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

Musings

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

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

It's Valentines Day! Let’s talk about hate.

Love is the obvious, I mean we see signs of it all around us on Feb. 14th. It’s all over the tv, internet,, malls, even cars in high school parking lots are sprinkled with flowers and balloons. Jerry Patterson and I choose to abstain from this holiday. Not because I don’t love a holiday… for those who know me well, you know I LOVE to celebrate a holiday. We just can’t wrap our heads around being told that Feb. 14th is the day that we should celebrate our undying, passionate love for one another, so we skip it and express our love every single day, instead.

So today, love’s evil twin, “HATE” is what I find myself wanting to write about.

You know they’re twins, right? They are our two most passionate emotions. It’s funny how we mock them with statements like, I love that car and I hate that color, but these twins have tremendous power. They are all consuming and take us to our highest high or our lowest low. True love makes us feel alive and true hate makes us feel like we’re dying inside.

We fight. I mean Jerry and I, we fight. We fight with passion, we’re passionate people in general but we’re in love and that generates more passion. So the fights seem real ugly. We don’t hold back (just like we don’t hold our love back) we say and feel things that hurt our hearts and make me cry. This is how we know we’re alive! It’s important! It’s deep and it’s strong and it moves us. And just...Read more

This blog post inspired by Ty Patterson

Do you say the word vagina? Do you cringe when you say it? Do you teach your kids to say it? Do you call it something else? A cutesy name to avoid saying the real word?

Why so much stigma around this magnificent piece of our anatomy???

I said to Ty, (my 16 year old daughter) "what should I blog about today?" Her response? “VAGINAS! Talk about vaginas, mom. People are so weird about saying it and they talk about it like it’s so gross but it’s responsible for bringing beauty into the world!”

After struggling with low to no self-esteem for the first 20 years of my life I began the process of developing a healthy self esteem. It wasn’t easy, in fact it sucked and I never thought I would be capable of it, but with a ton of help and a desperate commitment, I did it. I knew that my focus when I had children of my own would be developing their self esteem. That would be my number one priority. With that, anything else was possible and I knew that first hand. I instilled upon my daughters the most positive blessing of all. That they were normal and perfect in EVERY way! That their bodies were beautiful and their opinions mattered!

Raising these girls has been so healing for me. When I was a teenager I couldn’t brush my hair without screaming I hate you when I looked in the mirror. No one told me I was attractive, no one said I was normal and no one ever said I was perfect. I felt weird and alone and I...Read more

The Power of Words

Mom, mom, Guess what?!?!?! There's a contest and I'm gonna win a bicycle!!! I screamed on my way into our dimly lit, curtains drawn apartment after an exciting day at The Maybrook Elementary School. We lived down the hill from the school and we walked by ourselves to and from school each day which was very much the norm then. As I slammed through the door, my heart filled with possibility and excitement, my mother lifted her head from the couch opened one eye and murmured these devastating words, “don’t get your hopes up, everyone thinks they’re gonna win.”

It was a writing contest. Write the best essay, win a BICYCLE. Now, let me make sure you understand. I didn't grow up in a family where you went to the store and bought a bicycle when you wanted one or most things for that matter. I do remember having bikes before this (and after it). Someone was throwing out a bike frame so we picked it out of the trash, handlebars off of a stolen neighborhood bike, the seat from someone else’s…. But NEVER a brand new sparkly, shiney, never before ridden bicycle!

The stinging words of my mother made my heart sink and my stomach turn. (UGH! It’s hard to write unpleasant things about your mom even when they’re true) I was completely discouraged and hadn’t even picked up the pencil yet. In fact, I never picked it up. They essay was never written, it was never submitted and she was right, I never won the bicycle. I heard my mother...Read more

A Mother’s Love

My Journal Entry On May 14, 2008

Dear Diary,
Every time a vagina opens and a brand new person emerges, I am overwhelmed by my emotions. The physical, emotional and spiritual achievement of another woman makes me a stronger, more confident more spiritual woman myself. Feminine pride overwhelms me when I witness another woman achieve her rite of passage and become a mother. During childbirth there’s often a time in which the soon-to-be mom doubts herself, telling me, “I can’t! I can’t!” But I know she can, and that’s one of the reasons I’m there, to help her and support her, and remind her that, yes, she can!

“You can do it!”
“Your body is doing exactly what it is supposed to do”
“You are strong!”
"You're beautiful!"
"You’re doing it!"

These are the words that I spoke gently to xxxxx in the moments before she gave birth to her precious daughter, xxxxx. When that little girl was born, and her wet slippery body was placed skin to skin on her mothers breast I was mesmerized by what I witnessed. The birth, itself, was beautiful enough, but when that woman received that baby and their eyes locked, the world stood still. It was as if no one else was in the room. Not the Doctor, not the nurse, not her husband and not me, her doula who stood quietly at her side in admiration of the strength, wisdom and beauty that poured out of her. The only thing that existed on Earth was the raw emotional connection...Read more

Dig a little deeper

You, a friend and a cup of coffee. You called her, you made the arrangements to meet up with her. You fit it into your schedule.

WHY? What do you hope to get from it? Will you make it worth the time you give it?

What happens next is dependent upon what the two of you are willing to do. It is dependent upon how much you trust each other and how compatible you are as friends. Will the focus of this coffee outing be "lists"? You know what I mean....

How's your mom?

What are the kids up to?

What are you doing for the holidays?

Are you going away this summer?

OR

Will you become part of the "I know how to turn a cup of coffee into an awesome afternoon, club"? Will you let yourselves connect? Will you let your walls down and be vulnerable, honest, DEEP?! I don't mean share your innermost secrets or thoughts (unless you want to) but will you make it meaningful?

I am passionate! I feel like a "list" cup of coffee is a waste of my time. I leave one of those, feeling a decrease in my energy levels.

I need to talk about feelings! shortcomings! victories! I need to be pissed off or really excited. I need to laugh my ass off or give up a couple of tears. I need to inspire AND be inspired.

A one sided coffee outing, where you give more than you get feels shitty too! It's not fair to spill it, I mean really dig deep and spill it and get back...Read more

Children should be seen and not heard…

I made you and I can make another one just like you…

I brought you into this world and I can take you out…

I am in my mid 40’s and these were the quotes that adults spoke to children when I was growing up. These 3 sentences were the theme of my childhood. It is no wonder that we struggled with self-esteem growing up. Those statements were not said to lift us up, they were said to remind us that we were being controlled. Not taught, controlled.

Not long ago, I was in the reception area of a doctor’s office. There was a boy about 4 years old coloring quietly at a small table. I kept looking up from my magazine to peek at him. He was determined to stay in the lines and his tongue was even poking out of the corner of his mouth while he focused with all of his might. Finally his mom caught my gaze and I smiled at her and said, “Oh my gosh… he is so cute!” She replied (somewhat jokingly), “Ugh… he’s a little monster! You want him? Take him!

The boy barely budged. He had heard this and possibly worse before. His mother, the woman who grew him in her womb, the woman who gave him life, the woman who nurtured him as an infant just offered to give him to a smiling stranger! I was crushed for him. If another man told her husband that he found her attractive and her husband replied with, “you want her? Take her!” How would she feel? She would be mortified, yet...Read more

DOULAS, DOULAS, DOULAS!!

My hope is that as doulas, we are changing the way women interact with women – that we are caring for our clients (and friends and family), in a way where support and nurturing are commonplace, and judgment and conditions are irrelevant.

My hope is that my daughters will feel educated and informed about their options in pregnancy and childbirth (MANY years from now), that they will feel confident and supported in the decisions they make.

My hope is that my daughters, and all of the women who will labor before them, will feel respected and empowered…. When they are pregnant, when they birth their babies and when they become mothers.

On Monday, January 21st Northeast Doulas held a Postpartum Doula training. Women came together to talk about how to support women; what that support looks like, feels like, sounds like. They learned how to help a newly postpartum woman discover herself as a mother, and rediscover herself as a woman.

For a woman, navigating through this transformative experience it can feel like every person she sees has an opinion to share, advise to give, wisdom to impart. Becoming a mother is...Read more

Pages