Why I became a doula…

2003 I was in the hospital giving birth to my second daughter. Everything was going smoothly. I went in at 4 cm and was progressing nicely-or so I thought. My OB thought she should move things along by artificially rupturing my membranes.Sure, I thought-anything to have my daughter sooner!

Well, things sure did speed up, just like they were “supposed” to. Then, we realized that every time I had a contraction, Virginia’s heart rate would drop. But, if I laid on my side, she was fine. Of course, I was in bed the ENTIRE go of it.

Fast forward to pushing:

All I remember hearing is “Here’s the head… we have a cord. Prep the OR.”

Me: What?! Why is she saying that? Just let me push one more time, I can get her out.

OB: “Your baby will die unless we do a c-section NOW.”

Me (freaking out hysterically crying).

OB climbs on top of me and holds Virginia inside of me as we are rolling to the OR.

Everything is a blur at this point. Somehow I get a spinal or epidural in the midst of all of the craziness. I just remember 3 things. 1-my arms were strapped down. 2-I couldn’t breathe. 3-the anesthesiologist was the ONLY person in the room who cared about me at this point. He was a lifesaver.  I wish I knew his name.

In the end, Virginia was perfect. She nursed immediately.  I remember nursing her in the hallway waiting for my room.

I on the other hand, was not okay. It was not right what happened. I KNEW something went wrong. My recovery took months and I was not in a good place.

So, I started looking things up on the internet. The medical term was prolapsed umbilical cord. That’s where the cord presents itself either before the baby, or (in our case) along side the baby’s head. And guess what the number one cause of prolapsed cord is? AROM (artificially rupturing of membranes). Breaking the water. I was so furious.

I don’t exactly remember how I came to find that with the help of a doula, I probably would have had a natural birth. All I remember saying is I will NEVER birth in the hospital again. And I knew that I had to take my negative experience and turn it into something positive. I knew it was my purpose to help empower other women to be able to have the knowledge to protect themselves and to make informed decisions regarding their births.

My one minor public breastfeeding incident

As the mother of a 10 month old who still gets 95% of her nutrition from breastmilk, there does come a time when I have to nurse her in public. I have never had one negative experience. Even people who I thought were going to be appalled actually commented on how great it is.
The other day I was at a local inflatable play place with my 8 year old and my baby. The baby invariably had to eat, so I took her in to the adult section (couches, recliners, and a TV). Well, all was well until I noticed this woman very obviously glaring at me. Then, she turned towards her neighbor and hid her mouth with a magazine to (I assume) talk about how horrible of a person I am.

I, of course, did nothing but continue to feed my child. In my mind, I had all kinds of lovely things ready to say to her in case she dared mention that I either 1-go to the bathroom, 2-cover up, or 3-complained in any fashion.

Remember, mamas-anywhere you and your child are legally allowed to be, you are legally allowed to breastfeed. AND, no one can force you to cover up or remove yourself.  SC Code of Laws

SECTION 63-5-40. Breastfeeding.

(A) A woman may breastfeed her child in any location where the mother and her child are authorized to be.

(B) Breastfeeding a child in a location where the mother is authorized to be is not considered indecent exposure.

 

 

 

Pregnancy Teas

*note: this is not intended to be medical advice, and this picture is bad, sorry.

One of the things that I like to suggest to pregnant mothers, is to start drinking a pregnancy tea blend. Usually starting in the second trimester.  I use a blend of Red Raspberry Leaf, Stinging Nettles, Oat Straw, Alfalfa, Dandelion Root, and Lemon Balm.

Red Raspberry Leaf (RRL) can help tone the uterus, and contains lots of vitamins like C, E, A, Bs, as well as magnesium, potassium, and all kinds of other goodies. I first learned about drinking RRL from this natural healing book I found at a thrift store. It was clearly written in the 70s. It’s full of all kinds of hoovy-groovy anecdotal advice about EVERYTHING.

Nettles are high in vitamin K. This is an EXCELLENT addition to your tea if you are planning on refusing the Vitamin K shot for your newborn. Increasing your own Vit. K will help give your baby a boost.

Oat Straw is high in calcium and magnesium. This will help with anxiety, irritability, and restlessness.

Alfalfa also contains Vitamin K, in addition to chlorophyll, and trace minerals. It’s important to increase the concentration of alfalfa during the last trimester and continue on during postpartum because it can decrease postpartum hemorrhaging, and increases your milk supply!

Dandelion Root contains calcium and iron. It’s a great addition to a tea because it aids in digestion and helps strength the liver.

Lemon Balm is calming. It can relieve irritability and insomnia.

If you are local (Upstate SC), a great place to get these herbs is at Earth Fare in Greenville. I believe they buy them from Frontier Herbs.

Mixing up a batch of Pregnancy Tea is a free service I provide for my mamas.  If you would like to buy a jar, just let me know!

Why I became a doula…

2003 I was in the hospital giving birth to my second daughter. Everything was going smoothly. I went in at 4 cm and was progressing nicely-or so I thought. My OB thought she should move things along by artificially rupturing my membranes. Sure, I thought-anything to have my daughter sooner!

Well, things sure did speed up, just like they were “supposed” to. Then, we realized that every time I had a contraction, Virginia’s heart rate would drop. But, if I laid on my side, she was fine. Of course, I was in bed the ENTIRE go of it.

Fast forward to pushing:

All I remember hearing is “Here’s the head… we have a cord. Prep the OR.”

Me: What?! Why is she saying that? Just let me push one more time, I can get her out.

OB: “Your baby will die unless we do a c-section NOW.”

Me (freaking out hysterically crying).

OB climbs on top of me and holds Virginia inside of me as we are rolling to the OR.

Everything is a blur at this point. Somehow I get a spinal or epidural in the midst of all of the craziness. I just remember 3 things. 1-my arms were strapped down. 2-I couldn’t breathe. 3-the anesthesiologist was the ONLY person in the room who cared about me at this point. He was a lifesaver.  I wish I knew his name.

In the end, Virginia was perfect. She nursed immediately.  I remember nursing her in the hallway waiting for my room.

I on the other hand, was not okay. It was not right what happened. I KNEW something went wrong. My recovery took months and I was not in a good place.

So, I started looking things up on the internet. The medical term was prolapsed umbilical cord. That’s where the cord presents itself either before the baby, or (in our case) along side the baby’s head. And guess what the number one cause of prolapsed cord is? AROM (artificially rupturing of membranes). Breaking the water. I was so furious.

I don’t exactly remember how I came to find that with the help of a doula, I probably would have had a natural birth. All I remember saying is I will NEVER birth in the hospital again. And I knew that I had to take my negative experience and turn it into something positive. I knew it was my purpose to help empower other women to be able to have the knowledge to protect themselves and to make informed decisions regarding their births.

Finally getting it going…

So, I’m finally taking the plunge and getting my doula business going. I’ve been apprehensive about starting for quite some time now, but I really think that I can do it.  You’ll find information about my doula services here.

Now, this website will be sort of an amalgamation of everything that is going on in my life, so bare with me! I will try to keep it organized.