Sunday, November 29, 2009

boxes, boxes everywhere

Today was part 1 of the move- PACKING! Thank goodness we decided to splurge and have people pack for us. I got tired just watching them. And overwhelmed at the sheer amount of stuff that we have. This is AFTER I sorted through, organized, gave away, threw out and sold (I love craigslist!) tons of things. I should really post a picture of this glorious mess but my camera is packed...
So now the apartment is just a jumble of boxes waiting to be moved tomorrow. Which my children think is fun to climb on and jump off. Wonderful. Part 2 of this adventure happens tomorrow- getting everything into the new apartment. then of course unpacking. It is going to be a fun few days.
Today when the packers were almost all done, I got a little choked up checking out all the empty closets and bookshelves. It is always a bit sad to move on. I am really excited for our new apartment and having more space. But you are always leaving something behind- our super nice neighbors, the doormen who love my kids, most importantly this space that has been a home to us for over three years as our family has grown and changed. I have this weird line in my head that sums it all up perfectly- 5 dollars for anyone who knows this song: "Closing time- you dont have to go home but you cant stay here."

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The wonders of special education

I spent my morning at a workshop about "turning 5". Why does one need to attend a workshop about one's child turning five? Well you don't if your child is "typical" the new politically correct way for saying "normal". If your child however has developmental delays, turning 5 is a whole saga of evaluations, meetings, educational placements etc. that actually starts pretty soon after your child turns 4. Confused yet?
I was too but thanks to some really nice people at Resources for Children with Special Needs and a folder full of hand-outs, I now know what to expect. Which is for the Board of Ed to be annoying and mess up and forget to call me. I then will grit my teeth and call them over and over again and resubmit my paperwork until they approve what I want for my child. This ongoing saga starts soon and goes till June 15th when we get our final placement. Stay tuned

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Doula philosophy?

This is a big question I am often asked. What is my birthing philosophy.
I have tried to articulate it before but it never quite came out right so I am going to try again. I strongly believe that a doula's role is to support her client in labor without judging or telling her what to do. I will gladly share any information/techniques I know and give advice, but at the end of the day it is not my birth. I believe in a woman's power/ability to give birth pretty much anyway she wants to (within reason of course). I also understand that every woman knows herself best. She knows her pain threshold, how she reacts to stress or unexpected events, what she can handle and what will overwhelm her. All these factors are important for formulating a birth plan that is unique and perfect for her, whether it involves pain medication, birthing pools, home births or otherwise.
The other thing I think is important to keep in mind is that there is a tremendous mind-body connection. While labor is definitely very physical, where you are in your mind can have a huge effect on how your labor progresses. A large part of a doula's job is to help a woman feel safe and comfortable.It does not mean that there will not be any pain. But if the energy in the room is good, the woman feels that her wishes are being respected and that she is coping well with the contractions, it makes her feel more relaxed and helps her progress in her labor.
What do you guys think? I am starting to feel like I am talking to myself again-any and all comments are welcome.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


We are officially moving 2 weeks from today. The countdown is on. We are just moving diagonally across the street which means it's not too monumental but we still need to get all our stuff from Point A to Point B.
Am busy decluttering the apartment and getting rid of stuff/organizing so the move will go smoother. Although right now I am procrastinating at the computer and my big to-do list is not getting done. I feel like it will go pretty smoothly- I have a plan and an excel spreadsheet :) And my mom is coming in to help (thanks, Ma!)
But I also have all the other regular stuff to deal with that doesn't go away just bec we're moving- cooking, laundry, therapy sessions for Y, finding schools for next year, etc. And of course 2 births coming up later in December which I am very excited about. It's been slow recently so I am glad that I am becoming more busy on the doula front. Still trying to see how that puzzle piece will fit into the rest of my life but so far it always has.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

One of those days...otherwise known as life with 3 kids

It all starts when I am woken up at 5 30 by my 10 month old baby who decides that this is the perfect time to nurse and start the day! After letting him cry for a bit, I stumble out of bed to feed him and then dump him on the floor with some toys, hoping he'll be okay. Half asleep I start to hear my other children stirring but decide to just ignore them. How bad could it be? Soon my 3 year old is coming in the room announcing that Y. my 4 year old is spilling food all over the place. After a few more minutes of procrastination I walk into the kitchen to be greeted by the sight of yogurt and lasagna all over the floor. Meanwhile my baby is happily licking the food off the floor and his pyjamas. While I am busy cleaning up the mess, my son Y decided he isn't done yet and promptly clears off two bookshelves of books.
When I tell him to go play in his room he hapily waltzes off and spills 2 boxes of toys on the floor. I guess the them of the day is throwing/dumping.
I make a cup of coffee and decide to muddle through till drop off. Then I remember my kids are off from school today because it's Veteran's day. And my babysitter who was supposed to come at 9 30 so I can run some errands never arrives.
That's when I know it is going to be one of those days....Suffice it to say that everyone was sleeping by 6 30 and I (barely) lived to tell the tale.
But I will say this- they are incredibly cute when they are sleeping and sometimes even when they are awake :)

Monday, November 9, 2009

How I decided to become a doula

Why I decided to become a doula is actually a long story but I'll give you the semi-short version- when I was pregnant with my oldest, i took prenatal yoga and became fascinated w. the idea of natural, intervention free birth. The philosophy appealed to me. It just made sense to me that my body was meant to give birth so it obviously knows what it's doing. I read all I could abt it and was actually looking forward to the whole experience of birth.
Then came the news that the baby was breech. and a few weeks later still breech. Then at 37 weeks still breech. I tried all sorts of things- segulas, chiropractors, an external version which was unsuccessful and very traumatic but nothing doing. at 38.5 weeks I went into labor and arrived at the hospital only to be told the baby is sitll breech and I am having a c-section. I was devastated. After a pretty uneventful surgery and a quick peek at the baby I was sent to recovery. Where I was gently informed by my husband that our little baby boy bundle of joy has down syndrome. Did I mention I was devastated? What followed was shock, disbelief, mourning and yet amazing love for my little guy.
When I was pregnant with my daughter a short while later, i was determined to do it differently this time. With the help of my husband, doctor and two doulas (and of course G'd) I had a beautiful beautiful VBAC (vaginal birth after caesearen) and more importantly a wonderful, healthy daughter. This experience really showed me what birth really can be like.
Almost a yr later, when I decided I was ready to be more than just (very loaded word) a stay at home mom, i thought about what I really want to do and almost immediately came up with birth- I want to be around healthy, beautiful births and support women at this special time.
It has been a long, slow journey towards certification and experience but bh I am now certified and business is picking up. I love what I do and invite you to contact me if you are interested in hearing more about my work.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

What is a doula?

From the DONA (Doulas of North America) website:

The word "doula" comes from the ancient Greek meaning "a woman who serves" and is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth; or who provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period.

Studies have shown that when doulas attend birth, labors are shorter with fewer complications, babies are healthier and they breastfeed more easily.

A Birth Doula

-Recognizes birth as a key experience the mother will remember all her life
-Understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor
-Assists the woman in preparing for and carrying out her plans for birth
-Stays with the woman throughout the labor
-Provides emotional support, physical comfort measures and an objective viewpoint, as well as helping the woman get the information she needs to make informed decision
-Facilitates communication between the laboring woman, her partner and her clinical care providers
-Perceives her role as nurturing and protecting the woman's memory of the birth experience
-Allows the woman's partner to participate at his/her comfort level
A birth doula certified by DONA International is designated by the initials CD(DONA).