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

Musings

 

If you are a labor doula, nurse, obstetrician or hospital based midwife and you read the title of this blog, you know that graham crackers and saltines mean an all night birth!

So how do we do it?

How do we get into bed after a long full day, fall asleep for 6 minutes, get woken up by a phone call, hop out of bed, get in the car and work all night on no sleep?

We just do it.

The mom is doing it too. If she can do it, we can too.

And so we keep ourselves going the best we can. We stay hydrated and we keep the coffee flowing. When we step away from our laboring client for a brief moment to get her more ice or something else she may need, we grab another cup of coffee for ourselves.

In many hospitals, there is a little stash of crackers in the kitchen. Usually they are there for a mom who can’t take medicine on an empty stomach but on a long night, they become fair game! Those crackers are what keep us all going. When it’s 3am and we are exhausted and the acid feels like it’s burning a hole straight through our stomachs… we reach for a cracker.

In the many years that I have been doing this work, I have had the occasion to share a short visit over a graham cracker in the kitchen with a nurse, doctor, midwife or anesthesiologist.

I must tell you that I work with some awesome nurses, doctors, midwives and anesthesiologists.

They care about their patients physically AND emotionally and they are deliberate...Read more

 

~ It’s 2am. I have to pee. I’m not pregnant. I haven’t had a sip of anything since 6pm. I wonder if I can wait till morning. I can’t. I get up. I go pee. I come back to bed and I’M WIDE AWAKE!

~ My 2 year old cries for me during the night. I bring him into our bed. My husband goes to the couch. We play musical beds all night. None of us are sleeping well.

~ I had a baby 6 weeks ago. I sleep for 30 minutes at a time. I’m exhausted. My baby sleeps all day. She saves all her a wake time for the middle of the NIGHT!

~ My son is 10 years old. He is stressed out about taking tests at school. He is losing sleep over it. It’s breaking my heart…

~ My 3 year old is terrified at night. Nothing has happened to warrant this fear. She starts to cry as soon as she gets her pajamas on. From the monsters under her bed to the “bad man” in the closet to the nightmares…. We are exhausted and at our wits end.

~ My little one (8 months old) was sleeping 11 hours a night and then his teething got real bad. He seems to be in constant pain and is miserable all night. He will only sleep if I sit in the rocking chair and rock him all night…

HELP! WE ARE EXHAUSTED AND LOSING OUR MINDS!!!!

These are just a few of the stories about lack of sleep that we hear regularly at Northeast Doulas.

I spend a great deal of time searching for great resources for our clients. So...Read more

This was officially, my last weekend of summer. Forever!

Not summer like the four seasons… what I mean is, my last summer vacation from school with my kids.

For the last 16 years of my life, summer mornings meant the girls finding their way out of bed at whatever hour their bodies told them to. It meant getting our chores done early, whipping up peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, grabbing our pails and shovels (and bread for the fishes) and heading to the lake. It meant sitting outside of Carvel on the curb licking ice cream cones while they dripped down the girl’s arms. It meant getting home and bathed and dinner ready and playing with daddy. It meant falling asleep on the couch and being carried into bed.

Summer meant sleepovers with pancakes in the morning, it meant outdoor arts and crafts and it meant smores over the fire at night.

Summer also told us to take a break, slow down, enjoy each other and our lives!

The final weeks of summer saw us getting ready for a fresh start. They included shopping for new school clothes, the hippest backpacks and the coolest two pocket folders we could find.

What has always been the most appealing part of summer, for me, was that it meant THEY WERE MINE, ALL MINE! I didn’t have to share them with anyone else. Not their teachers, not their coaches, not that big yellow school bus that took them away each day.

Yesterday, I went to the grocery store and while I was...Read more

Making choices can be so overwhelming for us, that we can procrastinate endlessly or ignore it completely!

How can we be empowered by our choices, when the mere thought of making one kicks our ass?

For most of us, what we DON’T want is much more clear than what we DO want.

We can easily articulate what we don’t want, it comes right to our mind when we realize we must make a choice. But what we do want is much trickier for most.

Here are some examples… Can you relate?

“I hate my job, but I don’t know what kind of work I would do instead.”

How do you want your hair cut?

“Well… I don’t like bangs and I hate when this part flips up on the side.”

What do you want for dinner? “Ummm…” Do you want spaghetti? “No.” Do you want chicken? “No.” Do you want fish? “No.”

How do you see this birth going? “I don’t really know, I just don’t want a c-section.”

What color do you want to paint the kitchen? “I definitely don’t want it blue. Or green. I don’t want a dark color like red or orange…”

You see what I mean???

So, the question then becomes, how do we come to realizations about what we DO want?

How do we become empowered by choice when we can’t figure out what we even want?

Here is a simple 2 step activity to help you with making choices. It plays to our strengths (which is knowing what we don’t want) and makes finding your answer very simple! 

Let’s commit to NOT...Read more

 

As many of you know, I have struggled with my weight for the majority of my adult life. I come from fat people. I know fat and I know the comfort that I associate with being around other fat people.

The weird thing is, I’m not fat. I don’t even think I’m fat. I just identify better with fat people. You’ve heard the expression, “I’m a skinny person in a fat person’s body”? Well, I have always felt like a fat person in a skinny person’s body.

My entire immediate family has suffered with obesity. As a child, I remember the sadness and disappointment associated with my family starting a “diet”.  The whole family felt sad and disappointed. We knew it was temporary but it felt like a punishment.

My mother would announce that she and my dad were only eating cabbage soup (which meant no cookies or anything of the sort in the house). Next was no carbs. Later it was fat free. And so on and so forth.

These “diets” would last anywhere from 2 days to two weeks and then we would rejoice in the comfort of high carb, enormous fat content meals, fit for kings. You know, the post diet BINGE!

That’s what I want to talk about today. The mid or post diet binge.

I am committed (or sometimes think I should be…) to the things I set my mind to. By committed, I mean 110%! So, when I make a decision to start my own diet, I am focused. I can bake and not lick the spoon. I can scoop ice cream and not be tempted. I can even make a tray of homemade...Read more

I learned everything I needed to know about different parenting styles as a young teenaged babysitter. Really!

Prior to that, I only knew how my parents did it and if the truth be told…. I wasn’t so impressed with them.

So… I watched. And I learned.

I learned that some kids were allowed to watch tv whenever they wanted to and I learned that some kids were allowed to have two cookies and a glass of milk before bed. I learned that some kids brushed their teeth every night before bed and were read  a story and other kids skipped the teeth thing and walked themselves to bed and went to sleep. I listened as some kids told me “I can stay up late, just don’t tell my mom” and other kids said “8:00 is my bedtime”.

I was able to understand from watching the behaviors of children from different families, exactly what systems created what kind of children and for that, I will always be grateful.

I watched the mothers closely. I didn’t pay much attention to the fathers but I watched those mother’s moves like a hawk. I watched how they interacted with their children and with their husbands. Did they tell their kids they would come and kiss them goodnight when they got home or did their kids just wave goodbye at them from in front of the tv? Did they seem excited about a romantic date with their husband or were they mumbling sarcasm under their breath as they were leaving. I noted how they dressed and how their houses looked. I looked...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

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