19. Baby Levi & Beau 8/11/18 - 11:03 & 11:04 am
18. Baby Sid - 6/19/18 - 9:04 PM
17. Baby Annelise - 6/4/18 - 11:12am
16. Baby Brian Keith - 4/21/18 - 5:18pm
15. Baby Theodore - 2/16/18 - 1:01PM
14. Baby Joelle - 1/12/18 - 10:24am
13. Baby Raelin - 12/31/17 - 8:35pm
12. Baby LANE (11/05/17) & Baby Cole (11/06/17)
11. Baby Louis - 10/24/17 - 2:25am
10. Baby Finn - 08/15/17 - 9:07am
9. Baby Ben - 06/30/2017 - 3:39am
8. Baby Stella - 06/18/2017 - 1:45am
7. Baby Jase - 06/15/2017 - 9:36pm
6. Baby Danny - 06/08/2017 - 3:39pm
5. Baby Emerson - 04/02/17 - 10:57pm
4. Baby Archer - 02/16/17 - 6:56pm
3. Baby Jack - 01/02/16 - 9:36am
2. BABY SADIE - 12/31/15 - 5:20AM
1. Baby James - 10/19/15 - 5:02am
Looking back on 2017, I am left feeling GRateful and fulfilled.
I am grateful for the experiences, the clients, the births, THE growth, the doors opening, and connections made.
I wrote this in 2016 heading into 2017: 2017 Goals
The reality of 2016 was that it was slow with lots of ground work being laid, without much action seen. The first half of 2016 consisted of one birth, one interview where I didn't get hired, one "Meet The Doula" night and one person showed up. A big ::womp womp:: However, I networked with many local doulas and worked on marketing and other business tasks. That time of work growing my business gave me a test in patience and a dose of perspective, both good. As the year went on things started to look up, I had a second interview and was hired for a February 2017 birth. Shortly thereafter I was hired by a repeat client, a Spring birth. As I set my sights on 2017... I decided my goal was 4-6 births for the new year. I felt like I worked hard and was HOPEFUL that 2017 would reap some benefits.
What happened? I attended ten births in 2017. Ten! Nine of my own contracted clients and one bereavement birth.
1 February - 1 April - 4 June - 1 August - 1 October - 1 November - 1 December
Something Funny... those births were "due":
1 February - 1 April - 2 June - 1 July - 1 August - 1 OCtober - 1 November - 1 January 2018
After how busy June was and seeing clearly that some babies come early, some come late, and bereavement births are completely unplanned: I decided that 1 client a month was sustainable for me. I have also instituted "vacation" months. Months off to live out of the on-call hustle and be able to power down that hyper alert side of my brain.
Learning my threshold for this work was a learning curve... but a good one. The doula turn over rate is high and after a busy summer, I was feeling that burn-out setting in, Which scared me!! I don't want to burn out. I don't want to lose the love for birth and trade in my doula bag and stork leggings. That's when I stepped back and found what it meant for doula work to be sustainable for me. All of that was a blessing. New lessons learned in 2017.
Some other things that happened in 2017:
2017 has been good. Very good.
so what do I hope 2018 holds?
I hope to continue to be open to BEREAVEMENT cases, both those who need me remotely (texts, PMs, emails) and those who would like support in person. Most of the time people learn about me after they have already gone through a loss... in that case, remote support is all that is needed. The more my name spreads, the more awareness spreads, the more chance that I can support someone in-person through their loss and make a bigger difference than talking after the fact (which still helps).
I would love 5-7 births this coming year. More than numbers, I hope to continue to be blessed with the most wonderful clients. They are just that: wonderful. ALL of them. I am telling you, I have never had a client who was less than amazing. My next blog post will be a thank you to all of them. I feel so blessed with who God has placed in my life. They come from all different areas, different backgrounds, different everything... and they are all amazing.
I also look forward to continuing to be a part of Stella's Hearts, the VBAC class, Being an SBD Student Mentor & continue collaborating, Giving back, and growing.
thank you, 2017.... 2018, let's do this.
Just two days before I met Stella I had a conversation about loss. I said that while I am trained in bereavement I hadn't yet attended a bereavement birth... but that at some point, I would. When I said that, I said it with a little trepidation. Walking with a family through possibly the hardest thing they will ever experience is daunting. This conversation actually happened at a birth I attended. A healthy baby boy was born that night and when I went to bed, I fell asleep quickly and slept hard, which I tend to do after a birth. Upon waking I grabbed my phone and scrolled Facebook. One of the first few posts I read that morning was Krista's post: "She's gone" "I don't know how I will survive this"... I felt that emotional drain of the day before lift and I felt God saying "This is why I led you to this work." Every ounce of fear, hesitation, and trepidation fled and I reached out to Krista. I didn't know Krista, but I offered to be by her and her husband's sides as they birthed a baby that they desperately wanted to meet under different circumstances.
Krista said yes to my services and we waited as it took over a day for a bed to be ready at the hospital. In the interim I questioned my training, my knowledge, and my heart. Would I be enough for this family? I didn't know. What I did know is that I was going and I was going to do my very best. I would be there, standing in that space, recognizing Stella, and holding their hearts.
And then I was called in...
Walking into that birthing room, ease entered with me. Stella's birth held so many similarities to every other birth I have attended and so much beauty... in many ways it was the same pattern of contractions, waiting, and anticipation for the baby to be born. There were also raw emotions, an understanding of the contrast, and hearts barely held together. I distinctly remember sitting on a window ledge as we kept vigil and Krista restlessly slept, and I thought, "There is absolutely nowhere else I would rather be tonight." I say this because stillbirth sparks fear, anxiety, and pity in the hearts of most when they hear it mentioned, but stillbirth is a birth and a baby is born, welcomed, mothered, loved, held, and cared for. Stillbirth is a reality and if there was one word for that night that Stella was born, it would be "beautiful." The after is so crippling hard... moving on without your baby, but the process... her birth... that was beautiful.
Below are the photos captured by the amazing (and my co-doula that night, for sure) Stephanie Emeigh of http://www.emeighphotography.com/
These photos speak volumes... down time, contractions, connection, exhaustion, labor, and the waiting...
And then she arrived. Stella calmly and without hustle, bright lights, or fanfare entered this earth. At the moment Stella was born, and the time leading up, Stephanie and I were next to Krista, providing physical comfort and emotional reassurance. The three of us were one in that moment. Stella knew exactly when her mama was ready for her. Calmly, smoothly, and gently, Stella arrived...
The hole you left was far bigger than your 10 ounce little self. You were so very wanted. You were longed for. You were and are fiercely loved. You were to be rainbow after 2 early losses and your passing was heart shattering. In the hours after you were born, there was a lifetime's worth of parenting encompassed... you were held, admired, studied, and kept close. Your presence in the room remained calm, even with the reality and the weight of your birth and death. Stella, you are an amazingly special little girl and I am so thankful to be a part of your story and your mama's life.
Nobody should ever have to talk this path. It shouldn't be allowed. However, if you look very closely, there is calm in the storm, beauty in the chaos, and redemption in the rubble. "She was born silent into this world, but her little life spoke volumes." Stella, I think this is only the beginning. I wish your story was written differently. I wish for mended hearts and happy lives, but I am also in awe of the hearts you have already touched and the impact that your little life has had and will continue to. Fly free, sweet girl... fly free...
I typically bring a set of birth affirmation cards to my second prenatal appointments with my birth clients as a small "baby soon!" gift... I got to thinking "Hey, I do graphic design... I should make up my own." So I did! Below are the JPG images... feel free to right-click and download any you like. Additionally, there is a compressed file if you would like all 12! Help yourself!
If you have any birth affirmations you like, but don't see here, add them in the comments. If I compile enough new affirmations, I will create a new set. :)
As I continue in my career as a doula, I'm seeing that more and more, the majority of the clients I serve are VBAC mamas. These ladies have had a prior cesarean section and are hoping for a successful vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) with this next baby. I have come to really love the journey of a VBAC and walking alongside these moms through pregnancy and their births. There is such an intentional nature during these pregnancies. The education, the empowerment, and the vulnerability of a VBAC mom is what attracts me to these clients. Prior experience keeps a humble and grounded tone, yet hope drives the pregnancy. There is one things that I've found to be true: VBAC moms tend to do "extra" to prepare for their births. These things help ensure the best odds for success. Each mom I have had has done things differently, but a mix of some of thee below has made for confident moms and healthy outcomes.
1. Your Provider
Not all OBs are created alike. VBAC is becoming more and more the norm and is supported by most OBs at this point, which is wonderful! However, a supportive OB in the office and a supportive OB through labor are two completely different things. Most OBs appear VBAC friendly, or at least open, however in labor when x, y, or z happens the rapport and trust with your OB comes into play. You and your OB are on a team. Your likely won't see your OB in the hospital until it's time to push, however he/she will be called several times through labor and has the final decisions on time restrictions, adding interventions or augmentation, and whether a cesarean enters the picture or not rides on him/her. The connection and trust between OB and patient is awesome and needed, I feel.
In the larger practices, there is more possibility of being one-among-many and even if you see the same doctor for office visits (and love them), whomever is on-call when you go into labor will be the one to decide how your labor is progressing. Often there are stricter protocols for VBACs in the larger offices, so the odds may be higher against you, just due to their protocol (interventions added in more quickly, shorter wait times if a labor stalls before a cesarean is performed, etc). In the smaller or solo practices, there seems to be a cautious-but-trusting nature. Protocols seem more purposeful and a mom's body seems to be better trusted. Also, you have that rapport with your OB. You create a relationship with the doctor who will actually be overseeing your birth. In addition, your OB knows you. Your wishes, thoughts, and intentions are known, which I think creates a better climate for labor.
Additionally, there are OBs who are specifically known for being VBAC friendly... those are always the best place to start. I have had great experience with 2 of the VBAC-friendly OBs here. I have much respect for them. They rocked major socks through pregnancy and in labor. If you are local, I will gladly share my lists of VBAC friendly OBs. Just email me.
**There is always the option for a home birth midwife as well.
2. VBAC Support Groups
There are a few general VBAC support groups on Facebook. For some the camaraderie and the "I did it, you can too" message is beneficial and keeps confidence going through their pregnancies. Turning to those groups to ask questions, reading personal stories, and lifting each other up can be calming and connecting.
VBAC meetings. The International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN) has chapters all over the country. These chapters typically host support-meetings monthly. Stories are shared and fears are addressed and eased. Again, that camaraderie is present, but this time in a face-to-face setting. Just knowing you aren't alone and that others have walked that path is uplifting. Our local Lehigh Valley is run by an amazing woman, Leah. Her meetings are wonderful and I would recommend them to any VBAC mom.
ICAN of the Lehigh Valley FB Page
Sometimes delving deeper into childbirth education helps. Knowledge is power. Knowing not only what your body is doing, but how to best respond to it can be pivotal. I recently had a client who took a comprehensive childbirth ed. class with her first baby. She was adept at everything that would happen in labor, however with this next pregnancy she pursued a Hypnobabies course. There was a deeper level of understanding the mind-body connection and she gained new tools to help herself through contractions thanks to Hypnobabies. Learning is always good and sometimes having that extra backing and knowledge can better prepare yourself and also boost confidence that comes with deeper study of our bodies and their capabilities.
4. Doula support
Ok, ok. I AM a doula, so I'm incredibly biased, right? Well, yeah, but that's not why I add this to the list. I've seen the benefit with my own two eyes. Having extra support through pregnancy and then through labor can positively impact your experience (found again and again). However, I will absolutely never take credit for a vaginal birth. Hiring a doula doesn't guarantee a vaginal birth. I don't birth those babies myself, nor do I wave my magic doula wand and grant a vaginal birth. What I do is support. I support your wishes. I support your goals. I support you emotionally. I support you physically and help make your labor as smooth as possible. If things go awry, I keep the calm. I keep perspective. I help your husband be a better birth team for you... I work with him, keeping him at the forefront of your support team. I have tricks and tools to make labor more comfortable and possibly quicker, but I don't gift you with a vaginal birth... I walk alongside you, helping you, as you achieve it. I help to keep you uplifted through your pregnancy, understanding your past experience, talking over any points of fear or hesitation, I educate on positions and comfort measures to help with contractions, and I am a steady force with you through pregnancy, labor, and birth.
Not every doula is for every woman though. Interview a few. When you feel a good connection with a particular doula... SHE is your doula. All of us, in this area, are well trained, are kind, and are professional. We all have different strengths and weaknesses and personalities though and that personal connection with a doula will be what brings you comfort and success in choosing one. You want her to jive with you so that she flows into your labor and ruffles no feathers. She should be a seamless addition to your birth.
5. Treat Your Body Well
Eat well. Fuel your body. If you exercised prior to pregnancy, continue to exercise and modify as needed. Do gentle yoga flows. Walk. Squat. All these things will keep you toned and physically ready for the marathon that is labor and birth.
I know many that don't believe in chiropractic, however I've seen it work wonders again and again in my own life and for birth, it just plain makes sense. Having your spine and hips aligned will give your baby a straight shoot out during birth... no extra twist or turns to navigate from misalignments. Being properly aligned will also help your hips be in the optimal position (and open) which will allow your baby's head to properly, and most efficiently, fit into your pelvis. Having your baby's head fit well will allow for contractions to be more effective because there is good pressure placed on your cervix with each contraction. Effective contractions will help the baby descend more quickly, and well... down and out is the goal.
7. Your Mindset
In preparing for a VBAC, thinking/talking over your past experience and mentally finding your confidence is key. Calm confidence will serve you well leading up to your birth. Recognizing that you may have another cesarean is healthy. With each client, we talk about the "if". For instance: If you end up with another c-section, what things do you hope go differently than your last (immediate skin-to-skin, clear drape, delayed cord cutting etc)? It is something we discuss because it truly is something to consider. However, that isn't dwelt upon, nor should it be. Like I said, hope leads...
Keeping a steady mental mindset can truly help. Ways to help bring the calm and confidence will look differently for everyone: Some may want to read positive birth books or birth stories. Others turn to prayer and to feel like God is guiding this process and that their hearts can be still by trusting in Him. Yet others meditate. Some exercise. Some talk (to a professional, to a friend, to their doula, etc). Whatever it is to make you feel confident and steady... do that. The mind/body connection... it's legit!
Want to know more. It's explained well here:
Truly, preparing for a VBAC simply means getting support around yourself and your birth (OB, doula, etc), coming to peace with your first birth, and setting yourself up well for this next one: physically and mentally. If you have done some of the things off this list, you are well on your way to being prepared for your birth ahead. I have complete confidence in you. Our bodies are strong and capable. Your body conceived and grew this baby perfectly. It knows how to birth this baby as well. Trust that. Trust you.
Best of luck!
-Susie (the doula)
Dear Pregnant Mama,
I've seen many variations of you over time. I've seen the calm, I've seen the ready, and I've seen the scared.
To all those moms out there who have reservations, hesitations, apprehension, or fear surrounding their births, let me tell you this: You've got this.
Birth is sacred. Birth is amazing. Birth will transform. Birth is also trying and it is effort and toil, but it's beautiful. Your body and spirit connect, joining with your baby on the path to face-to-face meeting. You and your baby will work together, slowly at first to enter labor. Your body will climb further and further into labor and you will get closer and closer to meeting your baby. Contractions will come closer. Pain and pressure will get greater. Strength will be summoned...
But you are ok.
You can do this. You were made to do this. Your body knew how to intricately and perfectly form that sweet baby, and it knows precisely how to work with that baby to come earth-side.
Take big breaths. Relax your muscles and slow your heart. You can do this, mama. When the time comes, you are absolutely are equipped to walk the path of labor and birth... I just know it. You are going to do great. I'm so proud of you already.
A Doula Who Believes In You
PS: To help bring the calm and keep the calm, set yourself up well. Surround yourself with people who believe in you and make you feel comfortable:
Choose your provider well. A supportive OB or midwife can make so much difference. That rapport can be vital. You aren't a number. Don't be a number, be a well looked after patient.
Choose your birth location carefully. Know your hospitals or birth centers, do they support the type of birth that you want?
Choose your birth team intently: How much support do you need? How many people do you want with you through your labor? Does your mother or mother-in-law add stress or ease stress surrounding your birth? Would doula support, along with your husband, be helpful or make you feel better? Do you just need him? Think carefully. You don't want anything (or anyone) to ruffle your birth experience... if someone wants to be in your labor room, but they make you uneasy, it is ok to ask them to wait in the waiting room and allow them to come in once the baby is born. You choose who is with you through labor. This is your labor, you need to include the people who are going to benefit you and make you the most comfortable while you welcome your baby into the world.
First and foremost, if you are here reading this, I am so so sorry. I hope to write this and nobody ever has a reason to happen upon it, but I know that's not how this world works. I am so very sorry for the loss of your baby.
Our own processing and grieving is necessary when we experience the loss of a baby. Our own processing comes in many forms. For some of us there is a small period of grappling and peace and healing comes eaily. For others there is a shattering and picking up of pieces... a long hard road. Then there is everywhere in between. Loss and mourning are different for each of us. However, when your loss comes after you already have a child, there is an extra dynamic: the loss of a sibling.
This, too, is unique to your situation. When I lost our baby, my children didn't yet know we were having a baby. I miscarried without them knowing too. I had 3 children at the time. They were 13 months, 2, and 4. This loss flew under their radar and to them life didn't change. For me, I needed to tell them and incorporate that baby into their dynamic at a the right time. A few months after our loss, a natural conversation came up about someone or something else and I was able to tell them that we had a baby that died in my belly and now lives in Heaven and watches over us. I told them our baby's name and answered any questions that came. I have had 2 children since then and they all know about Roch (our baby). They mention him fairly often, but it's not in sadness. They are to-the-point and factual and talk about him as if he's one of them. Because he is.
That was what my family needed. It would have been too confusing to tell them in the moment that I was 1. having a baby and 2. it was happening now (without a big belly or hospital trip), and that the baby had died. It was too much and they were too little to understand all of that right then. In my situation, for an early miscarriage that happened naturally without medical interventions, it made sense to tell them when the time was right.
However, waiting is not always possible or appropriate. If you have a loss further into your pregnancy, have older children, or it just feels right to involved them, then there is a more immediate need to share and to start healing their hearts as well.
I won't pretend to know exactly how that looks or what the perfect course to take is, but I will share my thoughts on sharing the loss of a sibling with your children.
1. Follow your heart. You know your children better than anyone else. You decide the when. You decide the how. There is no right time. There is no perfect time. When you feel the words come and the time approach, share with them.
2. Tell them the truth. The gut reaction is to shelter our kids, to shield them from the scary, and the sad. Don't. I don't mean this in a neglectful or mean way, but I have noticed something with kids. They are perceptive. They are creative. They are resilient.
Kids know when something is wrong with us (perceptive). We know our kids inside and out, but they know us very well too; we are their world. Facing a devastating loss, your children will likely piece together that something is wrong. If we try to shield them unnecessarily, their little minds will decide what is wrong or what they did, or what is changing, and likely it is a much scarier assumption than the facts (Thus, they are creative). However, if carefully and honestly told the situation, they will find their own peace and understanding (They are resilient). Depending on their age and understanding and circumstance, this will look different, but children can handle much more than we realize, and getting honest answers can create healing and their own level of understanding and acceptance.
When we had a death in the family, my husband and I decided that to tell them the facts: Grandpap Jack died and we won't get to see him anymore. We answered every question they asked with a short, but truthful answer. We attend the viewing and funeral as a family, but we didn't push. My boys were old enough to be very aware. My oldest, proceeded with caution. He wanted to see Grandpap, but after a short time, he asked to sit with an Aunt and he didn't seem to focus on Grandpap for the rest of the night, but didn't seem upset either. My second went up to the casket and I knelt with him. He asked question after question, from theological, to practical, to physical, to random-child-curious. He stood and looked and looked for what seemed like forever. That was how he processed and had we not taken him, he never would have been able to process in the way he needed.
Kids tend to ask questions in times like these. There are questions that you expect and those you don't. Answer them. Brutal answers aren't needed, but carefully worded honest ones are what I have found to bring them security. They are asking because it's something they wonder and something that don't know. In both the case of Grandpap and Roch, the children have processed and moved on while still keeping those two very much in their minds and hearts. Their questions were answered and their minds were set at ease. It's not hush hush or taboo to talk about either of them and, now that time has passed, it's a happy subject to talk about. There is a comfort, which I think is ultimately the goal: finding a place of peace after hard trials.
3. It's ok for them to see you hurting. Again, the instinct is to shield and protect them, but in shying away and shielding them, we can leave them feeling pushed aside or confused. This is another point where you have to know your kids and follow your mom instinct, but it's ok for them to see you cry. It's ok to tell them that you miss their baby sister or brother. It's ok to say that you are sad, but that you won't be sad forever but it's hard right now. It's ok to talk to them about how they are feeling too. Big emotions run inside of those tiny bodies.
4. Connect with them. Your child might lash out or turn inward. They might appear to easily move on, or hyper-focus. You might see big changes in behavior or no changes in behavior. Follow their lead and what they need... connect with them. If they need independent play and quiet time, allow that, but let them know you are there. If they need extra attention and love, give that too. It doesn't have to be a largely orchestrated event... read some extra books (wonderful books are linked below), talk, watch some shows or a movie together, sit by the tub while they take an extra long, extra bubbly bath, do a craft, just. connect. If they feel insecure, they need you to help get that grounded feeling back.
5. Breathe. There is no right or wrong way to handle hard situations and a losing a baby is a hard situation. Go at your own pace. Work as a team with your husband and lean on him when needed. Take your time, and guard your heart. If you child asks a question that is too painful, admit that that is a hard question to answer and maybe you have to answer it a bit later, or let daddy answer because your heart hurts right now. Do what you can, when you can, and lose the guilt over anything else. Go slow and breathe... take it moment by moment.
This is one of the most difficult roads to ever have to travel and I'm so sorry that you are travelling it. I hope that something here could maybe help, even just a little bit. Below are some book titles that can help children relate to losing a sibling and wonderful blog with even more useful ideas on how to help your children cope.
What To Do For Kids When Their Sibling Dies
As always, I'm just an email away as well.
From my heart to yours,
When left with the emptiness of miscarriage or stillbirth, finding solidarity and support from those who have walked the same path can be life changing. Below are some helpful miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant loss support pages and groups found on Facebook. Some may be more helpful than others, but I hope that one provides that connection that you need to keep walking towards a new normal.
Stillbirthday Support Cricle
Mommy to a Little Saint - Catholic Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support
First Candle Stillbirth Support
First Candle Miscarriage Support
S.O.B.B.S. - Miscarriage Matters
PALS -Pregnancy After Loss Support Group
Faith in Grief
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support Group
Daddys with Angels
Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope
All That Love Can Do
Carly Marie - Project Heal
If you know of a group or page that has helped you in your loss, comment below and I will add it above
Below are book titles. These books are for mothers (and fathers) who have faced the loss of a baby: whether 5 weeks along... 27 weeks along... 42 weeks along... or neonatal loss of an infant. There are many titles below. All were well recommended by mothers of loss. Not all resonate with everyone, but my hope is that there is something below that will speak to you. These titles have been a source of comfort to many, in one of the most difficult times that one can possibly face. As always, I am just an email away, if you are facing a loss, or have already gone through a loss. Please don't hesitate to contact me.
I tried writing a year-in-review a few times and I always came up -blah-. 2016 wasn't a riveting business year. It wasn't chock full of births and complete recognition in the community. 2016 was a lot of behind the scenes networking and marketing. It was soul searching and lesson learning. I made some lasting relationships with fellow doulas and had clients turned friends, which I never expected when I started out. 2016 was slow for Baby Love and while for most of the year I wasn't a happy camper about that, I'm glad that's how it played out.
It taught me a lesson in patience. It taught me a lesson in sustainability. It showed me my goals, which look different than the typical doula's goals. If you watch online doula groups, success is defined by solidly booked calendars and recognition within the community. It always appears like a quick climb and instant gratification. I thought I wanted that. I don't.
I realized that success to me, for this season of life while I have my own young children, is a birth every few months with one per month, max. I hope to grow to that one-per-month over time. I hope to become known among the community as one of the local doulas, but I never hope to out-shine. This area has some amazing doulas. They are well respected, fully compassionate, and amazing at their job. I don't want to surpass any of them. My goal is to stand among them.
My goal is for word of mouth to spread and my branding to be recognized. My goal is for a slow climb in business. Right now I have two clients booked for 2017. I have a February and a June client signed on with me. My personal goal is to support four to six clients this year. That feels almost unattainable because I have only had three clients total to this point, but I'm putting it out there in the universe. Four to Six.
More than the material goals, I want to become more compassionate, more knowledgeable, and more understanding: particularly as it applies to doula work. I want questions come in from a client and for me to perceive what it is that they need in that moment: a listening ear, a heart, or advice. I hope to hone the skill of knowing if the information presented is frustrating, saddening, neutral or good for them. In pregnancy, the same news can cause a myriad of feelings in different women. Being able to truly hear my clients and respond specifically as they need is something I want to continue to improve.
I plan to continue to market and network and serve my clients well. I don't hope to become instantly successful. I don't hope to be busier than I can handle. I hope take on my second year as a doula and build my second step in the staircase of this business. 20 years from now I see myself supporting clients... this isn't a quick jaunt as a doula for me, or a stepping stone for something bigger. I have arrived: a doula I am and a doula I will continue to be. I want to slowly grow and create a strong, firm business over the course of time.
More importantly, I want to continue to love what I do. My heart is the core of my doula work and it will always be my center. Helping mamas and babies is where my passion lies... I feel blessed to have made this a reality and the ability to reflect back on a whole year and to look forward feels amazing. Thank you to my clients, my fellow doulas, and everyone who has supported my doula work (even those who still don't know what a doula is!) :) :)
Many blessings to all in 2017!!
Baby Love Blog
Here lies a stream of consciousness regarding, pregnancy, birth, babies, and my doula business...