Providing Professional Doula Services to Families in Greenwich, Westchester and NYC

February 2013

Tyler "my mom is the rock n' roll doula" Patterson     

Today is Tyler Jane’s 17th Birthday. Rather than tell you how amazing she is and how awesome it feels to be her mother, I interviewed her so you could see what I see! ENJOY!  

 

The RN'R Doula: What was it like when you were younger and your mom worked as a doula?

Ty: The downside of it was that we never knew when she was leaving. When my sister and I would come home from school to an empty house and no ride to practice or a friend’s house, it was because my mom was at a birth. We knew what she was doing was important but we would be disappointed when our plans would get changed without any notice ☹ Oh, and my dad wasn’t as good a cook as her so that was a bummer too, lol.

 

The RN’R Doula: Share a magical childhood memory with us.

Ty: My favorite childhood memory was Easter, every year, the night before Easter we would go outside and dig a few small holes. In each hole we would put 3 jelly beans. My mom and dad told us that the Easter Bunny would sprinkle magic water on them and when we ran outside the next morning, there would be tons of lollipops that had “grown” over...Read more

Sorry about the title but I was furious!

It was 20 years ago. We were a 25 year old couple with long hair, tattoos and a 4 month old baby. We lived in California and we were flying home to New York for Jerry’s brother’s wedding. The airline tickets were compliments of Jerry’s mother because we didn’t have two nickels to rub together and since it was cheaper to fly redeye, we boarded the plane with our baby at 11pm.

Now, if you don’t know, Jerry Patterson and I have been together since we were 17 years old. We were married on Aug. 6th 1989, 3 years prior to boarding that flight. We settled in, organized our “baby stuff” and prepared for take off.

About 20 minutes into the flight, Jerry got up and made his way to the bathroom. While I was sitting alone with my baby, the flight attendant approached and said with a sympathetic smile, “at least you have your boyfriend to help you” I said nothing… I was crushed. I was a respectable, committed, dedicated woman on an airplane with a man and a baby and because of our “alternative” appearance she assumed that we had a baby out of wedlock. Now I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with having a baby out of wedlock, I’m just saying that EVERY signal pointed to the fact that we were a married couple with a child! Including our wedding bands! The “sympathy” in her voice, screamed, “I AM JUDGING YOU!” and I fought the urge to yell back, “BITCH, GET ME A DRINK”.

I have been “flying...Read more

What's your "thing"?

We all have a “thing”. For some it’s the IV for some it’s being seen naked.

For me it was poop! I was terrified, horrified and totally freaked out by the idea that while pushing my baby out of my vagina an unwelcome piece of digested food might find it’s way out of my tushy.

I was totally fixated on this and was seriously considering asking for a c-section to avoid it.

I was 25 years old. It was my first pregnancy and at that time in my life, I suppose I gave a shit what people thought about me (no pun intended)

I made Jerry Patterson promise me that if a poop came out of my butt, as long as I lived on the Earth, he would never tell me! To this day, if I say, Jerry Patterson, did I poop when I pushed? The answer is always the same. No, baby, you didn’t.

What I now know, as a veteran Doula with a tremendous amount of experience is that MOST of us poop when we push. If there is stool in the lower bowel and you bear down with incredible force, it will come out. No biggie (well, sometimes it’s a biggie, haha) It’s actually a great indicator that a woman is using the right muscles to push. She will likely move her baby down more quickly because she is pushing more effectively.

Labor is often about letting go of the mind and embracing the body. I don’t mean separating the two because I believe they are one. It’s like focusing on your right hand while you’re drawing and letting go of your left...Read more

Don’t do it! It’s a bad idea and you’ll fail every time!

DON’T JUDGE YOUR INSIDES AGAINST OTHER PEOPLE’S OUTSIDES!

How dare you be so unfair to your self?

You look at another woman in the grocery store. She has a list, a box of coupons (neatly organized) and a calculator. She came with a strategy complete with the week’s menu. Immediately you take your own inventory! Look at your self! Why can’t you be more like her? She’s so organized! You’re a hot mess! You don’t even know what you’ve thrown in the wagon! You’re sure you’ve forgotten half of what you needed. You take ownership of the word failure.

You show up for story time with your toddler and your infant and there she is… Wonder Woman. The mom with 2 girls, the same age as yours. Full face of make-up, great hair, kids in matching outfits, pigtails with matching ribbons she even looks SKINNY in her hot pink matching velour tracksuit and Coach sneakers. First you’re pissed! Fuck her… Who does she think she is?! And then it happens, you start taking your own inventory. I should get up earlier, I should make time for make-up, maybe I should stop letting my toddler pick out her own clothes, I have to lose weight, I look like shit…. UGH! The mental self assault goes on half the morning!

Theses scenarios can be debilitating to us, especially when we are in transition and absolutely when we are struggling with a transition. What we don’t have any way to know is that mom #1...Read more

A day in the life....

The washing machines broken again, there’s a mountain of laundry, I didn’t make dinner and your mom is such a bitch. Welcome home…

These are just some of the things that I would bombard the love of my life with when he walked in the door at 6:00pm every day.

Jerry is a contractor, he builds houses. He works physically hard all day in all seasons including the dead of winter to support our family. He comes home tired, hungry and in need of a shower. But that didn’t matter to me. I was so consumed with my own shit that I couldn’t see past ME. With a toddler and a baby by my side from sun up to sun down, a home to keep, groceries to buy, laundry to do, etc.. I was completely losing myself. MY SELF! Do you understand me?!? I was losing MY SELF! I NEED my SELF. I had been building that self for a long time and while working hard to fight off that self to try and embrace this new self, I was pushing my partner/friend/lover/soul mate as far away as possible!

When I think back, I can’t remember what made ME happy. Not me as a momma, that me was thrilled to mother my children (mostly). It was me, the woman that was unhappy. Me, The Rock N’ Roll Doula! The competent, capable, productive, independent woman! I had turned into a complete bitch and was taking it all out on my husband. Not on purpose but certainly undeniably.

I feel sad writing this stuff because looking back, I can clearly see that I wasn’t...Read more

“Randy does not accept constructive criticism”

“Randy does not accept constructive criticism” That is what it said in the comment section of my report card throughout my early education. Now, that may have been true but who was checking the integrity of the authority that was providing the criticism? How was it being spoken to elementary me? Was I being praised for my accomplishment, gently reminded of a possible improvement and encouraged to be my best? Or was I told to go back to my seat and stay in the lines next time?!?!

This is how foundations are built! Messages we are given accompanied by the emotions that follow. Send me back to my seat when I think praise is in order and I will stop looking for your praise. Recognize my accomplishments and I will learn to trust your critique.

So instead, I built a thick shell around myself. A sort of “You can’t tell me what to do” attitude. I know it stems from an emotional immaturity but that piece of me is often unstoppable. It is ingrained in me in a way that emotionally keeps me safe and is completely destructive at the same time. Now don’t get me wrong, doing things MY way hasn’t been all bad. Not being capable of working for someone else (who would be telling me what to do, what time to do it etc…) has led me to owning my own business. I call that a win. But… the rebellious attitude that comes with these feelings still gets me in trouble now and then. It is challenging for me to work...Read more

Each one of us (Me, Debbie and Lauren) has two doulas at all times!

Imagine living your life with two judgment free, supportive, understanding loving Doulas by your side. That is how the three of us walk the Earth.

It is more than a best friend. As doulas, we have erased the judgment factor from our list of habitual behaviors (when it comes to other women anyway) and opened a door to a world that knows no emotional boundaries. Together, we are free to explore who we are, shine at our best and be peeled off the ground at our worst. We are beyond embarrassment. We are who we are and that is good enough for us. We point out each other’s strengths and make up for each other’s weaknesses. We are a team and there is great comfort in that. We are bonded by our work, connected by our contract and most importantly, united in understanding! We understand each other and we can relate to each other’s feelings.

We have “doula-ed” each other through the births of our babies, the loss of our loved ones, battles with depression, issues with our parents, parenting issues and the list goes on and on.

Doulas ask questions. Thought provoking questions. The kind of questions that push you to dig deep and decide what YOU want. Doulas don’t encourage you to do what THEY want! They encourage you to do what YOU want! When I am asked a question by my Doulas and a dialogue follows that leads me to a decision that I must make, the process empowers me,...Read more

Often, we set ourselves up to fail when we set a goal, but goal setting (when done properly) can be a very powerful tool. No one teaches us how to do it properly and so we set half-hearted “goals” and feel like shit when we fail.

Although goal setting has an obvious value, we bring to each set of goals, our feelings and thoughts about the last goal we set. If we succeeded last time, we are filled with confidence this time. If we failed last time (or even considered it a failure) we will surely bring those feelings with us too.

I say, “CLEAR THE SLATE!” Let’s try it a different way. They say that if you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got. If we want something different, we must DO something different!

So, let’s set a goal.

The first thing to ask your self is “WHAT?”

What do I want to accomplish? What is the end result that I have in mind? (Mine is to lose 10 pounds in 8 weeks)

Next ask yourself “WHY?” Why do I want to do it?

The key to motivation is the motive. The motive is the “why.” It gives us energy to stay strong when it gets tough. If the goal isn’t connected to the why, you need to question the goal.(For me, it’s about comfort. I am more comfortable 10 pounds lighter. My clothes fit better and I feel better)

And then you must ask yourself “HOW?” How will you do it?

What is your strategy? You can’t start with an, I’ll “figure it out” model! It must be...Read more

Continued from "I Was Called To Birth Work"

When I walked in the door after being gone for less than 2 hours I looked liked I’d been put through the ringer. I flopped down on the couch and said, “I am NEVER doing that shit again!” Jerry Patterson encouraged and insisted that I do at least 5 births before I made a decision and I thought he was insane. So, imagine how freaked out I was when the phone rang 15 minutes later and I was asked to go to “The Birth Cottage” to attend my second birth!!!! I hung up the phone and my eyes filled with tears but, I made a commitment so I dragged myself back out to that beat up blue, Ford Bronco and SLOWLY headed for the Birth Cottage. I shut off the truck, opened the door and slid out. I took a long, slow deep breath of autumn air, picked my head up and walked to the door. I had a horrific image in my mind of what I would see, hear and SMELL when I walked in and holy shit…. Was I surprised!

As I pushed the door open, the gentle smell of lavender and mint caressed my nose. The air was heavy and light at the same time. I felt warm but could sense a cool breeze. I listened for screaming and cursing and instead heard the flow of running water. I followed the sound and found myself entering a beautiful bedroom complete with hardwood floors, a four-poster queen sized bed and strong feminine décor. I was greeted by a huge smile and a hug from Laura (the nurse) who was bringing towels into the bathroom. I...Read more

I AM A WOMAN

I am a woman

I am not afraid of my body, in fact, I embrace its beauty regardless of its size

I believe in the process of birth and I am willing to surrender to this magnificent process

I am normal and my body is not capable of betraying me, because we are one

I will become a Mother

I will tune out the voices of others and trust in my natural instinct to feed and nurture my child

I will meet every need my baby has, because we are bonded by pure love

Those who love me will give me the space to find myself as this new being and will place no expectations on me during this re-birth of myself

There will be no time limits on this process because nothing on Earth is more important than this

I am a womanRead more

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