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Get To Know Our Team! Pt 1

by Heidi

For the month of August we will be focusing on a different team member each week on the blog and Instagram. I am super excited for this. It’s a great way for everyone to get to know our team better. Some of us are new around here, and others have been here a while. 

First Up Is Me!

Hi I’m Heidi. I’m married to my wonderful husband Jacob of 8.5yrs and we have 3 crazy, wild daughters: Jenessa 4.5yrs, Meredith 2.5yrs, and Ada-Marie 7wks.  I am a Preschool teacher by trade but traded in the paint brushes and puppets after ten years to become a placenta encapsulater and new owner of Yellow Bird Birth. When I’m not running around chasing my kiddos, answering emails or (as my oldest puts it) “playing with placentas”, you’ll find me sipping on a cup of tea reading a good book or cooking up a mean roast beef dinner. Cooking is definitely one of my passions along with riding shot gun in one of my husband’s hot rods (’68 cutlass or ’89 mustang). I love being a mom, every day is different and has new challenges, but it’s also a lot fun, I take a lot of pride in raising my “girl squad”.

What is your favourite meal?

SUSHI SUSHI SUSHI, and maybe a side of Tacos thrown in there too. Food is my love language.

What is your spirit animal and why?

Killer whales!  They are loyal to their families and are just so majestic!

Favourite Colour?

Blue…. And dare I say Pink is my least … ironic I know..

If you had a million dollars how would you spend it?

Pay off my bills/ mortgage, and then buy a small trailer on a lake in the Okanagan as a vacation home… I just love it there.

What are you watching on Netflix right now?

Does ‘The Wiggles‘ count ?   I haven’t had time to watch something that’s not kids related in a long time….

What as the last book you read?

I’m actually in the middle of a book called “The German Midwife” by Mandy Robotham. It’s a fictional book about a midwife in the Nazi concentration camps during WWII. FABULOUS read.

If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive who would it be and why?

My Grandma Angell or Grandma Ferguson, I really wish I could have heard more of their life story before they both passed away. They both had so much wisdom I wish I could have soaked up.

What would you do if you knew you could not fail?

Oh this is a tough one! Probably become a Midwife. It’s the amount of schooling that is really holding me back!

What is one thing you couldn’t live without?

COFFEE…. But seriously, probably the sunshine, It would be dreadful not being able to ever have sun light again.  You wouldn’t be able to experience the full beauty of nature without the sun, flowers wouldn’t bloom,the warm spring breeze wouldn’t have the same effect….

What made you feel the most empowered?

Giving Birth after 4 miscarriages! It wasn’t an easy or textbook perfect birth, but I was finally able to bring our first born earth side and that feeling was so powerful!

What is the most rewarding part about your job?

Knowing I was able to help other women receive support that they may not have had if there wasn’t a doula with them.

What is the hardest part of your job?

Honestly, it would be the balancing act of being a mom and working from home. 100% mom +100% business owner =  Not enough hours in the day.

What is crucial for every woman to understand about her birthing experience?

Its YOUR BIRTH. Become educated in what your rights are as the birthing person. Informed choice is so important, and very freeing if there are tests and exams you don’t feel comfortable with. Ask as many questions as you want!

 

 

Heidi, Owner, Yellow Bird Birth Inc.

Professional Doula Services | Placenta Encapsulation | Prenatal Classes

 

Brenna’s Birth Story

by Heidi

“Thinking and worrying is counterproductive for oxycontin release and therefore birth.” -unknown

Photo Credits : Dori Marie Photography

 

Photo Credits belong to the wonderful Dori form Dori Marie Photography

This quote sat on my bedside table for my entire pregnancy. I’m an anxious over thinker, especially when I have a big life change happening. And childbirth is a big life change! My first childbirth experience did not work out the way I had expected and left me with trauma that I knew I needed to address and work through before I could have another baby. So, for my second pregnancy I spent a lot of time working through my fears and educating myself on childbirth. Being a birth doula and childbirth educator really helped me learn what birth is really all about. Supporting and standing next to birthing women and educating families about childbirth gave me the confidence that I could have the birth experience I desired.

The day before I went into labour my dog wouldn’t leave my side, she intuitively knew my body was preparing itself for my baby to come. I was thankful for the little warning. 2am my contractions gradually started every 10 minutes until about 6am where they stopped. I assumed I’d just been having false labour so I went back to bed and slept for an hour where then my contractions started again. I was so thankful my baby gave me a rest before the marathon. The plan was to have a home birth, I loved the idea of not having to transfer to the hospital and deal with the stress of a car ride and a new environment with people I didn’t know. That really gave me a peace that helped me get through my labour. By 11am my midwife and doula were with me as I labored in my bathtub. I remember saying to my doula “I feel great! I feel in control of what my body is doing, this is awesome!”

After a while I knew my body was transitioning and I needed to get out of my bathtub. I walked around for a bit and had the midwife check me; 6cm dilated, I was so close and still felt so in control. I then moved into the birth pool where I continued to labour and my water broke. I started to progress faster and eventually started to feel the pushing urge. Some time had passed, and I started to feel discouraged, fears of my last birth started to creep into my head telling me I couldn’t pull this off. My midwife eventually suggested having me get out of the birth pool and onto my bed, she checked me again and offered some guidance on how to push correctly. The change of scenery and encouragement from my birth team gave me the extra confidence I needed to finish this. With my husband holding my hand and my dog snoring next to us our son was born just after 4pm.

I faced my fears and allowed my body to do it’s work, and I was rewarded with a lovely chubby little boy.

 

Brenna- Birth Doula & Prenatal Instructor
Yellow Bird Birth Doula

www.yellowbirdbirth.com | Visit us on Facebook and Instagram!
Professional Doula Services | Placenta Encapsulation | Prenatal Classes

 

Its YOUR Birth.

by Heidi

 

You will have the birth you and your baby both need.

That statement resonated with me as I was preparing to birth my third and final baby. I was starting to get discouraged, here I am planning on having a Vba2c ( vaginal birth after 2 caesarians) and I was overdue. My first darling baby was born promptly on her due day ( 56 hour labour ending in a C-section), my second was born 11 days early ( 36 hrs of labour ending in a C-section), I knew the longer I went over due the chance of having a 3rd C-section loomed over my head. The odds were against me and I wanted to prove that I could have a vaginal birth, I wanted to prove to all the nurses and the obstetricians that I wasn’t crazy for attempting.

I was trying every which way to induce labour. I ate my 6 or 7 dates diligently since I was 35wks, I ate all the spicy food, climbed all the stairs until my legs turned to jello, drank litres of red raspberry tea, kept up with my evening primrose capsules both orally and vaginally, and even had sex every day… sometimes multiple times if my husband was lucky. Nothing worked.

It was when I was at my acupuncture appointment that I realized I needed to stop being so uptight about trying to get this baby earth side and start focusing on what I needed from this birth.  I needed to have confirmation that I didn’t take the easy way out with my previous births by consenting to a caesarian. I needed a reminder that each baby came the way they were meant. I needed to trust my instincts and my ability to make informed decisions about what steps to take during birth.

My c-section scar started having shooting pains like I never felt before, I KNEW was time. I had to make my trek down the highway to the neighbouring city as my local hospital was on diversion. I was triaged, baby was being monitored, and the OB came in to make sure my uterus wasn’t rupturing (that’s the risk when trying for a vaginal birth after a c-section). Everything looked fine. He asked me if I wanted to have a baby tonight. I looked at my husband and with a clear mind I said yes! I didn’t argue or fight for a VBA2C. I knew in that moment I needed to have my baby in my arms. I knew I couldn’t wait any longer, 6 days overdue was long enough.

I had the birth I needed, not the birth I planned and dreamed of. I experienced the weeks of false labour that some women get and the frustration of the contractions not turning into anything significant. I experienced the frustration of being overdue. I knew healing from a 3rd caesarian was going to be hard, I knew baby needed to be born this way… I just didn’t know why. I trusted my instincts, no one forced me to have the c-section. I chose it and I’m proud of the choice I made.

 

Heidi, Owner, Yellow Bird Birth Inc.

Professional Doula Services | Placenta Encapsulation | Prenatal Classes

Stressed Spelled Backwards is Desserts

by Heidi

We all have those mile long lists of things that need to get done before baby arrives, you know the one, it includes painting the nursery, making sure all the shelves are secured to the wall and cleaning supplies are out of reach of small children, stocking the freezer with ready-made meals, buying the newest and greatest baby gadget on the market, and packing the hospital bags.  Often we can get consumed by the ever growing list, causing unnecessary stress and anxiety. We forget to take a deep breath, relax, and indulge in some self-care. For those of you who know me personally, know that I’m currently 28 weeks pregnant with my third and am currently in the midst of buying and moving to a bigger home around the same time baby is due; the stress and anxiety going through my brain is ridiculous. The irony of this blog post is definitely not lost on me, I’ve been actually laughing at myself as I wrote this. So how can we as pregnant women de-stress and relax? It’s not like we can grab that glass of wine anymore..

 

Breathing Exercises

Its amazing how deep intentional breathes can relax your body and allow the stress and anxiety to melt away. The best part is, breathing exercises can be done at any time or anywhere. When taking those deep through the nose breaths, you are increasing blood flow, improving posture, calming your nervous system (reducing the fight or flight response), and pausing in the midst of chaos to become focused and grounded. Bonus is, if you can learn to take deep intentional breathes while pregnant, it will become second nature and will help when you are riding those long waves of contractions when it’s time for labour, WIN- WIN!  Here is a very easy Breathing Technique I have been using called the 4-7-8 Method.

Get Outside and Exercise

Sunshine and Vitamin D is essential. The more fresh air you take in the more “clean” oxygen you are taking in which increases the serotonin (the happy hormone) you inhale, the happier you become. Going for a walk or any sort of exercise helps get those muscles moving, blood pumping, and help decrease any discomfort you are feeling such as backaches, relieves stress, and builds up stamina that is needed for the labour and delivery of your little on. Fresh air also gives you more energy and a clearer mind. After spending a few minutes outside you may notice an extra pep in your step and ready to take on the task at hand that was bogging you down a few minutes before.  Being able to get outside may not always be possible when we need it the most, so opening a window and taking some deep breaths while standing beside it is a great compromise.

 

Take a Bath

This one is my favourite. While it’s recommended not to take a bath that’s hot enough to raise our body temperatures to 102.2 degrees for longer than 10 minutes, a bath is a great way to wash all the anxiety and stress away. Turn the lights off, light some candles, play some of your favourite music, read a book or watch a movie, pour yourself some bubbly (bubble bath that is), and just relax back. Turn your mind off! Ignore the doorbell, and your phone. Soak in the ambiance, romance yourself. If you have any other children, this may be difficult, but I have had great success using this technique after mine have gone to bed for the night. My husband knows I needs a “mommy time out” and he is “mom duty” for the next hour or so!  

 

Be Productive

Sometimes getting down on all fours and scrubbing those stubborn stains off the baseboards or making some delicious backed goods (after all stressed spelled backwards is desserts) can be the best way for a person to work through their stress and anxiety. Bonus is if you’re in the late stages of your pregnancy as it’s said that being down on all fours can help shift baby into a great position for birth. It’s amazing how therapeutic scrubbing a floor or pounding down some risen dough is, for me at least, it’s when I do my best thinking, and am able to more often than not work out a solution for what is causing me to be stressed out or anxious. 

 

Remember Rome wasn’t built in a day, so why does the nursery have to be Pinterest perfect? Self-care is so important in any stage of life. If you can learn a way that works best for you to de-stress now, it will become a lifelong skill you can fall back on for the years to come. Pregnancy can be an overwhelming time for many women, but it also is a beautiful time to reflect and start bonding with your unborn child. So don’t let stress and anxiety control your pregnancy, take some time to enjoy the dessert 😉

 

Heidi, Client Care Specialist , Yellow Bird Birth Inc.

Professional Doula Services | Placenta Encapsulation | Surrogacy Support | Prenatal Classes | Business Support

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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Birth Out Loud: In The Philippines Pt. 1

by Heidi

Birth

Two births (First in Philippines, second in Canada) and midwifery clinic in a rural village.

“I went back to work when he was 4 weeks old and started attending births, mostly doing prenatals in our midwifery clinic in the rural Philippines.  I watched one birth with him on my back and quickly asked if I could take a couple more months off because it was still too fresh. But he was on my back constantly while I did prenatals and did postpartum and then I started attending births when he was 4 months old, catching again. It was a whole different experience and it was still very fresh even though it had been a couple months.  I found my empathy for these women was through the roof and it definitely changed how I practiced midwifery. Once you have been through birth you’re like.. oh yes, I get it, I understand what you are feeling.

One month we had 39 births at the clinic where I attended at least half of those. Sometimes as an assistor, sometimes a charter or primary. It would get intense.  It’s different when you have a kid as he was still nursing. My husband would bring him in and I would quickly nurse him between contractions if I was the primary in the birth room. Sometimes it would be 20 hours of birth before I would get to see my 4 month old again so there was definitely an aspect of sacrificing time with my son in order to do it but my husband was awesome.  He filled in, took up all the slack that I was giving in the mothering aspect.

Having my newborn around the clinic was awesome.  It was a big family, all the midwives there were family so there was always someone there to play with him. Someone to hold him, even at 2am because he was a night owl. Especially if I was in a birth then I could always hear him in the hallway which was the hardest part for me.  Being in an intense birth and it’s so emotional, then hearing him cry and knowing I couldn’t go to him because I had a responsibility in the birth and I had to be a midwife first before I could be a mother.  That was hard and something I didn’t expect.”

 

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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