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Tag Archives: Birth Stories

Get To Know Our Team ! Pt 2

by Heidi

Danika … words just don’t do justice to how passionate and driven this woman is about her clients! She loves on her birthing mommas so much! She wants to ensure that each one of them know that they are her priority and feel supported. She loves empowering her moms and cheering them on when things start to get tough during labour. When you become Danika’s client, you become apart of her extended family <3


Tell me about yourself:

Hi everyone! I’m Danika, one of the birth doulas with Yellow Bird Birth. I’m 34 yrs old and I’ve been married to my husband James for 10 yrs this September (together for 16). We have 3 awesome kids, our oldest son Liam just turned 9, our middle guy Ben is 6 and our little girl Mya is 3 (so we are knee deep in the parenting trenches, lol!). Other than having those 3 monkeys, being a birth doula is absolutely the best thing I have ever done with my life. I have also been a Youth & Family Worker for 12.5 years. I am contracted by the Ministry of Children & Family Development to support high risk teens who are in need of safe, suitable housing. 

What is your favourite meal?

 Hands down my Mum-inlaws roast dinner. My husband is from England so my MIL makes a mean roast dinner complete with homemade yorkshire pudding and gravy *insert heart eyes here*

What is your spirit animal and why? 

I have always loved Mountain Gorillas. I’m not sure if they’re my spirit animal, but they’re super cool all the same. 

Favourite Colour? 

Green

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

Oh man my answer is so boring and adult, haha! I would pay off my mortgage, put some money away for my kids to go to post-secondary, and go on a super fun family trip! 

What are you watching on Netflix right now? 

I just finished season 2 of Good Girls. It was awesome!

What as the last book you read?

The Pilot’s Wife. An oldie but a goodie.

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

 I would love to have dinner with my maternal Grandpa and Grandma together. My Grandpa passed away when I was 11 and we were so close. My Grandma is still with us, she will be 83 in September! I would just love to sit with both of them together and listen to all the stories of when they were my age raising 4 kids.

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

Quit my day job and go full time working as a doula.

What is one thing you couldn’t live without?

If we’re being silly – coffee. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. #coffeeislife. If we’re being serious – my support network. My husband, my children, my family, and close friends. Nothing is worth anything without them.

What makes you felt most empowered?

Being a good advocate. Advocacy is the piece people often don’t know as much about when it comes to being a doula. It’s not just all rubbing backs and filling up the essential oil diffuser, haha! (All though that part is important too!). I am so passionate about informed consent. It is so important to me that the people I support know what their options are, they’re well informed of the benefits and potential risks, and they are able to make a decision that works best for their family. Advocating on behalf of my clients is something I’m proud to do and it definitely makes me feel empowered. 

How did you know you wanted to be a doula?

I attended my first birth nearly 13 years ago and it sincerely changed my life. I was with a great friend while she gave birth to her daughter and every aspect of it was so incredible to me. From that moment on I knew birth work was something I felt so connected and devoted to.

What is the most rewarding part about your job?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I never grow tired of witnessing women become mothers. There are so many things about being a doula I absolutely love, but holding space with someone while they walk such an amazing journey and seeing a women’s strength despite how vulnerable she may be feeling, it never gets old. 

What is the hardest part of your job?

 Never knowing when the babies will arrive! Haha. Honestly, I love the unpredictability of birth work, but my husband is a planner so I won’t lie, it stresses him out a little when I’m like “Gotta go!”. He has gotten much better at adapting to my schedule as I have become busier. I am so grateful for him, I couldn’t do this job without his support. 

How do you wind down after attending a birth?

Depends what time I’m leaving the birth, lol. If it’s 3 am, I go home and hit the hay. If it’s during the day I may grab a coffee,  have something to eat, debrief the birth with my husband and most likely have a nap. 

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

You. Can. Do. This. Whatever “this” looks like for your birth, you can do it. You are so unbelievably resilient. There is a strength inside you you never knew existed and you will find it. 

 

Heidi, Owner, Yellow Bird Birth Inc.

Professional Doula Services | Placenta Encapsulation | Prenatal Classes

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

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!

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram

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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Birth Stories: Whitney and Manolo

by Heidi

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

http://mikaelaruthphotography.com

http://mikaelaruthphotography.com

Luka's Birthday-0020-edit

http://mikaelaruthphotography.com

Luka's Birthday-0048

View More: http://mikaelaruthphotography.pass.us/lukas-birthday

View More: http://mikaelaruthphotography.pass.us/lukas-birthday

View More: http://mikaelaruthphotography.pass.us/lukas-birthday

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.

-Amanda

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

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Birth Stories: Jonathan’s Birth in the Hospital Foyer!

by Heidi

Jonathan’s Birth in the Hospital Foyer!

Lauren and Jody’s Birth Story

This AMAZING couple has an edge of your seat fascinating story!  Watch Part 1 and Part 2 of baby Jonathan’s birth in the hospital foyer (in front of Starbucks).

 

Thank you so much for sharing this amazing story Lauren and Jody! What an example of a natural birth with an audience.  Your family rocks!

Jonathan

8lbs 1 oz

11:00 am June 24th

-Amanda

Birth Doula

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Birth Stories: Chelci Unplanned Unassisted Homebirth

by Heidi

The story of Cyrus Charles Slater.

On Friday I began to have what I now know are contractions, they didn’t hurt, they were just there. Ross and I dropped Oakley off at my moms house and we went to dinner and we went to play mini golf. I think all the bending down to pick up the ball was really helping baby Cyrus move down, because by the end of the night Ross let me know I was definitely waddling now!

On Saturday we picked Oakley up and we went to one of the trade shows at Tradex. We walked around there for 2 hours and I was definitely contracting, but I was fine. I figured, awesome, early labor, my body is going to do this on its own this time! Woohoo.

So on Sunday, we went for lunch with my family, I was still contracting, but whatever right… Ross suddenly was feeling sick, and started being a grouch. Great, an annoying sick husband, and I’m the one in labor! Day continues on no difference, but still contracting randomly.

Monday comes, we had no plans, we just hung out at home. But wow, Oakley was SO CLINGY. She would not leave my side! I can’t remember anything that happened that day except that Ross was man sick and Oakley was crazy.

By 10pm my contractions were coming about 10 mins apart, they were a little more painful then before, but I was still cool. Ross and I got into a big argument at 1am, mostly because he was man sick and Oakley was STILL AWAKE.

I called Miranda (my doula) to come over, I don’t really know why I called her, because I wasn’t even convinced I was in active labor. But because my emotions were overboard, I figured I needed someone to talk to and vent to and I also figured she would know if this was the real deal, or still early labor.

Miranda arrived about 2:30am. We went for a walk, I vented, she made me laugh, she let me decompress and I felt better. But still contracting. But I was still able to laugh, walk, talk, etc. We thought Ross might be able to get Oakley to sleep while I was gone, but nope, she was still awake. All 4 of us went for a walk, how funny would that be, look out your window at 3am and you see 3 adults and a 1.5 year old just walking around like it’s the middle of the afternoon….

Anyways, we return home and Miranda convinces me that I need to get Oakley to sleep, once she is asleep, and I get some sleep, and relax… then hopefully my body will ramp up and maybe tomorrow labor will start. So I laid in bed with Ross at 345, I nursed Oakley, it was awful. My aversion with her was so bad. I had to grit my teeth and bear through it. All of a sudden I had 2 back to back very bad strong contractions. I had to squeeze Ross’ hand, and I said to him “OMG THIS IS IT, and if THIS IS IT, I CAN’T DO IT, this HURTS”.
It must have calmed down for a minute because I posted on FB at 4am on the dot… and then Oakley let go of my boob.. and my water broke!!!! Right there in bed. I must have yelled or something because Miranda came running in, and she helped me get through the next contraction while my water was breaking.
Unassisted Homebirth 1
I got out of bed and into the bathroom, and within minutes I told Ross and Miranda that I had to PUSH! I think we were all in shock at this point. Miranda got Ross to call the midwife, and then 911. I reached in and I could touch his head, he was right there!

I asked Miranda if she ever delivered a baby, and she said not yet! And I said me either but lets do it. I don’t remember very much after this, I remember Miranda was talking to me. But I have no idea what she was saying. I remember Ross rushing in and out of the bathroom because he had no cell service in there!

Weirdest but most awesome thing was when I got down on all 4s, I could feel Cyrus coming down, and then going up with contractions. It was the most amazing feeling. I didn’t experience that feeling when I pushed Oakley out, probably because I was on my back (ps– that’s just a dumb pushing position!!!).

I wasn’t even pushing, he was just coming !!! Next thing I know he was out! Ross caught him, and then Miranda pulled him up front onto my chest. He didn’t cry for a split second and I worried.. and then he cried. It was awesome. He was perfect. A few mins after he was born I said WHAT TIME WAS HE BORN!!!? haha, we all guessed 4:32am, so that’s what we went with.

911 showed up and said Happy Birthday to little Cyrus. they clamped his cord and Ross cut it. Then we just hung out in the bathroom, waiting for Heather the midwife.
Unassisted Homebirth 2
She came, and then we moved to the couch, where I nursed Cyrus for the first time, and Heather gave me a stitch.

My mom showed up… she was called when my water broke. She thought she was coming to watch Oakley because my water broke. She was confused why she wasn’t meeting us at the hospital, Ross forgot to tell her that the baby was coming NOW. So when she walked in, I was butt naked on the couch, holding my baby!!! She waltzes in with her coffee, and was shocked.

Then after a few hours everyone was gone, and it was just me and my little family.

I never imagined having a home birth, but it was amazing. I don’t have the words. It was unbelievable. You’d think this situation would be scary, but it wasn’t. it was calm, it was relaxed. It was perfect.

Cyrus Charles Slater
September 23rd
8lbs, 20.5″
4:32am