As a mother what has been your experience of childbirth?
With my firstborn, I had a very traumatic c-section. I was naive and young. I read a bit of Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May and thought i was all set…as soon as i got to the hospital I was asked if i wanted an epidural and i said yes..I was scared and didn’t know how much worse the pain would be. I realized I hadn’t actually prepared myself for the pain, and i was so scared! so whenever I was offered more I said yes. Because of all the meds I was given, pushing for 3 hours seemed pointless as my little guy didn’t move much. I was told I needed a c-section. I remember feeling like the biggest failure. I cried and cried but that was my fate. The c-section itself didn’t go very well and I was put under and I woke up an hour later to a nurse asking me if i wanted to meet my son. After that experience, i knew I had lost out on something, i couldn’t shake the feeling that a part of me was empty and missing. When i got pregnant 8 months later, I had already become obsessed with birth but I knew I was going to have a natural birth. I felt like I had no choice. At that point I couldn’t imagine going through what I had another time. I had planned a water birth at the hospital, but at 38 weeks decided on a home birth. I ended up delivering my baby girl in my candle-lit bedroom floor surrounded by my loved ones and amazing birth team. Nothing beats reaching down and pulling out your own baby. I felt that day I truly became the woman I was meant to.
What inspired you to become a doula?
After my son’s birth I became obsessed with birth, I think becoming a doula was a healing thing for me, too. I wanted to help women have the births they deserve. My own experiences really pushed me towards becoming a doula. I know what it is like to be on both sides of the spectrum. But, as women, we posses this incredible power within, and I want to help women find that and really embrace it.
Do you offer any additional services? For example: birth photography or placenta encapsulation?
Yes! I also offer placenta encapsulation services. The placenta is the first thing that mama and baby create together. The only organ we create and then dispose of after 9 months. The first life line of your baby, how amazing! I am a firm believer in the healing power of placenta.
How would you describe your doula “style”?
I don’t really have a style. I think I just naturally am very nurturing and caring and that perfectly extended to my work as a doula. I believe that women are amazing portals between this world and the spirit world. Birth can be an extremely life changing and empowering experience for a woman, and I love to be a part of that.
What makes you different from other doulas?
There are a lot of amazing doulas in Edmonton! We are so lucky to have such a wicked community of birth workers that really love what they do. I don’t know if it makes me much different but I really like to delve into the spiritual side of birth and the changes it brings and the symbolism that emerges from that experience. For me, birth is so interconnected with death, its a coming into a new dimension and transforms the woman into mother. its about diving into the unknown and trusting in oneself and trusting the process. I honestly get goosebumps just thinking about it!
what is your “philosophy on childbirth”?
I believe that whatever a woman chooses is her choice. I have personally experienced the most drugged birth and the most perfect natural home birth. Whatever a woman chooses is the best choice she makes for the place she is at in her life. No matter what she chooses, that baby will be born and she will be a mama!
what inspired you to offer the encapsulation of the placenta and the beautiful art work behind your process?
Placentas are amazing! I never had consumed my own placenta before taking the course, but I had heard so many positive experiences, that I knew it was something I wanted to offer. I encapsulated my own placenta, while baby wearing my newborn 2 day old daughter and it was night and day how much it helped compared to not having it with my son.
The placenta art is an extension of the intentions I have put into the placenta for the mama and baby. As soon as I touch a placenta, I always always get goosebumps and feel a connection to them, whether I have met them or not. I spend the cleaning process meditating and sending healing energy to the placenta so that it may help heal the mama mentally and physically. Whatever I am feeling I kind of go along with that and its crazy, I do the same process for every placenta, but every one comes out looking soo different! its amazing.
What would you advise a woman contemplating on having a natural birth?
i would tell her to trust herself. To listen to that voice deep inside that says yes. Its hard work and its scary and you might doubt yourself at 8 weeks or 32 weeks, but at the end of the day, your body is capable and you can accomplish it. We are designed to birth that is our amazing gift as women and something we should totally embrace.
Whats your take on women sharing birth stories and gathering as support and healing in circle?
So. Vital. I can’t even begin to tell you how many birth stories I read while pregnant with my second. It was like therapy for me, to heal from my past wounds, I have been to many groups and to speak with women who have gone what I did is so so empowering and healing. Thats why mom groups are such a thing these days! We are all on the same path trying to be the best mothers and providers we can.
How can one find your services?