, I am thankful for what I do have.  I leave you with another quote ” Embrace the perfection of imperfection”