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Tag Archives: Abbotsford

Why I’m Hiring A Birth Photographer, Finally..

by Heidi

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.

www.dorimariephotography.com

Yellow Bird Birth Services

Fraser Valley’s Premier Doula Group providing everything you need for your BEST birth and postpartum!

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Birth Out Loud: In the Philippians Pt.2

by Heidi

Midwife clinic

“The hardest part for my husband I think was not having me around. Being a full time dad. He is a provider so not earning any money brought feeling like he wasn’t providing for his family was hard for sure. He had to sacrifice that a lot those years.
I spend a lot more time alone in Canada than I did in the Philippines. We just live with the 4 of us in the house as opposed to the 20 people rotating in and out so there’s a lot more isolation here. There is also a lot less fear involved in the first year here. I’m finding I have a lot less to worry about with her. In the Philippines death is so common in the first year, it’s so common. That’s why you never celebrate the birth, only the first birthday. So for my son being born in the Philippines, we came from a culture where of course we would celebrate the birth but they didn’t. It just is known that a lot of babies die. So in Canada now there’s this excitement around her that wasn’t there with my son. Because here people expect them to live, and usually they do. It the rural areas, maybe 30-40% don’t make it to their first birthday. Probably most of those are before 6 months.”

 

Yellow Bird Birth Series

Fraser Valley’s Premier Doula Group providing everything you need for your BEST birth and postpartum!

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Love Local, Be Local

by Heidi

        Let’s talk local and community for a minute.

       Last night I had a great evening attending the Fraser Valley Boss Ladies networking event and ended up sitting beside a sweet woman who not only makes the most ADORABLE pies In A Jar but is also the creator of Loving Local in Chilliwack, BC.  She creates events/markets that bring vendors, live music, food trucks and so much more together.  I told her that she was awesome and how big of an undertaking that must be!  But honestly, I love her idea of bring local people together to create a community of support and empowerment.  For business and personally. She wrote this on her page:

Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success ~ Henry Ford

        I love this as it relates so much to building up your village around birth and raising children together.  I’m not talking communal living here, although how sweet would that be?!  I mean having people around you who build you up daily, pouring into your life and you into theirs.  They sit with you over coffee and listen to your struggles, they help you discover the answers, and shine joy back into you. They come alongside as your children grow to be beautiful role models and help guide them through the harder times.  Did you have this growing up?  Aunts and Uncles perhaps, or maybe family friends?  It made all the difference in my life… especially as a teenager, but you know what?  That village was created long before I became a teenager with the trust and love already established. I want this for my children.

 

Happy loving family. mother and child girl playing, kissing and hugging

Pregnancy is tough.  Birth is tough.  Raising children is tough.  It’s time to build your village.

If you don’t already have people in your “village”, I want to challenge you today to reach out.  Build relationships by joining groups (online and in real life), talking to your neighbors and creating a space in your home that is open for others to come in. It starts with you. Go and be local.

Also, check out Loving Local’s event in August called “Made In The Valley”.  I will definitely be there!

-Amanda, Owner & Doula

Fraser Valley’s Premier Doula Group providing everything you need for your BEST birth and postpartum!

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Blessings For A Mother

by Heidi

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!

Blessing Way Pregnancy

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.

Blessing Way Pregnancy

If you aren’t sure what a Mother Blessing (Blessing Way) is then come take a look into our lovely gathering of women.

Blessing Way

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!

DSC_8318

Birthing Affirmations

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!

Blessing Way

We are wishing you all the best in your beautiful birth Edolbina.

You are a rockstar!

Pregnant Woman

Also, want to give a shout-out to Lydja with Hourglass Birth Photography for using her talents to capture this event!

-Amanda, Doula/Owner

Fraser Valley’s Premier Doula Agency providing everything you need for your BEST birth and postpartum!

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Blessingway Necklaces, Handmade by Opechee

by Heidi

Blessingway Necklaces, Handmade by Opechee

I have to say, meeting Monica at the Vintage Market last month was such a treat.  She is sweet, lovely and makes BEAUTIFUL creations!

Blessingway 1

Each bead in a blessingway necklace is gifted to the momma to be by a loved woman in her life.  Along with the bead, a positive message of love and encouragement is given to her for her labour and her entry into motherhood.  The blessingway necklace is then strung by Monica (Opechee) with love and positive thoughts for her labour and delivery.  It serves as a reminder of her village and can be used as a focus during labour to remember how strong and loved she is.

Blessingway2

A beautiful gift to an expecting mother to wear during her labour so she can have a constant reminder of all the love and support circling around her.

Make sure you visit and Like Opechee (o-pea-she): Jewelry featuring chic designs built around one of a kind vintage pieces HERE and find your own personal blessingway necklace! (and so much more!)

Not sure what a blessingway is?  Read here!

-Amanda

Doula and Prenatal Fitness Instructor in the Fraser Valley, including Abbotsford and Chilliwack

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Why I Had a Hard Time Sleeping.

by Heidi

The first time I noticed it was when I got in an argument with my husband. I packed up my son in the car and drove to a beach an hour away. It had been a small fight over something silly but I made it into a much larger emotional deal and took off. I needed some time to take my shoes off and walk in the sand with my little boy.

The second time I noticed it was driving home on the highway and realized I would be driving over a bridge and that I should plan out exactly what should happen in case it collapsed and I needed to get my son out of his infant car seat. I calculated the time it would take and exactly how I would maneuver over the seats and out the window before we would lose air. My heart pumped faster as I drove across.

This started to become a daily occurrence and each time I would get a little scarier and over the top. Planning how I could escape if there was a fire and how I would get my child out, or if we were in a store I would take notice of the exits and the best escape routes. I’m an emotional person in the first place but being 6 months postpartum with hormones flying, I thought this was normal. That each mother felt like this for their children. I started exercising and that seemed to help keep my anxiety down but then I went through my second pregnancy and it started again. My family and friends didn’t know about this since I thought it was normal and couldn’t quite explain my thoughts.

The worst day. My husband was away for a week, my son was 2.5 years and my daughter was 5 months old. I tucked the little ones into bed and turned on a movie to wind down for the evening. I did my usual checking out the window but turned off the lights and relaxed. After my show was done I went into my bed, closed my eyes and tried to fall asleep.

I heard a noise, jumped out of bed and checked out the front window. It must have been the neighborhood cat which I logically knew but my mind wouldn’t calm. I checked every window in our home, every one of them. Then I walked around and turned on the lights in each room. I peaked in to check that my children were sleeping soundly in their beds. My heart was racing and nothing was helping. The house was lit up, no reason to be scared. Logically, no reason to be scared. But I was paralyzed.

I laid there stiff in my bed. Under the covers scared to move in case I would miss a noise from outside, wanting to pack up my children and run to my vehicle so we could drive to my mom’s. It was safe there and she would protect me. Only 10 minutes away but I couldn’t fathom leaving my front door. I was scared to walk from the house to the truck so I was stuck. In my bed awake until 3:30am waiting for something to happen to me.

This was post-partum anxiety.

This continued to happen, week after week I would have at least one or two nights of no sleep, staying up until early in the morning.  Until the sky started to get light again.

Being open about my fears has been key. I try to talk them out loud when they begin and make sure I am understanding the difference between normal and anxiety. I often would wake my husband up during the night to discuss it and get it out in the open. However, the most help has still been exercising. When you see photos of me hiking way up on a mountain cliff, it’s not because I am trying to be competitive (even though I love doing that too), it’s facing my fears and pushing my body to limits that I never thought so that I can take back the control of being scared and anxious. I know who I am more than I have my whole life now.

While I don’t mean to make women worried with these stories, I want to make it known that post-partum anxiety is much more common than you may figure. Women are dealing with these same fears all over the country right now. If this is you, please know there is help and we can point you in the right direction to resources. I tried to reach out to my midwife at 6 months post-partum and no one returned my messages. I don’t want this to be you. Postpartum anxiety is real, serious and there is help.

-Amanda

Doula and Prenatal Fitness Instructor in the Fraser Valley, including Abbotsford and Chilliwack

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Something Was Missing…

by Heidi

I was sitting in a room of expecting moms the other night. Listening to their stories, their excitement, worries and how they were feeling that day. I love this. I love listening to each beautiful detail but something stood out to me. There was a need and a want, something was missing for them in their pregnancies.

Connection. Community. Other women who were in the same stage of life.

I started thinking back to when I was first pregnant. I was working full time, most of my friends had careers and busy with dating or their new marriages and spent their weekends socializing and traveling. It was relaxing and I enjoyed that lifestyle but I felt like I was standing with a foot on each side of the line. I was partly in my social circle of friends and the other half of me was entering into a new world of motherhood. It was difficult to meet other women going through pregnancy. There are many many groups in my area for new moms. Mommy and Me workouts, meet ups and baby music classes. But other than taking a prenatal class where you walk in, learn and leave without getting much for interaction, there wasn’t much for an expecting mom.

Have you felt like this? Have you been able to find women to surround yourself with who are going through pregnancy at the same time? Building good solid friendships.

I wanted to create a place where women, during their pregnancies, can come and build relationships, talk about what they are feeling that week and get a good workout at the same time.   A place where it is relaxing to come and stretch your body and work out any discomforts you are having. A place where you can laugh a lot and get a little crazy (just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean you can’t shake your hips!).

So…

I am inviting YOU! Come join us. Special invitation to hang out with great women, relieve pain during your pregnancy and have a fantastic time!

Don’t miss out on our July prenatal fitness session, sign up today! Email me at [email protected] to reserve your spot for this 4 week session!

-Amanda

Doula and Prenatal Fitness Instructor in the Fraser Valley, including Abbotsford and Chilliwack

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Do You Love Your Strength?

by Heidi

When was the last time you loved every part of your body? When you took a moment to appreciate every muscle, visible or not? When was the last time you looked in the mirror and became in awe of your reflection?

Your body’s strength. How it has adapted to life changes. It’s softness. It’s hardness. The beauty it’s made of.

I haven’t always thought this way. It’s been a journey.

In my early twenties I started a dance class at The Goddess Movement in Abbotsford. At first I was nervous and self-conscious but the more I relaxed and followed the music, the more fluent my movement became. Catching my reflection in the mirror and appreciating the way my body moves and flowed and pushed through each step. It was amazing and I loved it! After a while I started instructing my own classes and made a point to the women to love what they saw even if it didn’t feel natural at first. Pick a favorite part, legs, shoulders, or even how their hair flipped through the air and just be in awe.

Pregnancy is where the real changes happened. Emotionally and physically. While I didn’t enjoy maternity jeans and giving up my heels, I loved the changes and new shape as I was growing my baby. I was fascinated by how each cell had a job and did its part to nourish and prepare for birth.   I loved that my arms were strong enough to grip the squatting bar as I pushed my baby out. I respected how my pelvis expanded to let my baby be born with ease and how after the whole birth process, I had a boost of hormones that left me on a high for hours, unable to sleep.

Pregnancy

It was hard at first but I started hiking to regain my endurance and strength after my pregnancies. I guess it was the feeling of climbing a mountain, seeing the view at the top and knowing I did it! The rush of pushing through with adrenalin releasing as I climb over steep cliffs and scramble to the very top of the highest mountains in the valley. Just the other day I took on a new adventure with the encouragement of two sweet women. I kept thinking over and over, how did I get this far? Where did this strength come from? I love what my body can do!!! I was in awe… with very sore legs and a little sun burnt but definitely in awe.

Next time you are looking in the mirror, find something you really love… appreciate a movement your body does… respect the amount of time it took for you to get to where you are today.

Hiking

-Amanda

Birth Doula and Mother Of Two

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20 Things to do in the Valley…While Pregnant

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!Vedder Rotary Trail2. 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!

Fraser Valley5. Need some baby gear? There are many swaps that happen throughout the year all over the valley. Some of our favourites are the Cloverdale Swap and Lil Rascals Swap Meet in Chilliwack.

6. Take a good read, like Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, to Wired Monk and enjoy a naturally decaf Roobios Tea Latte. Yumm

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.

Prenatal Fitness Class9. 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!

11. Treat Yourself! Head to Duft and Co Bakehouse for some delicious fresh pastries! And bring a girlfriend to wander the shops in Historic Downtown Abbotsford.

12. And while in Downtown Abbotsford, head to Precious Kargo to pick up some Charlee Dee baby accessories! They have the cutest drool cowls, bow ties, top knot head bands, and soother straps!!

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.

Pampering14. 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.

Harrison Hot Springs16. 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.

Pregnant Picnic

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.

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Meet the Doula: Jaclyn

by Heidi

Welcome to our blog! It’s my turn to share about who I am with you lovely readers.

My name is Jaclyn and I live in the Fraser Valley. I define myself as a wife, mother, and a natural living/birth enthusiast. I met the man of my dreams when I was in my late teens, and 3 years later we were married and falling so deeply in love! Next came the most beautiful little girl, and just recently, a handsome baby boy! My family is my treasure and am daily reminded of how blessed I am to have them…even though they produce endless amounts of dirty dishes and sticky fingers! But I have always desired to have a large family so these 2 littles are just the beginning of many more babies and years of motherhood!Jaclyn Doula Hiking2

I find joy in being outdoors, drinking tea, singing and dancing throughout my house…and car, and in multicoloured/patterned fabrics with which I dress myself, my children, and my home!

My passions are for my faith, family, and for birth! My journey into the birth world as a doula started when I witnessed my sister’s giving birth to their first born babies (4 months apart, t’was a busy year). I was overcome with a love for labouring women and the power they posses. I was also blessed to have a mother who was a doula. She passed on her trust in birth and knowledge of a woman’s power through labouring and raising her babies. I was taught to have confidence in and love myself deeply, something that I feel every woman needs in every area of life.Jaclyn Pregnant

Yellow Bird Birth is truly an adventure for me. When I “grew up”, I had only dreamed of being a wife and mother (which I love as I have said before), but I now I get to pour out my passion for birth into others lives as a doula and placenta encapsulator in Chilliwack and Abbotsford. And I do pour love into placenta prep! I feel called to this work and find great rewards in it. My hope is to change the birth world, to encourage families to stand up for their right’s and desires in maternity care, to show our community how valuable doulas are and how much they are needed, but most of all, to witness families bring their babies earthside safely, peacefully, and joyfully!

-Jaclyn

Birth Doula, Placenta Encapsulator and Mother Of Two

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