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

July 2013

 

I’m ready! I just want to have a baby. I know we can handle it. We have so much love between us, it seems wrong NOT to share it with a baby!

It took some convincing on my part because Jerry Patterson wasn’t so sure we were ready (he’s always been the more mature and rational one of us) but after a few months, we both agreed and got right to work!

Now keep in mind that 22 years ago, we didn’t have the luxury of a google search to help us figure out when the best time to conceive was and ovulation kits didn’t exist, so… I made a chart.

I learned how to read a thermometer and I took my temperature three times a day, every day. The chart was taped to the mirror in the bathroom and I stared at it every time I brushed my teeth, peed or put make up on my face.

I was obsessed with the idea that my ovary was gonna drop an egg and our love was gonna turn it into a baby!

I waited patiently for my body temperature to rise by .4 or more! I was almost as excited about taking my temperature as I was about conceiving a baby!

One Sunday afternoon, we were about to leave to go to a friend’s bbq. I was getting dressed and realized it was time to take my temperature. I shook the thermometer for the billionth time, stuck it under my tongue and picked out a pair of shorts and a shirt to wear. A few minutes later, I pulled the thermometer out of my mouth, held it up and almost fell on the floor when it said 99.2!!!!...Read more

With many moms and dads struggling financially, diapers can be the expense that puts them over the edge. Families should never have to choose between food and electricity and a healthy change of diapers for their children and yet many do. We learned that a healthy change of diapers costs a family upwards of $100 per month. As many of our readers know, we have partnered with The Westchester Coalition For The Hungry And Homeless to help collect diapers for their diaper closet. We are still accepting donations to keep westchesters babies dry and clean. Please contact Northeast Doulas to make a financial or diaper donation to this important cause!Read more

I consider myself a work in progress. I think we all need to be in order to grow and prosper as individuals and in our relationships.  Recently I am focused on being SELF AWARE.What do I mean by that?  

I am trying to be focused on being aware in my interactions with others.  Not necessarily the surface stuff of what was said.  I mean the substance of why it was said.  

What didn't we say to each other, that I felt and I suspect "she" felt? 

Why? 

What was I protecting, and is it worth protecting? 

How did what "she" said make me feel? 

What do "her"  words and actions say about how "she" feels or thinks about me? 

And do my words and actions properly reflect how I feel about "her"? 

And most importantly, do I give a shit?  

I am learning a lot about myself (or at least admitting what I already knew deep down).  And as hard as it is to admit, I have some personality traits that sometimes can be relationship destructive.  Mostly they are about trying to avoid bad feelings.  When things get confrontational or ugly or even uncomfortable I don't go out of my way or fight for the future of the relationship.  I am not ready to address why.  Honestly, I don't know why.  But I also find myself actively not wanting to think about why.... I am no shrink, but sounds like there is something to that. 

For now, recognizing I do it, or more accurately don't do it, is enough.

I have also grown more...Read more

So, you have a baby and then a few minutes later a doctor or midwife says, “Ok, give me a little push now” and you think “WHY? Is there another one in there??”  There isn’t (unless there’s supposed to be), but now it’s time to delivery your placenta.  The placenta is grown for a specific purpose, and now that this baby has been born, your body is ready to expel it.  So what next?!

 Currently, the standard protocol (in most places) is that the placenta is discarded as medical waste.  Your other option is to take it home with you.  Why would you take your placenta home?  Some people bury it, some people make it into a smoothie and some people encapsulate their placenta for ingestion.

Why would you ingest your placenta? LOTS of reasons!  It can be a great way to increase your milk supply, decrease your risk of postpartum depression and increase your energy levels after having a baby… just to name a few.  How do you ingest your placenta?  The way we’re seeing the placenta most commonly ingested is through the process of placenta encapsulation – dehydrating your placenta and turning that into a powder that becomes your placenta pills.  These are taken like any other vitamin.   How do you find someone to encapsulate your placenta?  Most people search on the internet, ask a friend or their provider for a referral.  And most are surprised by the number of options.  Who is going to encapsulate your placenta?  And WHERE is she going to do it?  At Northeast Doulas,...Read more

Sadly, 38 little lives are lost every year in the United States due to them being inadvertently left in a car on a hot day. This terrible tragedy knows no boundaries and it can happen to anyone at any time. The helpful tips in this article will keep our babies safe when our minds are filled to capacity!Read more

Journal Entry, 2013

Dear Diary, (Appropriate changes have been made for privacy)

Wow, diary, what a day this was. I can’t figure out if what I saw today was a representation of enormous strength or a pathetic display of weakness. The truth is, it’s not my place to decide. My role as a doula is to support the mom. What she wants is what I want for her…

As Jennifer’s labor progressed, nothing seemed unusual. She was a healthy 20-year-old woman preparing to give birth to a healthy baby boy.

What you don’t know is that our services were not paid for by Jennifer. Instead, we were hired by Kevin and Leann, the soon to be adoptive parents of that baby boy. Leann agreed to pay for a doula if Jennifer would agree to try to avoid using medication for pain management during the birth. It was a deal and there I found myself.

I must say that often times when I’m with a woman during her birth, I find myself wondering why the universe put the two of us together and this day was no different. Throughout my life, I have learned that nothing happens without a reason. Everything we do, we either learn from, grow from or succeed at, but I left today feeling all three.

When that little boys’ strong, healthy body wriggled out of his mother, Jennifer turned her face towards me and her eyes spilled tears of heart ache down her face. Although my head didn’t know if it were true, my eyes...Read more

1) The old “I Don’t Know”- This one started way back. You were a teenager, you would randomly start crying and the more someone asked you why you were crying, the less you knew why! I guess this is one of those exclusive to women emotional overloads. So if that’s what we’re calling it, it makes sense that the more compassionate someone is towards you during one of these episodes, the more the emotions flow. How on Earth could we expect a man to understand this when WE don’t understand it ourselves!

2) Your chubby! You’re getting dressed, everything looks like shit on you, your room is a disaster, there are clothes all over the place and you come to the overwhelming truth that you are now officially… chubby! Men cannot understand this! Weren’t you the same size yesterday? You looked great yesterday! What do you mean you’re chubby? Just put on that black thing. You always wear that. It fits fine, we’re late.

3) You got a bad haircut. A bad haircut can kick our asses! I mean ruin us for weeks. We get insecure, fucked up, neurotic and emotional over hair! Hair! Let’s keep in mind, our husbands didn’t even notice our hair was cut, never mind cut BADLY! It certainly doesn’t make sense to them why we would be crying about this. They will never understand this, but we all do, right?

4) A song on the radio. Oh, how a song on the radio can stir up some...Read more

NO!!!

The best way to say no is, NO….

No, gets a lot of flak but at the end of the day, when you say it, there is no confusion about your intent.

My 17 year old, Ty, pointed this out to me last year.

Ty is famous for asking permission to do something that she is pretty sure I won’t want her to do. She does this in some of the most elaborate of ways….

She leaves me to make a decision with a mind full of distracting details and a desire not to say, NO. I’m sure this skill will serve her well… one day.

That’s right, I don’t want to say no. I trust her. She makes good decisions. She tells me everything (including the things I probably don’t want to hear…) I have no reason not to trust her.

So, instead, I say something like, “I don’t know, we’ll see, I’ll think about it.” All the while, knowing full well, that I am not granting her permission.

About a year ago, after hoping for a yes and being disappointed by a no, Ty said to me, “mom, if you’re just going to say no, please just say it. I’ll deal with it, but it will be better than putting my hopes into a maybe changing into a yes and then being disappointed.”

Hmmm… that was helpful, I thought!

For your entertainment, here is an example from a few days ago…

“Mom, on Labor Day weekend, can me and so and so, and so and so drive to Randall’s Island to go a concert? I’ll drive so you don’t have to worry about me being in someone else’s car but they will...Read more

What do you mean she’s having a scheduled c-section and she hired a doula?

That’s right, from the minute she called me on the phone, I knew she was going to have a scheduled c-section. 

People hire Doulas for all different reasons, not just because they are hoping for an un-medicated birth.

In this case, she got pregnant with her second child, and panicked.  This mom had a pretty traumatic first delivery, ok downright horrifying.  Baby boy born at a highly medicalized facility, (the only one her insurance company would cover).  She pushed for close to three hours, had an episiotomy and an attempt with forceps which ultimately was followed by a vacuum delivery.  The baby suffered from erb’s palsy. The very idea that she would even consider having another baby was impressive.

She switched practices, and hospitals and immediately decided to have a scheduled section.  This was all before I even entered the picture.

A doula’s main role is to provide support.  Emotional, educational, and physical SUPPORT.  Every woman deserves this regardless of the type of delivery she is going to have.

I met this mom five months into her pregnancy and she needed support.  Even though she had chosen to schedule a c-section, she still needed all the assistance she could get, and she knew there was a great amount of value in the support I could provide for her and her husband, he too...Read more

 

Top 10 “FIRSTS” To Look Forward To

Firsts can be an amazing way to celebrate being parents. I found that the things I enjoyed most in my own life were the things I was most excited about sharing with my children. Nothing beats seeing the world for a second time through the eyes of our children!

10) Baking cookies- What a great way to spend time with your kids. Give them the space to feel good about what they are making even if it means you can only fit 5 cookies on the cookie sheet at a time. lol

9) Finger Painting- One of my personal favorites! I probably should have waiting longer than 9 months so that better hand/eye coordination was established …. But I just couldn’t wait!!!

8) Going Swimming- This one is tricky! It’s a hot summer day and you think…. Oh my gosh, my 5 month old is going to LOVE this. Hmmmm…. Good luck

7) Eating Ice Cream/ frosting from a Birthday cake- Seeing your kids love something sweet and delicious is super fun!

6) Little League game/Dance Recital- When our children take pride in something that they have practiced hard for, our hearts beam for them. Seeing your...Read more

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