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Tag Archives: Birth

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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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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She is there.

by Heidi

She is there. Someone to be the “woman to woman” connection that is so primal and instinctive.  She reminds you that your body is strong and was made for this and that your baby is safe and ready.  She enhances your partner’s ability to be fully present for you and help him alongside this beautiful marathon that is birth.

Doula

She knows you through the hours of prenatal sessions together and knows your desires for birth.  She supports your choices and is there to gently remind you what your options are.

She helps you breath and focus, to go inward and let the tightening’s flow as you ride them out.  She keeps the lights low and the space in the room calm so you can get that good oxytocin flowing.

doula

She reminds you to follow your heart, gut and intuition.

She suggests movements and positions to help your baby move further down, to help you rest and to connect with your partner.  She massages your feet, puts pressure on your back and grabs a cool cloth for your forehead.  She brings you back during transition when you want to close your eyes and are done.

A doula is a woman with experience and knowledge in birth.  She comes along on this journey as a guide and an encouragement.

She is there. 

-Amanda & Jaclyn

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

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Business Manager (and more!): Please welcome Kara

by Heidi

The Yellow Bird Team is at it again!  We are busy creating a strong team of women ready to support you and your community.  We are thrilled to announce that Kara Wieler will be joining the team as Business Manager and Bereavement & Stillbirth Doula in Training.  She is skilled and educated in business operations and has a beautiful heart for women and birth.

Read more about Kara below.

Doula Still Birth 1

Kara Wieler!

I am an adventurer, a business woman and a mother of two very active boys aged 2 and 4. My passions are traveling, helping mothers and living outside of my comfort zone.

After living the last year and a half out of a travel trailer, touring western Canada with my husband and children, I am ready to settle down and start serving the community that I grew up in.

This December, I came to Chilliwack to partner with Amanda and Jaclyn at Yellow Bird Birth. Starting January 4th, I will begin a year of education with the StillBirthday Foundation ( http://www.stillbirthday.info/ ) to become a Bereavement & Stillbirth Doula. My hope for after this training is to be able to provide a necessary service to grieving parents during the most difficult time of loss: supporting the birth process and helping parents cope in the stages before and after. I also hope to facilitate a support network for women struggling with miscarriage and fertility problems.

Doula Still Birth

-Yellow Bird Team

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

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Power of Wisdom and Experience

by Heidi

Nervous Pregnant

Newly pregnant, I went straight to the local book store and bought an armload of pregnancy and newborn books. I would read them during my lunch breaks at work, at night before bed and any chance I got to sit down and rest. I obsessed with knowing the details since I was nervous about how my body would grow and how at some point I needed to get this baby out of me!

Somehow I thought knowing more facts would take away the anxiety.

My doctor wasn’t much help, bless his heart, he hadn’t personally experience birth and couldn’t relate on an emotional level.  I needed someone to mellow me out and bring me to a place where I could start imagining what I wanted my pregnancy and birth to look and feel like.

You can find advice all over, a group of moms getting together and trying to top each others terrifying births (at least this was my experience) or being told I should “just get the drugs” from online forums, or the best of all.. random people in the grocery store giving me information on how I shouldn’t have a home birth/use a midwife.

Then I found it.  A women who had older children, who was calm, wise and very encouraging.  She had been there, through it all.  She gave me non judgmental advice on enjoying my experience.  Not putting all the focus on the birth but the postpartum period as well.  Making sure I was keeping my marriage strong and involving my husband throughout all the months.  She had power of experience and approached me as a mentor, not someone out to frighten me or give me false expectations.

I appreciate all she did and I want to encourage you to find the same! Someone you can trust and who cares for you.  I’ve had many mentors during different phases in my life and I believe it is how us women are meant to pass on knowledge and live in a loving community together.

-Amanda

Fraser Valley’s Premier Doula Group 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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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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