Birth Photography – I See the Light!

As you probably know by perusing through my blog, I’m a doula.  I love all things birth.  Birth photography being one of the things I enjoy looking at.  Up till recently I really didn’t get what the fuss was. I mean, sure I like looking at the photos.  I just didn’t get why more and more people are choosing to have their births photographed.  It seems to now be as common as having the support of a doula. 

I thought I might have a friend present to take pictures of baby # 3s birth.  That seemed to make the most sense. Then it happened…I

Read More >>

Home Water Birth


Below is the story of how my daughter was born the Sunday before last…

Dana Faye’s Birth Story

On Saturday July 13th, at 40 weeks 2 days, I started having irregular surges.  This was nothing new since I had been having them in increasing intensity for three weeks.  I also had been making frequent trips to the bathroom and had been experiencing lots of

Read More >>

There are no coincidences

The more I walk down this path the more I believe this to be true.  What’s going to follow is a bit sappy, but this is what is flowing through my mind and body.  It’s a bit personal, but I feel led to share the honesty that is overpowering me at the moment.

When I set off on this path of change there were many choices I made that were within my own power.  We paid off debt and saved so that I could stay home with the kids and then make a career change.  Except when it came down to it, I wasn’t so comfy with dropping my safety net.  I’m not sure I would have gone through with any of it if I had not been laid off from my job.  That was a little over two years ago, and it has been anything but easy.  Fast forward to a few months ago, despite my efforts of certifying and wanting to attend births as a doula not much was happening.  We needed money, so I did my best to get hired by Whole Foods.  I even went in and charmed them the way I always have when seeking jobs.  Only this time the puzzle didn’t fit.  I wondered why and thought that maybe I might never get a paying job again (oh, the thoughts that go through our minds). Fast forward to a few months ago, I joined up with Amazing Births & Beyond.  It must have done something to my confidence, because shortly after signing with them I heard from others who were interested in my services in addition to the leads I’ve enjoyed from them.  The fact that this is working so well now is a testament to how I am finally on the right path.  Which brings me back to my path before I got here.  I’ve wondered recently if perhaps some of it was a fluke?  Then I met Gena Kirby at a Rebozo workshop.  I learned how she too went through somewhat of a life cleansing where her whole world was turned upside down when she set out to live her passion.  They lived like Buddhists, as she put it, with very little possessions to their name.  Later on I read in her blog that her path to doula care started as a server in high end restaurants.  She shared how she had always been on the path of serving others.  It was right then and there that I realized that my five years as a server had prepared me in the same way.  I also don’t think that my business degree or work in that realm was in vain either, since I find myself using even those skills too in my every day dealings. It’s just so fascinating how all this has played out.   I love sitting here pondering how all the right pieces have fit together at the right time, even if I didn’t realize why some of my other efforts wouldn’t work no matter what I did. Which brings me to people….I really feel that every person I have had the pleasure of knowing has served some purpose in my life.  Whether it was as a mentor, a helper, or a person offering confirmation or encouragement to my journey, I’m extremely grateful that I allowed it to happen even when I was unaware of what was unfolding.  Then there are the clients who I have been drawn to even before they chose me to support them during pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, and/or adjusting to another baby being added to the family.  I definitely believe that there is an energy force that draws and connects us.  It’s no coincidence either, because I always leave these experiences with a much needed shift in perspective.  It seems that I’m always being put in situations that aim to restore me back to balance in some way.  

I honestly am so happy that I am doing what I love and am so appreciative that it has been becoming a reality more and more.  Even if another baby is added to our own family, I know this is the work that I will continue to do until my days on earth are done.  

My son taught me a lesson last night

Last night I was sewing a sling for a custom order that needs to be filled.  I noticed one of my sewing needles was missing.  I asked Logan if he knew where it was and he replied, “I put it in the machine”, while pointing to the holes on the side.  I sighed heavily and responded, “I’m not sure why you would put the needle in there”, as I inspected the device to see if I could retrieve the needle.  It was the last 80/11 needle that I had left.  I was very annoyed at how my child had inconvenienced me.

As I continued to sew, the machine started skipping stitches.  I huffed and puffed as I tried to remedy the situation, wondering in the back of my mind if the lodged needle had anything to do with it.  Once I got the machine working again it hit me…I had replayed one of my dad’s old records.  He used to act the same way when frustrated with me.  In fact, the first part of my initial response was one of his more common sayings, verbatim. 

Some time passed after I had the realization.  I didn’t say anything to Logan because I wasn’t sure how to approach the situation.  He was the first to break the ice by apologizing for breaking my machine.  I quickly let him know that the machine was not broken.  That only a needle was lost which can easily be replaced.  I told him how I know he was just trying to help, and I apologized for overreacting.  I explained to him how I was treated in a similar way as a child which makes it harder for me to not do the same at times.  He ended up saying sorry a number of times after that which made it painstakingly obvious that my initial reaction got to him.  I now see that the problem was with my perception, not his behavior.  If I had looked beyond my frustration with the situation I would have seen how his motive was good.  After all, he was just trying to help me.  I could have approached the situation differently by showing him where the needles go, and how they work.  Instead of connecting with him I created a struggle.     Still, it was not in vain.  When all was said and done a lesson was learned.  Ironically, the lesson was learned by me. 

Every Step Along the Way Teaches Us Something, Even the Mistakes

We are all on a journey.  As we learn new things, our perspective and needs evolve.  This is how I have been coming to terms with things that have happened in my past.  In particular, the home birth of our daughter.  When I set out to have a natural birth, I decided to have the baby in a birthing center.  After I spoke with a local midwife, I learned that birthing at home was an option too.  This was a new idea to me so I was a bit nervous at the thought, but decided to look into it more before I shot the idea down.  The more I looked into it, the more it appealed to me.  Films like the Business of Being Born, and Orgasmic Birth sealed the deal.  My next step was choosing a midwife.  I called the first one I had talked to back, and set up an appointment for a consultation.  It went well.  I especially felt at ease with her experience and low transfer rate.  Still, I knew that I needed to look around more before I decided on anything.  After searching the net, I was able to get a hold of a list of midwives.  Only this list meant very little to me since it was only names on a page.  I had no connection to these women, nor did I know where to start.  I felt lost.  I searched some of the names online with little luck.  My instinct at this point told me to get references from the initial midwife.  I did, and they checked out.  I felt that she was a safe bet so I proceeded forward. The midwife was great at every prenatal visit.  She took extra time after each one to talk with me about my concerns, and also to chat about natural birth.   Then at 28 weeks, she suggested that I get an ultrasound for my 32 week consultation with the back-up OB.  I expressed how I was not comfortable getting one given my prior “big baby” experience.  I didn’t want to open any doors to trouble.  Plus, I knew that my baby was healthy.  Still, she pushed the idea saying that it would help rule out complications that could be present at birth.  Her suggestion planted a seed.  By the next visit I was having doubts.  I started to wonder if I should have one done….especially since I would be having the baby at home.  I called to let her know that I would get one done.   As it turned out, my hunch was right.  My baby was right on track to being a 9 pounder by 40 weeks.  According to the OB, this meant that I would need to have the baby by then, or my home birth was out of the question.  I was furious.  I called the midwife, explaining that this was the exact reason that I didn’t want to get one done.  I was angry at her, but most of all, I was angry at myself for allowing “the professional” to cloud my judgment.  I knew what my body was capable of, and was pissed at what I set myself up for when I knew better. I started to get the feeling that she was no longer the right fit for me.  Given all the difficulties of getting the insurance to cover the home birth as well as the bond I had formed with the midwife, I decided to proceed forward.  Basically, I allowed fear to keep me married up with a provider who I was not compatible with.   At the birth, I found my premonition to be true.  She pressured me to break my water very early on.  I was able to hold her off at that point since my surges were still manageable.  Once I hit transition though that changed.  I no longer had the motivation to push her away since, well, things were intense, and quite frankly, I was looking for a way out (transition is a very vulnerable time where the needs of the woman can be confusing).  She proceeded with breaking my water to speed things along, and then stuck her hands inside of me to move my daughter since she was posterior.  Her reasoning for adjusting my daughter’s position was that I would have had to push a lot longer otherwise. 

The reason why these interventions bother me so much now is that there was no good reason to do either of them.  My labor had been progressing very quickly, and I feel like I endured unnecessary pain all in the name of “routine procedures” she had come to adopt from prior births.  There is no telling what my body would have done had she left it alone.

The reason I am sharing all this is I feel that others may be able to take something from my experience.  There may be people who look at my story confused as to why I didn’t make a change when I sensed our differences.  Well, I believe there may be something for those people to learn too as empathy seems to be lost at times when we are reading a birth story.  As birth professionals, we should strive to understand and respect each and every woman’s journey.   I feel that at the beginning of my journey to home birth, I did mesh with my midwife.  I felt at ease with her knowledge of pathology, and her logical nature.  As I learned more, and became more confident with my body and the process that all started to change.  I evolved into an entirely different client.  It was me who had changed, not her.  I was not prepared at 32 weeks to search for and connect with a brand new midwife.  I honestly didn’t know where to even start.  So I settled.  Now that time has gone by, I can see that what I went through was not in vain.   In a way, I feel that she was a stepping stone to where I am today.  Without going through that experience, I might have remained blind to the fact that even home birth midwives intervene with the birth process in the absence of medical necessity.  Because of her, I now understand why some women make the decision to give birth unassisted.   These are lessons I will use as I support other laboring women as well as if we decide to have more children.