Category Archives: Doula

100 Babies!

A couple weeks ago I had the privilege of participating in my 100th birth.
So many stories. So many photos. So many beautiful families growing and welcoming new life. I’ve seen transformations as babies are born, mothers and fathers are born too. Thank you friends for inviting me into your lives, and trusting me to hold you, care for you and love you during this tremendously intimate time.

In my tiny Pender cabin, I sit as the rain pours down, in front of my wood stove and my wee girl sings “Rudolf” at the top of her lungs. And I think about how sweet life is even with all its storms.

Seeing so many beginnings humbles me to remember the beginnings of my own journey as a mother and as a doula.

 

And now that September is almost gone!

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As you can tell from my lack of blogging, September has been busy. I’ve done 4 babies this month. We started another year of homeschooling. This is our first “official” year as Gabrielle is registered in Kindergarten through the homeschooling program at the school.IMG_0209

For our first day of school, we made a time capsule, to be opened on the last day of school. She has goals for this year. She wants to learn how to climb trees, read and write, and finally, she wants to learn every bone in the human body. Ya know, nothing lofty for an almost-five-year old.IMG_0216

This is our first day of “school” with the Spring Leaves program at Pender Elementary school. I’d say we are on the right track! A sunny beach day, really it doesn’t get better.IMG_0221 IMG_0606

Because kindergarten is mostly about games, we play lots of games. For reading, we obviously use books, we use the game like the one above. And I picked up a sight-word Bingo game. And we do lots of letter practice by writing notes and signs. For math, I picked up a Saxon math curriculum from another homeschooling mama who was getting rid of it. It’s a bit advanced for her yet and since we want to keep everything light and fun, we do a lot of playing with cuisinaire rods.

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We extracted honey, with another batch coming. It’s delicious. Different than last year. I found last year’s batch quite dark, and the year before, quite light. This year you can taste a burst of flowers at the end. It’s divine!

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I got to be involved in a Doula Get-together. Past clients brought their babies to the park and we ate snacks and got to visit. It was so wonderful to see these families. They are so so dear to my heart and I felt very blessed to be invited into their lives through such a big transition. Thank you for coming friends.

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And then just because I have permission, here are some beautiful babies that have come this month. Oh aren’t they squishy delicious?

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Happy Autumn!

In the Air

IMG_6776Spring is in the air! Let’s dance about it! Finally, Winter is receding and the flowers are sprouting! Sing a song, do a twirl! Hurrah for Spring!

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This of course, does not mean that we are in short-sleeve shirts every day. The garden is still quite swampy and we are still layering in hoods and toques, but not always.IMG_6826 IMG_6831

Spring also means Nettle Season. Stinging Nettles. It’s such a hippy thing so my hippy rating goes way up as I show you these pictures. We pick nettles, then we make pesto, stew, soup, tea, smoothies. You get the idea. And then all us Pender hippies take pictures of them and instagram it. I can’t even. For real.IMG_6833 IMG_6834 IMG_6843 IMG_6850 IMG_6852 IMG_6854 IMG_6860 IMG_6864 IMG_6868WWhen I get super busy and go to a bunch of births in a row, Gabrielle and Marc entertain themselves by woodworking. Now added to Brie’s ever-growing vocabulary are words like “tongue and groove” and “bevel” as well as “braxton hicks contractions” and “posterior baby.”

 

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And then I came home after teaching a class in Victoria all weekend and she had written me her first love note. I melted. I swooned. And I want to frame it forever. Below is the other side of the card. It has a sun, a moon, mountains, a rainbow, flowers and the sea. What more could a girl want?

The answer is nothing. I am complete.IMG_7019

As the days get smaller

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As the days get smaller, shorter, quieter, and the nights become darker and longer, we move toward our woodstove, I pick up my knitting, and increase my vitamin D dose. But it’s not like we are hibernating! Our bears in this part of the world don’t even hibernate, so why should we?

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There is still time for a bit of sailing, a bit of apple picking, a bit of mushroom hunting. IMG_3137 IMG_3138 IMG_3143 IMG_3149

My child, since she was small, has played with non-toys. Primarily vegetables. Maybe it is because we have such an abundance. When she was wee, she rolled around tiny squash, and now she clusters them into little families. She finds a green onion husk and suddenly it is a microphone and she is a rock star. Well, I already knew that!

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It’s funny as a doula entering my third year, I am noticing patterns when babies come. I theorize to myself that when it is cold outside, babies are often late because they are gaining that every ounce of insulation from their mamas. And when it is hot outside, babies come earlier because they don’t need the extra time. This is not substantiated by any evidence whatsoever. It is just a quiet observation as I begin to wonder about patterns with babies. This is the third Hallowe’en that I have been at a birth. Why do babies wait for Hallowe’en?

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I hope you are finding yourselves moving toward your own Winter patterns as November sucks us in.

Happy Smaller Days, friends.

Chicken Doula

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This time, when it came to birth, I was not all that involved.

This time it was at the farm. Where, ironically, it seems the most natural place for birth to occur.

This time, it was chickens.

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The staff at the farm carefully selected the eggs. They kept them warm for 21 days, checking the humidity levels and temperature multiple times a day.

Then came Birthing Day at the farm.

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The day before, we started hearing the peeps from inside the incubator. We saw a couple of the eggs had little pecked holes, from the inside. The next morning, they were really starting to crack open their little shells. Then they lay exhausted and wet on the grated bottom floor.

Even chicken birth isn’t all that glamorous.

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The little fluff balls now are parading around their new little space, mostly staying under the spotlight of the heat lamp. Every day when we drop Marc off at work, and pick Marc up, we have to go check on the chickies.

(Also, Gabrielle dutifully feeds the farm cats each a bundle of catnip.)

I love that Gabrielle gets to see life unfolding like this. Tonight as I was putting her to bed, she mournfully said that she had never seen a lady push out a baby in real life. But then she added, to make up for her loss, that she had seen baby chicks push themselves out of their egg.

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I was quite happy to watch the chicken hatching and not be the chicken doula per se. The managers were up several times throughout the night checking on them. Such dedication, and these fluffy little guys sure appreciated it!

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Then we came to pick Marc up from the farm and check on the chicks and Marc pulled out a surprise for Gabrielle.

Her very own bird’s nest.

It blew down from a cedar tree. Gabrielle gathered all her Easter eggs (which she is hoarding) and insisted on paper cranes to sit on the eggs.

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Then she got to be her own bird doula and help the chickies hatch out of their nest.

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(This picture is her rushing after the birds called her cell phone and told her that they were in labour…. something got confused in the translation.)

Glad I don’t have to help babies out of eggs!

I think I’ll just stick to being a regular doula, thanks.