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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 ! Pt3

by Heidi

If I had to describe Brenna using 10 words or less I’d would use: Soft spoken, Empathetic, Strong, Driven, and Full of Passion. She builds relationships with her birthing mommas with such easy. We love having her be a part of the Yellow Bird Birth team <3

Tell me about yourself :

My husband and I live on his family’s dairy farm in Greendale. He works with the cows and I do the bookkeeping. We joke that he’s a doula for cows and I’m a doula for humans. We’ve been married three years, and in that time, we’ve built a house and have two children. We love to garden, hang out at the river with our dogs, and be home bodies. Our daughter is two years old and is beautifully independent and wild and keeps us on our toes! Our son is two months old and is so squishy and cute.

What is your favourite meal?

If you were to ask me this when I was a kid, I’d say my Grandpa’s spaghetti. Now I can’t really pick one thing. Anything spicy! I love Mexican and Indian food. I also have a major sweet tooth!

What is your spirit animal and why?

A cat… They’re lazy and independent. They only really want to interact when they feel like it but are so lovely and kind natured at the same time. lol

Favourite Colour?

Green

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

I’d take my husband travelling.

What are you watching on Netflix right now?

I just finished watching Black Spot and When They See Us

What as the last book you read?

Educated

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

My Grandma, I have so many questions about her life.

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

I’d go to school to be a Midwife and deliver babies in third world countries.

What is one thing you couldn’t live without?

Honestly, my husband (so cheesy I know) but he takes care of me better then I can take care of myself!

What makes you felt most empowered?

Jesus. Knowing that I’m valuable and worthy and that He covers all my dark stuff makes me know I can do anything.

How did you know you wanted to be a doula?

I’ve always known I wanted to work with women. I nannied for a family when I was just out of high school and the lady, I worked for had just been certified as a Doula and wanting to go to school to be a Midwife. The way she described advocating and supporting women in their most vulnerable moments I knew I wanted to do the same.

What is the most rewarding part about your job?

Seeing that look of “I did it” on a woman’s face right after she’s had her baby. Seeing families be born. It is the most raw and beautiful thing I’ve ever been apart of. It never gets old.

What is the hardest part of your job?

Being on call

How do you wind down after attending a birth?

I sleep! And hang out with my family.

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

That she has a voice and can birth however she wants! That fear has no right to be in her space and that her body knows exactly what it’s doing.

 

Heidi, Owner , Yellow Bird Birth

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

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

 

Dear 3rd trimester Momma

by Heidi

WE UNDERSTAND:

It’s hard looking down and seeing what once was ankles, are now unrecognizable and have been consumed by these thick puffy cankles. Those sexy little sling back sandals you bought to match your dress are now impossible to fit, you might as well try and place a whole cow into a single sausage casing.

WE UNDERSTAND:

That you are tossing and turning each night trying to get to a good night’s rest. Sleep has become a foreign concept, and if another person comments on how tired you look, you may just burst into tears. Don’t they know that you now have a worn out path where your new hardwood floor once was because you have been pacing back and forth all night long. Pregnancy insomnia is such a struggle.

WE UNDERSTAND:

That there is nothing glamorous about the end of pregnancy. There is no shame in wearing those adult diapers or thick panty liners you are trying to hide under your jeans! Can’t be caught unprepared for a miscalculated sneeze or cough accident or better yet, JUST INCASE your water breaks in public? No one wants to be THAT pregnant lady.

WE UNDERSTAND:

That you are wanting to hide away in your home. If you receive one more text you or call you asking if baby is born yet, you will take a sledge hammer to your phone! And if another stranger (or friend) comments how huge you look, they may be unapologetically drowned in an unholy dose of pregnancy hormone rage that can’t be tamed.

WE UNDERSTAND:

The spilt juice on the floor will most likely be there tomorrow. After all bending, down to clean it may mean you’re on the floor for an extended amount of time, so you want to plan your day around cleaning that spill so you can be prepared to clean the baseboards, cupboards and fridge while your down there.

WE UNDERSTAND:

Waddling is no longer left to the penguins.

WE UNDERSTAND:

A crowded room is now your nemesis. No one likes sweat dripping down their back. Even if you had flashing lights and a wide load sign above your head, there is no way you’d be able to squeeze through the crowd, the classic “turn sideways, hold your breath and slide through” technique is no longer your friend. You either strategically find a space to spend your time (one that’s equally close to the food and beverages as it is to the bathroom but still in the cross breeze of the open windows), or your just ram your big O’ baby belly into people (making them feel as though it was they’re fault they bumped you) as you make your way across the room.

WE UNDERSTAND:

It’s frustrating waiting to see if every Braxton hicks you feel is going to be “THE REAL DEAL” this time, or that you have inspected that toilet paper you wiped to see JUST MAYBE you lost your mucus plug or had your bloody show.

WE UNDERSTAND:

All these things listed above will only be a faint memory the moment your babe is placed on your chest for the very first time.  Those sling back sandals you never really liked anyways. Lack of sleep was just building up your endurance for all those late night feeds. Those adult diapers and panty liners, just gave you extra cushion when you sat on a hard chair, that’s the real reason you wore them. You’d never ACTUALLY take a sledge hammer to your phone, after all how else would you be able to baby spam all your friends and family?  Your fridge and floors has never been cleaner since being pregnant.  Who ever said you waddled was jealous of your pregnancy swagger!  Crowded rooms just gave you an excuses to get out of those non-essential events that where going to bore you anyways. And really, inspecting your toilet paper after ever use of the bathroom just gave you something to do to pass the time.

 

Heidi, Owner, Yellow Bird Birth Inc.

Professional Doula Services | Placenta Encapsulation | Prenatal Classes

Enough With The Parenting Books Already!

by Heidi

Enough with parenting books!

I have had enough! Let’s get rid of these parenting books which tell us how to carry, sleep, feed and play with our babies. How many of you have read one of these books just to feel down on the way you are raising your children?

I was a new mommy and was recommended a sleep training book (I won’t say names). I started to read about how a baby shouldn’t depend on soothing noises, comforts of their mother, or milk… at this point I was bed sharing with my little guy just to survive night time wake ups. It told me that I needed to train my child to be independent, to learn to fall asleep on his own, and for him to figure out that mommy would not come running at every cry. How sad is that? I felt like a horrible mom! I felt like I was teaching my baby to be too needy and depended on his mom and dad. I admit that I even tried to sleep train at 8 months and sat in the hall way crying. I spent many hours over those months rocking him and snuggling him just to get him to close his eyes. We had a good routine and even though it was a lot of work, I look back now 4 years later and don’t regret any of that time! Of course my second child was an amazing sleeper, she would lay down and be sound asleep within minutes, so I guess the book was meant for her…

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I read a parenting book once that told me my child should be trained in first time obedience. That I needed to run my home as if we were in the military. When I ask for something to be done they need to obey immediately. While this would make parenting much easier (not having to ask so many times), I also realize that if my husband treated me this way I would feel very low and discouraged. While I didn’t want to encourage this super strict behavior in my family, I couldn’t help but feel frustrated when my toddlers wouldn’t respond instantly and give me their full intention. I expected much more than they were capable of at their very young age. I believe that a child needs boundaries and rules, they need to practice respect and being a positive part of a community, but they also need grace and forgiveness.

I wish we practiced what our grandmothers did and follow the advice of the experienced women around us and the mothers that came before us. It amazes me the wisdom that can be found by sitting listening to women who have been there decades previous. Let’s follow our instincts and raise each child the way we believe is natural and instinctual.

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There are many more examples but I would prefer to focus on the good and not the bad. This is where Sarah Mae comes in. This is one of the only books on parenting that I recommend. Her blog and book have changed the way I parent! Her style of loving her children has been such an encouragement. Each paragraph I read would make me more and more excited to be close to my babies. She talks of grace and love and beautiful things.

I went upstairs and looked at my sweet little one, who is now four, curled up under her covers peacefully. I said, “Do you need me?” She nodded. I knelt down, crawled into bed with her, and snuggled up close. “Lullaby, and goodnight…” I softly began to sing. I rubbed her head and  nuzzled my nose into her hair, and felt the delicateness of her soft skin. She lay there precious and still, with heavy eyelids, and I kissed her head and thought, “How many times have I rushed bedtime? How many moments like this have I lost?” –Sarah Mae, Maybe Your Two Year Old Just Needs You

If you are looking for some light and joy in your parenting journey I suggest reading what Sarah has to say. I promise it will give hope and encouragement in times of need.

-Amanda

Birth Doula and Mother Of Two

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