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Tag Archives: Doulas

Get To Know Our Team! Pt 5

by Heidi

Candace is the newest member of our team! Not only is she bringing her amazing doula skills to our team BUT she is also going to be bringing her AWESOME photography skills too! We are so excited to announce our new BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHY add-on to our doula services. Stay tuned for more information on this! But for the meantime lets get to know Candace <3

Tell me about yourself:

I’m  a full time mom, but I like to include my family in as many of areas of my life – being anywhere outside, road trips, travelling anywhere in the world, photography, surfing. I also enjoy a glass of red wine and a good board game.

What is your favourite meal?

Real, authentic, northern Chinese food. Or Thai food. Or some real street tacos.

What is your spirit animal and why?

I have no idea. I’ve always been drawn to lions – strength and courage, loyalty and protection.

Favourite Colour?

Blue

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

Pay off student loans, put money away for kids, design my dream home, travel to a new country every year. Secretly deposit money into peoples bank accounts who need it.

What are you watching on Netflix right now?

At this exact moment, Jane the virgin. When I’m editing- how i met your mother.  Stranger things & Australian Instant Hotel

What as the last book you read?

Rising strong by Brene Brown

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

My great Grandma – people say we are a lot alike but I only had met her when i was a young toddler

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

Write a book

What is one thing you couldn’t live without?

My camera – being able to capture real and raw moments, brokenness, smiles, joy, laughter, tears – everything.

What makes you felt most empowered?

Being with people who believe in me and what I do. Looking back on hardships I’ve been through and how strong they made me.

How did you know you wanted to be a doula?

– oh man – I just KNEW.  After the first birth I was part of, I was hooked. The intensity, the love, the teamwork, the strength, just, ALL OF IT.  After I had my first baby, the support I had was the driving force that held me up when I felt like giving up, and i wanted others to have the same.

What is the most rewarding part about your job?

When the first cry is heard! The post birth talk – “wow, I didn’t think I’d get through , but look, I DID IT”

What is the hardest part of your job?

Being on call with kids is hard! When I’m on call, my kids are on call, my husband is on call, my mom (the babysitter) is on call.

How do you wind down after attending a birth?

 A bath, cuddling my own kids, and sleep.

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

You have options options options. Have a support team that doesn’t have hidden agendas or a biased opinion on birth – a team that supports you and your birth plan. Your body was created for birth – from conception, to nourishing and growing a baby in utero, to labour – every part of the journey is meant to happen and your body was made for it.

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

 

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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The Gift of a Blessingway

by Heidi

Recently I received the most wonderful surprise of this pregnancy so far, a Blessingway Ceremony.

Also called a Mother Blessing, a blessingway is a traditional ceremony that honours the mother and the rite of passage into motherhood. These gatherings often occur instead of a baby shower which tends to focus more on gifts for the baby and less on honouring the sacred time of pregnancy and birth.10987315_10153149848078120_4470301643426764419_n

The beautiful gathering held for me truly was a blessing! I was greeted outside by the women who are closest to me, dressed in beautiful flowing fabrics, their faces full of excitement!

I was guided into my sister home which was draped in colourful fabrics, covered in cushy pillows, lovely flowers, and the smells of yummy snacks! I was given a seat of honour and the guests circled me with pillows on the floor. We opened with some deep breathing, a prayer, and a reading about connecting with my baby and acknowledging the support of those around me. The women then took turns giving me meaningful beads they had brought for a birthing necklace and sharing some scripture, words of encouragement, or a poem. The tears of joy were shared by most during this time! A far away friend even video chatted in to share her words and prayers for my birth and growing family.

Birth Supporters

Birth Supporters

We then moved into snacking and crafting! Cream puffs and cake…Yum! My birthing necklace was assembled for me, a crown of flowers placed on my head, and we got to work painting affirmation flags. The laughs and joys were shared by all as we chatted about my upcoming birth and plans for my placenta among other things. These flags will be strung together and hung in my birthing space when the time arises.

Birthing Affirmation Flags

Birthing Affirmation Flags

Then came the pampering part of the afternoon. I laid back in my thrown and was treated to an herbal foot bath, hand massages, and a henna painting on my belly. I was brought nourishing tea and snacks while I waited for the henna to dry. It was so nice to not be allowed to move for a while, a very different situation than what I usually am in with a 2 year old in my home! Just before the women parted, we wrapped our wrists with soft string, creating a web between us all. Everyone then cut the strings, tied them on, and was invited to keep the bracelets on until my baby arrives, thinking and praying for me in the meantime. Candles were also given out to each guest who will be notified when I go into labour so they can light their candle and think of me.

Beautiful Mama

Beautiful Mama

It was an afternoon of rest, joy, love, encouragement, and feeling truly supported by such wonderful women. If you are interested in a blessing way ceremony for yourself or a mama to be, I highly suggest hiring a host/coordinator like Miranda from Elderberry Birth who gracefully led our gathering!10428545_10153149848123120_2655490022096101367_n

Thank you again to all those who gathered around me, I will never forget this afternoon and all the beauty it brought to the birth of my son.