Background/Experience that you think is beneficial to Doula work: I have a BA in Psychology. I have a Child and Youth Worker Diploma.
What led you to become a Doula?: I think I have been interested in birth work since before I knew it existed. As far back as I can remember, when a person I knew would go into labour, I can remember being drawn to it, wanting to be a part of it, almost feeling empty because I was not a part of it. When my children were young we fostered animals and had many born in our house over the years. I remember reading years later on a breeder's website about the difficulties with breeding because of animals birthing and problems that arise and feeling genuinely puzzled. We had had our share of problems; cord around a puppies neck, breach kitten, stillborn litter, but it all seemed perfectly natural and manageable to me and not one of the labouring mommas ever took a moments notice to my presence. Once my family was grown and I had time to think about pursuing my own interests the path to the birth world seemed clear.
What are some positive comments made about you by other people?:
People have used many nice adjectives to describe me; intelligent, supportive, empathetic, reliable, even a gifted problem solver. The two things that I have resonated most with me, however, were an email from a client and message from a niece. A client sent me an email after a birth thanking me for my support. In this email, she mentioned that, at one point, I left to use the washroom (it does happen!!) and she started to panic because my support was what was getting her through. Then I was back and everything was good again.
Then, there was a post on FB that read…Every now and then, a person with no agenda, no ulterior motive, and no self-interest will take pleasure in helping you to succeed, grow and live your purpose. This person will operate in love, will seek no praise and will want nothing in return. This person is a gift. My niece tagged me in this post and said…THIS IS YOU! Probably the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me or about me.
What are your favorite pregnancy/parenting resources?: Sweet Sleep - La Leche League The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding - La Leche League Ina May's Guide to Childbirth - Ina May
What thoughts come to mind when you see a pregnant woman or brand new mom?: I still get butterflies! Every time I see a pregnant person I think.... I wish I could be there to support her during her birth (really!! every time). When I see someone with a new baby I think.... I hope she is getting enough support and I hope she is carving out tiny moments here and there to enjoy that tiny bundle.
What is the best gift you can give a new mom (as a Doula)?: The one thing I try hardest to give new parents is confidence in themselves. I usually start with encouraging them to use the internet sparingly (Google is not always your friend!!) and trust their instincts. We live in a world now where problem solving is not a skill that is not always nourished (why work out a solution when you can google it??) and many new parents need to learn to cultivate this new skill. When they do, great confidence in themselves as people and parents can be gained!
What is your favorite TV show or movie?: Suits
What is your favorite place to vacation?: The beach!
What is your favorite food?: It's a beverage technically, not a food, but coffee! Coffee is my comfort food.
What is your favorite way to spend a day off?: When not spending time with other families I spend much of my time with my own. Even though my children are grown we still spend a lot of time together as a family and I value every moment of it. If I'm not hanging out with my family I can usually be found organizing or decorating someone's house; I love to put everything in it's place and make it beautiful!
Who lives in your house?: My husband and I met in University; together we have two great kids! Our son Tyler, 24, is getting his Master's Degree in Computer Systems Engineering and our daughter, Jayme, 21, is finishing her BSc in Nursing. We also share our house with a miniature labradoodle and a one of a kind feline.