This blog was originally posted on 9/26/2018
Note: This letter is a real letter filled with emotion and facts about this mother's experience. This is a true, first person piece and we chose to not edit wording that some may find offensive. As birth workers we hold space for anyone to share their feelings from happiness to anger and everything in between. We understand that not all care providers in Delaware are in the group this letter speaks of but to honor this mother's difficulty we are printing the letter in its entirety.
Dear Delaware Midwives and OBs (at least the ones I've seen),
This blog was originally posted on 4/13/2018
As a doula, I love working with expectant parents, but one thing you may not know about me is I am also a sonographer (not to be confused with Stenographer). I was trained in the United States Air Force to perform ultrasound and I learned the gamut of scanning, everything from thyroids to vasculature to musculoskeletal abnormalities- and my favorite… The Babies ❤️. There are a few misconceptions that when you, as expectant parents, are having your 18-20 week ultrasound scan (performed by a sonographer) might have about the scan itself. I will do my best to clarify some of these myths.
This blog was originally posted on 9/15/2017
I find childbirth to be an absolutely beautiful event. It is certainly not at all glamorous by any means, but it is such an amazing experience to view not only as a bystander, but also as a participant. I have had 4 children, all girls, with 4 completely different experiences. All 4 birth experiences, in addition to my losses, have shaped me into the woman I am today. My youngest daughter is now almost 22 months old, and she was conceived the same month I had a miscarriage. The pregnancy went very well, but I was very afraid that my labor and delivery would mirror the delivery of my third daughter, Spirit, which was extremely traumatic. This led to a lot of anxiety and fear, despite my knowledge on the subject. It was for this reason that I hired a birth doula.
This blog was originally posted on 2/2/2018
What is pelvic floor physical therapy?
Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy is specialized physical therapy aimed to treat pelvic dysfunction and promote optimal pelvic health for both women and men. Pelvic floor dysfunction refers to a wide range of diagnoses pertaining to the pelvic muscles and the pelvis, including urinary/bowel incontinence, pelvic pain, pelvic organ prolapse, and postpartum pelvic girdle dysfunction to name a few. At least 1 out of every 5 Americans will suffer from a pelvic floor dysfunction at some time during their life.
I was a doula for two years before I became pregnant with my first baby. My husband and I were thrilled! I was finishing my last semester of my bachelors and the day after I had the positive test, we closed on our first home. We conceived three months after I had a double hip replacement. My surgeon had said that future vaginal births wouldn’t be an issue, I’m just not sure he was thinking that I would be pregnant so soon. Managing pain the first trimester was a challenge, but by the second I was healing nicely and didn’t have to take Tylenol on a regular basis.
This blog was originally posted on 1/14/2018
As a first time mom we all wonder how labor will start. Will it be like on t.v. where all of a sudden I will be doubled over in the worst pain of my life? Will I have an unexpected gush from between my legs while I’m shopping at target (Clean up aisle 4 anyone??)? Is it going to be unbearable where even if I planned for a natural birth I will immediately be requesting an epidural? How will my husband react- do I have a cool calm and collected partner or will he fly off the handle grabbing things as we rush out of the house headed for the hospital? Will I even be going to the hospital? Will I make it to the hospital? Should I just google, “How to remove amniotic fluid from fabric?” now? How will I know what it feels like? Will I see my mucus plug? Do I need to check the toilet paper every time, what if I miss it? Did I choose the right care provider? Do I even like them- what if I change my mind while I’m in labor?
The birth of Alo'e and the growth of our ohana. Ohana means family in the Hawaiian language. When I think of my laboring and the birth of our son Alo'e, the word ohana is one of the first words that come to mind. Not only because Alo'e has made us his family but because our midwife, Karen, her assistant Jenn, and our doula Kathryn, also became our ohana.
After I had my first child I didn't want anymore. The whole experience was unfortunate. I didn't enjoy my pregnancy, I was horribly constipated the whole first trimester and I didn't have the most supportive medical providers. One of the OBs had a sign in his office that read, "Home Delivery is for Pizza". I didn't know, my insurance covered them. They induced me and I wasn't even a week late. I was admitted to the hospital at 10 am, they told me we would have a baby in my arms by that night. That night came and went, and so did another. I was convinced my body didn't work. Why didn't I go into labor on my due date, why did they have to try and force this baby out of me, why was the induction not working? Finally, my water broke by itself as my midwife was unwrapping the amnio-hook, something in my body did something they wanted. After several hours of pushing she was born, I think it was wonderful, I look happy in the pictures but I don't really remember it myself. Maybe it was the drugs, maybe I was just tired but that set the tone for the next year. A few years later I would find out I had postpartum depression. This was how I became a mother.
It was Sunday, June 21st, 2015. I woke up in the morning feeling sad, as this was the first Father’s Day I was not spending with my father who had passed just two months before I got pregnant. Trying to keep busy (and in full nesting mode) I finished my final touches downstairs in my birthing suite (my birth was at home) and my mother came over to take me to Walmart for some things I felt I had to have before I went into labor. I still needed a curtain rod to hang my curtain, an end table in the living room for my guests, bathroom supplies and more. After putting only a quarter of the stuff away, exhausted and missing my nap, my mother left and I began to cook a Father’s Day dinner for my fiance. We probably ate around 7:30 pm and then I asked him if he minded if I left the dishes until morning, I needed to lay down! He of course said he did not care and up to bed we went. We watched our Sunday night TV and just before 11:00 pm I got up, went to the bathroom, turned the light off and got back in bed. We both said goodnight and closed our eyes. Not even three minutes later, I yell,
This blog was previously posted February 15, 2019
I started training as a doula about 2 years ago. I was so excited to help families through labor and delivery and help them advocate for themselves through those tough hours. I just knew labor and delivery was where I wanted to be and believed that’s where I could help most as a doula. That all is very much still where I want to be but I have also found a calling of helping as a postpartum doula. It’s only recently that doulas are becoming more popular. We’ve all said “I’m a doula” only to be met with a blank stare and then explain a doula is someone who assists, comforts, and advocates for families during labor and delivery. Then you add that you’re a postpartum doula and people automatically assume it’s only for people with postpartum depression. It’s not. Just as there are social movements to make labor and delivery doulas more accessible for everyone; I believe postpartum doulas are also an essential resource for families. Postpartum doulas provide information, assistance, comfort, and advocacy during the days and months after labor.