Candace is the newest member of our team! Not only is she bringing her amazing doula skills to our team BUT she is also going to be bringing her AWESOME photography skills too! We are so excited to announce our new BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHY add-on to our doula services. Stay tuned for more information on this! But for the meantime lets get to know Candace <3
Tell me about yourself:
I’m a full time mom, but I like to include my family in as many of areas of my life – being anywhere outside, road trips, travelling anywhere in the world, photography, surfing. I also enjoy a glass of red wine and a good board game.
What is your favourite meal?
Real, authentic, northern Chinese food. Or Thai food. Or some real street tacos.
What is your spirit animal and why?
I have no idea. I’ve always been drawn to lions – strength and courage, loyalty and protection.
If you had a million dollars how would you spend it?
Pay off student loans, put money away for kids, design my dream home, travel to a new country every year. Secretly deposit money into peoples bank accounts who need it.
What are you watching on Netflix right now?
At this exact moment, Jane the virgin. When I’m editing- how i met your mother. Stranger things & Australian Instant Hotel
What as the last book you read?
Rising strong by Brene Brown
If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive who would it be and why?
My great Grandma – people say we are a lot alike but I only had met her when i was a young toddler
What would you do if you knew you could not fail ?
Write a book
What is one thing you couldn’t live without?
My camera – being able to capture real and raw moments, brokenness, smiles, joy, laughter, tears – everything.
What makes you felt most empowered?
Being with people who believe in me and what I do. Looking back on hardships I’ve been through and how strong they made me.
How did you know you wanted to be a doula?
– oh man – I just KNEW. After the first birth I was part of, I was hooked. The intensity, the love, the teamwork, the strength, just, ALL OF IT. After I had my first baby, the support I had was the driving force that held me up when I felt like giving up, and i wanted others to have the same.
What is the most rewarding part about your job?
When the first cry is heard! The post birth talk – “wow, I didn’t think I’d get through , but look, I DID IT”
What is the hardest part of your job?
Being on call with kids is hard! When I’m on call, my kids are on call, my husband is on call, my mom (the babysitter) is on call.
How do you wind down after attending a birth?
A bath, cuddling my own kids, and sleep.
What is crucial for every woman to understand about her birthing experience?
You have options options options. Have a support team that doesn’t have hidden agendas or a biased opinion on birth – a team that supports you and your birth plan. Your body was created for birth – from conception, to nourishing and growing a baby in utero, to labour – every part of the journey is meant to happen and your body was made for it.
Why I’m hiring a Birth Photographer, Finally…
So this is my 3rd pregnancy/birth. It’s coming up fast next month and we’re planning a home birth this time around. Midwives, doula, family, the whole works will be there in our home. Now why can’t one of these people simply grab a camera and take some photos during my labour? Sounds like it would be easy enough, especially with technology these days even on our cell phones!
I want to capture those very special once in a lifetime moments of my baby entering the world as I’m sure you do as well. But after my other two births I realized that I shouldn’t leave it up to an amateur. While my family and friends tried their best and grabbed my camera out of my labour bag to snap some pics, they mostly turned out blurry and grainy. Strange angles and poor lighting. I loved that they also wanted to save these memories for me but I shouldn’t have to put that responsibility on their shoulders.
So this time I’m hiring a… BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHER!
I want a professional, practiced and trained in low lighting (because let’s get real, most babies come at night) with high quality equipment. It makes a difference! If you’ve ever been to a birth with a photographer you will be amazing by how sneaky and quiet they are, they creep around the room finding the best angles and making sure to capture all the special moments of your strength bringing your baby into the world. It takes skills to do this! Trust me… you want someone who knows birth and understands the phases of labour so they can be one step ahead at all times.
I wish I had realized all this the first two times around but for my 3rd birth I am ecstatic that I can look back in years to come and see my strength, struggles and how my birth team surrounded me to bring my baby earth side.
I want photos of my mom holding my hand.
My husband whispering loving words to me while I lean on him.
My sisters boiling water in the kitchen to make tea.
How our living room looked with a birth pool set up and twinkle lights surrounding us.
My midwife calmly watching with assurance of my ability to birth.
These are important to me, I want to remember these things and I can’t wait to share them with you!
Also, my very favorite local birth photographer is Dori Marie Photography. She was kind enough to share her work with us and I highly recommend this sweet woman! I know you will LOVE her.
Yellow Bird Birth Services
Fraser Valley’s Premier Doula Group providing everything you need for your BEST birth and postpartum!
Let me introduce you to Edolbina. She is the sweetest, seriously guys, the sweetest! Her spirit is gentle and caring, she loves people and has a fierce passion for birth. Rightly so that she would choose midwifery for her career and mission. She enjoys watching her little boy explore the world, loves supporting her husband through life and will be there first one there if someone needs help. Plus she has a love for iced coffee as much as I do!
This weekend was a day that we could surprise and pamper her! Edolbina is expecting her second sweet little babe and we couldn’t be more excited.
If you aren’t sure what a Mother Blessing (Blessing Way) is then come take a look into our lovely gathering of women.
Basically, it’s a way to honor, encourage and love on a women at her time prior to giving her. It’s showing her that she has a strong village of support from the women around her. Spending time reading beautiful words to her, pampering her with relaxing foot baths, painting affirmation flags for her birth space and so much more! Oh and of course, delicious food!
Rather than the usual focus on materialistic items (baby gifts) and games about the baby, this is a time to spend in connection to prepare for birth. Positive stories are spoken and lots of love given!
We are wishing you all the best in your beautiful birth Edolbina.
You are a rockstar!
Also, want to give a shout-out to Lydja with Hourglass Birth Photography for using her talents to capture this event!
Fraser Valley’s Premier Doula Agency providing everything you need for your BEST birth and postpartum!
Birth Stories: Whitney and Manolo
Photos by Mikaela @ Mikaela Ruth Photography
I first met these two in a little coffee shop down town, they were sweet and excited about getting to meet their little one in only a few weeks. We had a couple prenatal sessions working on birth desires, massage and pain relief techniques, positions and what to expect through each phase of the birth process and into postpartum. I know they would make a great team together with the way he supported her and the way she trusted him.
As labour began it was time to head into the hospital… I will let the photographs take it from there as I prefer the couple tells their own details of the birth <3
Huge thank you to this lovely couple for inviting me into their birth team and for sending me these photos to share with you all! Congratulations on your sweet little one!
Check out Mikaela’s website for more of her BEAUTIFUL work.
Doula and Prenatal Fitness Instructor in the Fraser Valley, including Abbotsford and Chilliwack
May 5, 2015 by Heidi
So you are pregnant…perhaps you are feeling a bit run down, tired of sitting at your desk or on your couch binge watching Netflix, and just needing to do something good for yourself. Well boredom be gone! Here are 20 things to refresh your mind, body, and spirit right here in the Fraser Valley that are doula and preggo-mom approved!
1. Walking is so good for you and your baby so take a stroll down the Vedder River Rotary Trail. This Chilliwack favourite is a flat, dog and stroller friendly trail that runs for 8km along the Vedder River. But have no fear, there are picnic tables, benches, portable toilets, and 5 different access points/parking lots along the way so it’s easy to just do a short section and return, or go for as far as you can and call someone to pick you up at the next stop!2. Need some veggies or a hand made gift? Check out the Eco Market at Sardis Park! Every Wednesday evening from May to October, you can experience live music, yummy food, fresh produce and local artist sharing their crafts!
3. A La Leche League meeting is a great way to prepare for your baby and to meet other mom’s who have been where you are now! Questions are welcomed and you can know you are getting the best breastfeeding support from the lactation experts and experienced moms.
4. Rainy Day? Need to float? Head to the Chilliwack or Mission Leisure Centres for a dip. Swimming is an amazing way to stretch and gently work your muscles while taking the pressure off your back and feet!
7. Need a perfect fitting nursing bra? Want to pick up some lovely things for baby or postpartum momma care? Head to With Child Birth and Baby Boutique and Nicole will set you up with all the goodies you need!
8. Don’t forget about prenatal fitness! Stay healthy and enjoy some time stretching and moving your body at Nurture You Prenatal Fitness Classes at The Goddess Movement in Abbotsford.
9. Capture this precious time as your body grows and changes with a beautiful maternity photo shoot with Roxanna J Photography.
10. Looking for some baby swag?? Head to the Baby and Tot Show this October at the Tradex!
13. Have a Blessingway lovingly orchestrated by Miranda from Elderberry Birth. Gather the women in your life to soak in their wisdom and blessings for your journey into motherhood whether it’s you first or fifth baby.
14. Let the pampering begin! Head to Gentebella Salon and Spa for a prenatal massage, and while you are there you might as well throw in a mani/pedi or facial!
15. Reconnect with your partner with a Babymoon at the Harrison Hot Springs Hotel. Walk the beach, enjoy the natural hot springs pool, and indulge in a delicious meal. Take this time to relax and dream about your birth and your growing family.
16. Don’t have time for a weekend getaway? Enjoy a coffee and dessert date at Decades! Choose an intimate table and comfy chairs and let the conversation flow!
17. Take an afternoon and go antiquing in Fort Langley. Find that vintage high chair you’ve always wanted, or a new treasure in one of the many local shops!
18. Take a picnic to Heritage Park in Mission. Bring a kite for the kids (or yourself!) and take some cute selfies in the gazebo or on the bridge.
19. Take advantage of the nice weather and go to the Twilight Drive-In Theatre in Aldergrove! Bring some lawn chairs or cuddle up in the car. The drive-in is always a fun night, and the kids love it too!
20. Have a date with your Doula!! Get ready for your birth and ask all those burning questions in the comfort of your home. It’s never too early to learn how to use your breathing and birth ball for a joyful birth! <3
-Amanda & Jaclyn
Birth Doula’s in the Fraser Valley.
Recently I received the most wonderful surprise of this pregnancy so far, a Blessingway Ceremony.
Also called a Mother Blessing, a blessingway is a traditional ceremony that honours the mother and the rite of passage into motherhood. These gatherings often occur instead of a baby shower which tends to focus more on gifts for the baby and less on honouring the sacred time of pregnancy and birth.
The beautiful gathering held for me truly was a blessing! I was greeted outside by the women who are closest to me, dressed in beautiful flowing fabrics, their faces full of excitement!
I was guided into my sister home which was draped in colourful fabrics, covered in cushy pillows, lovely flowers, and the smells of yummy snacks! I was given a seat of honour and the guests circled me with pillows on the floor. We opened with some deep breathing, a prayer, and a reading about connecting with my baby and acknowledging the support of those around me. The women then took turns giving me meaningful beads they had brought for a birthing necklace and sharing some scripture, words of encouragement, or a poem. The tears of joy were shared by most during this time! A far away friend even video chatted in to share her words and prayers for my birth and growing family.
We then moved into snacking and crafting! Cream puffs and cake…Yum! My birthing necklace was assembled for me, a crown of flowers placed on my head, and we got to work painting affirmation flags. The laughs and joys were shared by all as we chatted about my upcoming birth and plans for my placenta among other things. These flags will be strung together and hung in my birthing space when the time arises.
Then came the pampering part of the afternoon. I laid back in my thrown and was treated to an herbal foot bath, hand massages, and a henna painting on my belly. I was brought nourishing tea and snacks while I waited for the henna to dry. It was so nice to not be allowed to move for a while, a very different situation than what I usually am in with a 2 year old in my home! Just before the women parted, we wrapped our wrists with soft string, creating a web between us all. Everyone then cut the strings, tied them on, and was invited to keep the bracelets on until my baby arrives, thinking and praying for me in the meantime. Candles were also given out to each guest who will be notified when I go into labour so they can light their candle and think of me.
It was an afternoon of rest, joy, love, encouragement, and feeling truly supported by such wonderful women. If you are interested in a blessing way ceremony for yourself or a mama to be, I highly suggest hiring a host/coordinator like Miranda from Elderberry Birth who gracefully led our gathering!
Thank you again to all those who gathered around me, I will never forget this afternoon and all the beauty it brought to the birth of my son.