name change

Natalis na:ta:lis; nah:TAH:lis noun 1. a day of a person’s birth 2. birthday origin: latin; in use throughout the ages/unknown descendants: English: natal As you may have noticed, I changed my business name from Cocoon Birthing Services to Natalis Birthing Services. There has been a discrepancy with my name, as there is another doula business with a very similar name in the state. They asked me to consider changing my name and although I was very disappointed, I realized it was the best decision for myself. Just like the origin of the word, birthdays have been around since the dawn of time. Women have been giving birth and this new life that comes forth has been celebrated. But it isn’t just the birth of the baby. It’s the birth of a mom. And a dad. And a family. With this new life, comes a completely new beginning. A birthday isn’t just the birth of a baby. Yes, that is what we celebrate, but it is so much more. I get to be a part of birth days a lot. I get to see the transformation of a pregnant women become a mother with her baby in her arms for the very first time. I see grown men pump fists into the air and hear their voices crack as they call their families and share the news. I watch little ones’ eyes get huge eyes as they become a big sister or brother and meet baby. I witness pure pride in grandparents’ smiles. I see this transformation on a regular basis and it is magical. Birth days are magical. And as...

new year, new opportunities

2012 didn’t turn out the way I thought it would for doula-ing. It all started in October, with my first birth I with my intern and I missed it. The midwife only got there 10 minutes before the baby was born. Then 2 weeks later another birth I was supposed to attend was missed because she had her baby on the side of the road on the way to the hospital. The third ended up being an emergency c section. The forth, I was there for, but barely. She was a first time momma, labored all through the night and by the time she called the midwife she was already 9cm. So, with this new year, I knew my first 4 births had to be a fluke and that I would actually get to be at a birth. I would get to help a momma during her labor.   In the wee early morning hours of January 9th, I got called to the hospital. Me, my mentor [Candace], this momma and her husband worked through her unmedicated labor and I watched in awe as her body changed and she talked to her baby-her tiny partner-throughout the process. I hope I will never loose sight of the beauty of labor and birth. But honestly, I don’t know how I could. Her labor and birth were picture perfect and I can’t even tell you how much I learned. Watching the baby emerge from her body and the shouts of pain that were intermingled with laughter and cries of joy still give me goosebumps. As I left the hospital, the air was...

hardwired

I’ve recently read a fantastic book on breastfeeding. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to breastfeed. Or to anyone who doesn’t know what they want, because it will encourage you and help you to believe in yourself that you can. One of their biggest points that they drive home often throughout the book is that babies are hardwired to breastfeed. That instinctually they know how to do it and although it is a learned skill, it is within their physiology to breastfeed. A friend of mine has been caring for a newborn for the last week until he goes to his adoptive parents. She took him out last night and forgot a bottle. A friend of hers, who is breastfeeding her own toddler, offered to try to feed him. The newborn latched right on with no problems, no confusion and ate like a champ!!! I’ve heard of this happening, but have never known a baby who did it! I thought that was really awesome and is such a good representation of how a woman’s body is designed to take care of new life and a new baby is designed to accept and depend on that. I think pregnancy, birth and postpartum and breastfeeding are so fascinating. I’m sure this doesn’t excite most people. I guess it’s why I do what I do, huh?   To take a look at the book, or their website, go here....

1st birth…kinda :)

2 weeks ago I attended my first birth with my mentor. It was the momma’s 5th baby and after having had the previous 4 come prematurely, she was beside herself when she actually passed her due date! I got a call at 5 am, saying it was time and I got there within 30 minutes. When my mentor opened the door, she simply said; “Well, we missed the birth. The midwife only got here 10 minutes before the baby was born.” I kinda laughed, having half expected to miss it. I have friend who has 7 children and her midwife has missed 3 out of 7. I was welcomed into their bedroom anyway and got to see this tiny newborn engulfed in her momma’s arms. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to what a beautiful thing that is. Since everything labor and birthwise was done, I observed the midwife measure and weigh the babe, give her shots and write all of her stats down. I was very intrigued by what she was doing, since as a midwife assistant, I’ll be doing those same things. Well, let me clarify. I will be giving no shots or doing any measuring. I will be writing down what the midwife reports to me and handing her the supplies she needs. It was about 7 am at this point and the sun was coming up. Out of the corner of my eye I saw something move in the hallway. I looked over and their oldest, a daughter, was standing in the doorway with wide eyes just staring at me. I smiled at her...

When I grow up.

I’m 30. I went to college right out of high school and got my associates degree exactly 2 years later. That was the easy part. I took all the general classes, applied myself about 50-60% and passed. [I did apply myself to partyin’, my crazy boyfriend and my even wilder friends 100%, though] I struggled with what I wanted “to do when I grew up”. It made it especially hard that my bestie/roommate never faltered from her major. She knew exactly what she wanted to do. And she is doing it to this day. I wavered from nursing to teacher to counselor to “screw college”. And that’s kind of what happened. My junior year rolled around and I was in school for maybe 2 months. I had no steam, no drive, no desire. I quit school. And I don’t quit many things. For the next 7 years I still didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I was still drawn to people. I still wanted help others. I still knew that whatever I picked I would work a lot and get paid a little. I’ve known that all my adult life. Then I had Harper.girl. The pregnant/birth/feeding/raising a baby thing changed my life. I cried a lot. Was exhausted. Hated breastfeeding at first. But with all of those hard moments, came the most accomplished, proud and triumphant moments of my life. I actually had times after a good feeding I would high-5 Harper. When I got all of her fingernails and toenails clipped, bathed her and got her perfectly clean, I would say “Boooo Yaaaaaa! In...