Friday, 31 December 2010

What will 2011 bring?

I'm just getting ready to go out and party.  Well I'm no longer on call and there's Caribbean food and dancing calling my name.

And my mind has, naturally, drifted forwards to 2011.  Birthwise I'm booked through May.  Two of the bookings are from repeat clients.  There's something wonderful about a couple choosing to use my services again.  It's the ultimate testimonial.  Some of my past clients have moved abroad.  One emailed to tell me that even though the birth was very different from what she wanted (caesarean section) I was still supporting her.  One of her friends had found my "How To Make Your Caesarean Personal" on a parenting forum and sent it to her.  Others emailed to tell me their news and tell me that my support the first time round allowed them to have similar births.  Some moved away after I had supported them a couple of times (not taking it too personally lol) and have said that they won't have more without me.  I'm up for first class tickets to a luxury destination in order to support them :wishful thinking:

What do I want in 2011?

Well the current economic climate has made it quiet for Doulas.  I give thanks that I'm booked up.  I know some who are struggling and so giving up Doula-ing in order to get work.  That saddens me because I truly believe that women need and will continue to need Doulas.  Postnatally there isn't much work about.  People are tightening belts and getting by.  Of course this quiet allows me space to study and to read, but I do miss it.  My Mum says that the reason I love being a Doula is "because [I] have a lot of knowledge and [I] like to share it!"  There's a lot of truth in that.

So my wish is simple.  Yes I wish to keep working, but as I look forward I want my ladies to have boringly normal births.  No high dramas, no dramatic arrivals.  Just bog standard birth!  I want their babies to be healthy and strong.  I want my mums to be filled with confidence and joy.  I want my dads and partners to see the amazingness that is birth and to feel pride in the ones they love.

I know it may not be that way.  I know that some will not have the births that they want, but I'll be there. Supporting in all circumstance.

A repeat booking came in last night, so I'm on my way to the 2011 I want.

For now... excuse me... need to get dressed and put my lippy on!  I can hear the music and the food smells good!

Thursday, 30 December 2010

What a birth!

I love waterbirth.  Really love waterbirth, especially home waterbirths.  The babies seem to be so serene afterwards.  I may have mentioned how much I love it when they rise to the top of the water in their mother's arms.  Gorgeous.  And I love the fact that the water creates a natural barrier to the world so that mum can get on with the business of birth.

Some of my favourite waterbirths have been etched in my memory.  It doesn't take much to bring them back to life in my mind.

One is used as a birth story on my website MammyDoula.  Sara's story has brought many potential clients to my door.  One told me that she had tears streaming down her face reading it. I find it hard to believe that that beautiful baby is now 3 years old.  And so gorgeous still.  I'll never forget Sara vaulting into the water as soon as the Midwife said it was okay.  Who knew pregnant women could leap so high!

Another of my ladies laboured beautifully at home and when we arrived at hospital the Receptionist made the mistake of trying to direct her to the labour ward (she was booked into the Birthing Centre).  Whilst her husband and I tried to be diplomatic and make nice my lady said "I don't need to go there.  I'm going to the Birthing Centre".  The Receptionist told her she would have to wait to be collected by a Midwife but my lady was already gone, leaving her husband and me trailing in her wake.  We arrived at the Birthing Suite and my lady burst into tears (transition).  "I knew it would be too late.  I didn't get a water birth the first time and I won't get one now".  The Midwife filled the pool as quickly as she could and even before it was ready my lady climbed in.  "Push your bottom down" the Midwife cried, "At least push your bottom down".  A beautiful girl shot into the world and was so keen to say hello that she swallowed some water which meant an overnight stay in the hospital.

A repeat client laboured really well at home and was 10cm (fully dilated) but had to go to hospital because of a previous retained placenta and blood loss.  She had negotiated a waterbirth at the hospital as a compromise.  Her wish was a home waterbirth.  In the end being at the hospital was a good call because she had a large postpartum haemorrhage.  Before that, however, she got into the birthing pool.  It was the weirdest hospital birth pool I had seen.  It had the feel of a private sauna in an exclusive club.  The tiles were black with "glitter".  We kept laughing, even as we tried to maintain a quiet birthing space.  It was also the first time I had seen a Midwife try to practise directed pushing.  My lady zoned her out and listened to her body and breathed her beautiful daughter out.  She was in the water for less than 30 minutes.

My first waterbirth almost wasn't.  E had gone into the hospital to be checked because she had seen some blood.  It had been her show.  She had had a sweep early that week and been told that she was 2cm dilated.  She called to ask me what she should do, she sounded very tired.  I suggested that if they let her she stay and sleep and see what happened.  Her husband went home and I ordered a Chinese.  Of course she called as I lifted the fork to my mouth.  I arrived at the Birthing Centre and she practically yelled at me "GIve me a [add expletive] epidural!" I reminded her that the pool had filled and maybe she ought to give it a quick go.  She got off the bed and had 2 big contractions.  She climbed into the pool and gave one push and her son was born.

They're not all quick.  Some of them are slow and steady.  One Mum laboured long and slow in the water.  In the end she came out of the pool and the Midwife was ready to transfer her to hospital when the baby finally arrived.  For her second birth she thought she'd give the water another go but she had little faith that she would give birth in it.  Less than 20 minutes after getting in her second son was born.

Another had my lady falling asleep, that's how relaxed the water made her.  But the ones that make me chuckle are where Mum gets in the water, telling me that she's not sure it will help.  The water soothes them and makes the pain seem to float away and then suddenly they are holding their babies.

Yes.  I love waterbirths, long or short.  They are definitely my favourite.  

Possibly my favourite ever waterbirth, certainly two of my favourite people

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

How did I get here pt 4

So, the presents are opened.  The turkey is almost finished.  The lazy days are well and truly here.  I, of course, am missing being on call and being with my ladies.  I know... I look forward to my off call times so that I can go to the theatre etc without having to keep an eye to my phone.

Who knew when I first started this journey that I would become so passionately committed to it.

After I had done my first "official" Doula birth I was raring to go.  I remember sitting with one mum whose husband couldn't sit still at all and suddenly went out to get a curry mid labour.  Mum and I both laughed.  She felt that she had been a bit fraudulent as her labour stopped when I got there, however when she was relaxed the contractions came back strongly.

Eventually we moved to the birthing centre at her local hospital where she had a beautiful waterbirth.  It was the first waterbirth I'd seen and it was magical.    I adore waterbirths.  Watching the baby rise up towards its mum is so fantastic.  Oh I could wax lyrical for ages!!

Now I had to do four births (at a minimum) to get my Recognition with Doula UK.  In the end I did five.  One was a caesarean section.  I had to fill in lots of paperwork and get my clients to fill in some more.  Once that was done I had to visit my Assessor Mentor to debrief the births that I had attended to talk about what had happened, what I had learned and what I could still learn.  I am so glad that Doula UK have their Recognition process.  It really helped shape the Doula that I've become.  I often call a lovely Doula friend to debrief the births I've attended and I know that my AM is available, even now, whenever I need her.

We are all told, at Doula UK, about the importance of study and so I attend workshops and courses that help me on this journey.  I've attended breastfeeding workshops, breastfeeding courses and talks on birth etc.  I read.  Oh my goodness how I read.  Ina May GaskinMichel OdentFrederick LeboyerMarc Weissbluth and any number of lactation books such as Breastfeeding and Human Lactation.  The list is long and I wouldn't want to bore you, but I love it all and I read books, articles online etc etc.

The place I learn most about birth is at the actual births themselves.  I have been to completely natural and physiological births, medical intervention births, inductions, caesarean sections and a crash caesarean section.  I have even "caught" a baby when the labour progressed far faster than either Mum or I were aware.  I have been at and supported those mums whose babies have decided to come many weeks early.

I love the strength of my birthing mums.  I love seeing the dads rise to the challenge of unconditional support.  I've been with mums as their sole birthing partner and with couples as a quiet presence in the corner of the room.

Do I have the best job in the world?  How on earth can I be unbiased about this?  Of course I do.  

Monday, 27 December 2010

It's not always easy

People often tell me what a wonderful job I have.  I agree.  I think it's amazing that people allow me into one of the most intimate moments of their lives.  What a privilege, one I hope never to betray.

Sometimes though, it just ain't easy!

At the moment I'm worried about my twin mum who gave birth 12 weeks early.  Her mood is low.  The shock of the early arrival of her boys, the lack of touch, spending time in hospital over Christmas and not really leaving the building... well is it surprising?

I don't know how to help her.  I have a desire to put it right.  I can't.  To be fair it's probably not my place.  That doesn't stop my desire.  Once I become someone's Doula, they have me for life.  You may worry about my stalker abilities but it's the way I feel about my families.  No call too trivial.  Just as happy to discuss the pros and cons of cotton wool balls versus pads or optimal positioning for babies in the womb.

Just a couple of short months ago I took a call from a past client.  She'd text me to tell me that she was expecting her third baby, a little unexpected but such a wonderful blessing.  Within two weeks she called and I cried as I heard her miscarrying on the end of the phone.

Being a Doula is about supporting the parents, particularly the mum.  This support is not dependent on healthy mum and child.  This is about being there for the good and/or bad.  I'm fortunate.  The good far outweighs the bad.  I've cried for twins born too soon that didn't make it and for mums holding a surviving twin.  I've also cried tears of joy for the babies that I've seen enter the world and I've thanked God for their safe passage into this world.

I've been proud of the mums who struggled at the beginning but made it through.  Today I had an email from a twin mum who found it so hard at the start.  People told her why it would be difficult or impossible.  I was at the end of the phone for her and she breastfed those boys for 10 months until a medical condition meant she had to stop.  I've had emails from mums who were still breastfeeding a year on after the most traumatic of births.

I love my job.  It brings me the most joy and the deepest heartbreak but I wouldn't change it for anything.

Being a Doula... It's not always easy.

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Happy Christmas!

The baby is born.

The presents have been unwrapped.  The turkey is in!  Off to my sister's with the children.

This Doula is not on call.  Let the merriment begin!!


Friday, 24 December 2010

What a turnaround!

So it's Christmas Eve!  

Early yesterday morning I got a call from my lady.  Her waters had gone.  It was 6.30am.  Okay, being on call over Christmas brings the risk of having to work on Christmas Day, but it looked like all was okay and that I was going to squeeze the birth in by the skin of my teeth.  I cancelled the back up Doula, grabbed my bag and was good to go.

I arrived at my lady's house where she was contracting nicely but not ready to leave for the hospital.  We settled in and her contractions began to increase, so much so that she was insistent on going to the hospital.  Her plan from day one was to have an epidural.  This is quite an unusual choice for a woman who uses a Doula, but my role is one of support, not decision making.  

On arriving at the hospital we were told that her cervix wasn't yet open and that she would have to return home as she was in latent labour.  She wasn't very happy, but we went back home.  About 8 hours later her contractions were good and strong and lasting over a minute and coming every 3 minutes.  So, we hopped a cab back to the hospital.  The cab driver spent the majority of the drive telling us why we should have called an ambulance.  

Back into the hospital again.  Met a lovely midwife from earlier that day.  Client examined, cervix barely open.  1cm dilation.  The cervix needs to dilate to 10cm before the 2nd stage of labour (the pushing) begins.  I don't think devastated is quite the term to describe how disappointed she was.  We were sent home again.  Now this rarely happens, mostly because I'm good at keeping my ladies at home but also my ladies tend to want to stay home until they practically feel the baby coming.  We were both disappointed and my lady was getting very very tired.  I don't mention my worry that perhaps I would have to miss Christmas with my children.

Home again and the contractions were falling off.  One of her friends was going to stay with her so that I could pop home to wrap Christmas presents and get some sleep to be fresh for the next day.  The hospital wanted her in for a 7am induction as it would be 24 hours after her membranes had ruptured (waters gone).  As it drew closer to the time that I was to leave she suddenly begged me to stay.  Remember, Doula in it's original state means female slave.  So stay I did.  I slept badly on cushions on the floor.  Not a good look.

She slept on and off and contracted through the night.  We called ahead to the hospital who told us to come in at 8am.  We arrived to find 2 other couples waiting, 1 for a caesarean due to a breech presentation and another couple who looked like labour was progressing rather nicely.  At 8.42am they took the labouring couple to a room and the section couple went off to be prepped for theatre.  At 9.00am we heard that the labouring couple had had their son.  Fantastic.

At 11.30am we were finally shown into the room where my lady's birth was due to take place.

At 1.50pm the lovely midwife finally gave my client a vaginal examination.  She frowned a little and said that she would need to get a doctor in to confirm her findings, an undiagnosed breech presentation!  At 3.10pm a beautiful baby girl was born by caesarean section.  Not what Mum was expecting but a happy end to over 36 hours of intense on/off labour.

After ensuring that mum had successfully breastfed baby I left and have come home to wrap Christmas presents, prepare Christmas stockings and basically collapse in a heap!

Christmas a season of great joy and one mum in particular is smiling tonight!

My lovely lady Tamsin and her daughter Matilda born May 2007

Sunday, 19 December 2010

How did I get here pt 3

It's not that I was listening, it's that the conversation in front of me was rather loud.  If I remember correctly it was an aromatherapy party.  That was where I first heard the word Doula.  Tessa was talking about the fact that she had become a Doula.  So I cornered her in the school playground, our eldest children were in the same primary class, and asked her about it.  She told me about the Paramanadoula course that she had done and how fascinating it was.

Now I'd been to a couple of births and I knew that I enjoyed them, so what was there to lose?  I booked myself onto the next available course and before I knew it I was sat in a church hall by Clapham Common.

There was a large circle of women and we had to introduce ourselves by telling our names, sharing (briefly) the types of births that we'd had and the number of children.  After hearing several women introduce themselves, "Hi I'm Jane.  I have one child.  Vaginal birth", "Hi I'm Kate.  Two children.  One a section", "I'm June, two children", I suddenly realised that perhaps I had a lot of children.  And then came Sue.  Wonderful Sue who made me seem like a lightweight.  "Hi.  I"m Sue.  I have eight children".  Whilst the shock resonated around the room, I was silently cheering.

It was a course full of information.  Each day ended with me marvelling at the wonder of birth and a woman's body and also the need to unwind with a glass of red (a common theme).  The course ended with me wishing I could have another baby to do birth in a normal, physiological way.  I arrived home thinking that perhaps six would be too many! lol

My next job was to join Doula UK and be within an umbrella organisation.  I wanted to become a Recognised Doula.  So it was time to start putting my knowledge to work.  I approached a couple of lovely friends who I knew were pregnant.  Both agreed and I knew how privileged I was to have friends willing to share such an itimate time.

I attended the birth of my 4th godchild, the very beautiful Nathaniel.  I remember getting the call.  I was so excited but I knew that I needed to contain it.  This birth wasn't about me and gaining experience.  It was about Ronke, Lloyd and their new baby.

My twins were in their playgroup, so I ran across and asked the lovely Ann if they could stay to the afternoon session as well and then arranged for them to be picked up.  I grabbed my copy of Hamlet (I had started an English Literature degree with The Open University) and off I went.

Ronke was in the bath when I arrived.  So I sat quietly with her, periodically pouring warm water over her back.  She was contracting and labouring beautifully.  Lloyd would pop in and out of the bathroom looking very excited and talking to possibly every member of his family on the phone.  After an hour or so Ronke wanted to come out of the bath.  So we helped her to get dry and to dress.  Her waters broke just as she'd put her clothes on and I remember she cried a little and said "I was going to wear that to the hospital".  We put fresh trousers on her and Lloyd went to get the car.  Each step seemed to bring another contraction.  Two buses had to wait as several large contractions washed over her.  We arrived at the hospital where two off-duty Midwives grabbed a wheelchair and hit the entry button.  Ronke demanded an epidural and the Midwife she'd been handed over to told her that perhaps it was too late.  Thirty-five minutes later Ronke was holding Nathaniel.  Lloyd was in tears,  I was awestruck and Ronke was enraptured!

I got one of the best pieces of helpful advice that day.  The lovely Midwife took me aside and told me that my voice was too soothing at the pushing stage.  I wasn't helping Ronke as she wouldn't focus on listening to her body.  The Midwife told me that I had two choices at that stage.  First to encourage, second to stay silent.  Then she told me that I was a wonderful Doula.

No looking back!

My godson, Nathaniel

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Why is formula a doctor's default setting?

My beautiful godson (3 months) has just been admitted to hospital with bronchilitus this evening.

His mother called to let me know and of course to see if I had any tips for her.  He is a fully breastfed baby and yet on admittance to hospital the doctor told her how much formula he would need.  She explained that he was breastfed and said that she had to almost argue her point and get them to note that he was only to have her milk.

I confess to being stunned that despite all the knowledge about breastmilk, when a baby is ill the default is formula.  

This isn't about not wanting/liking formula.  This is about an exclusively breastfed baby being given a foreign protein to digest whilst his body is fighting an infection.  I'm sure that one day someone will be able to explain it to me

My gorgeous, newest godson. Haroun

Friday, 17 December 2010

Beginning on call

Today I go on call for my single mum.  This means that over the next four weeks I begin to earn the title of Doula, female slave.  

My diary now works on the premise that I can never be more than an hour away from my client.  I always ask my clients for a ninety minute window to allow for extraordinary circumstances - snow on the line anyone?  I will still attend parties, plan to go the the theatre, go to the cinema etc.  No point in putting life on hold.  Things can be cancelled and re-arranged, but births... well only baby knows when it's time to come.

I remember telling a school mum that I was a Doula and the fact that intrigued her most was that I would leave a party for a birth.  "But it's a party!" she cried.  There'll always be another party but there will never be another birth like this one.

This weekend my son will be celebrating his 18th birthday.  It's impossible that I should suddenly be old enough to have a son of this age.  Tonight it's pizza and a (legal) beer for him and the other 18 year olds.  Soft drinks for the under 18s (we hope).  I won't be in attendance.  This is about him and his mates!  I'll be having my cares massaged away at The Sanctuary and hoping to hear nothing from my lady.  This is my last opportunity to use my voucher.

Saturday will include a late lunch with a friend and then a Christmas party into the early hours.  My phone discreetly tucked into my bra on silent, ready to be checked periodically.

Sunday brings a pub lunch for the family so that we can celebrate the boy's birthday.  His aunts will be there with his cousins.  The godparents will also be in attendance and the boy has elected to bring two mates.  

I have told my lady my plans.  She says that, so far, all is quiet on the Western front.  Just a slight clear mucus discharge.  So I go ahead into my weekend ready to change my plans at an instant for her.  

I do hope that this baby, like most firsts, comes past the EDD.  Christmas is looming and I have a back up Doula on call because I want to spend the day with my own family, but that has been pre-arranged and is the only day that I will not be available. I am now on call until May with brief respite mid January.  

I'm often asked if being on call causes me stress, but why should it?  I know what I've committed to and what I can and can't do.  It will limit any drinking through the festive period, but that's no bad thing.  I believe that I'm at the births I'm meant to be at.  This little lady will come when we're all ready.

For now... where did I put my swimming costume?  I have my book.  Quick school run and I'm good to go.

No longer a baby. practically a man!

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Expressing milk for twins born 12 weeks early

My lovely twin mum has had a rough week.  First her baby boys arrive12 weeks early.  Then she's told that there is no room for them, or her, in the Central London Hospital they were born in.  The boys are transferred to a South East London hospital where they are currently thriving.  Mum, after much fuss and fight, is finally transferred to the same hospital.

We talk through the whole process of what it is to express and how to massage her breasts before beginning.  I remind her that it may take a few days before she gets much milk but that it will happen.  Every drop is precious.  The milk is designed to suit your baby at the time it is born and constantly changes its composition to meet your baby's nutritional needs.

The few sparse drops seem to dry up.  Mum is completely despondent.  Then we discover that somehow the birth hospital has forgotten to take out a placenta.  No wonder Mum is finding expressing so difficult.  Her body still thinks it is pregnant.  Current hospital manually remove the placenta and expressing is suddenly successful.  So successful in fact that Mum expressed 20mls which is enough to feed both babies 10 times over!  Happiness is restored.  Faith in herself and her body is restored.  

She's been told that in a few short days she'll be able to begin Kangaroo Care and she'll finally be able to hold the first of the babies.

The lovely Helen feeding Dante and Nova Rose

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

How did I get here pt 2

Seven years after the birth of my niece a friend asked me if I would be at the birth of her second baby, Isaiah.  She told me that she needed someone who could help her relax and also make her laugh.  
The call to go came just after one of my Open University tutorials.  The group had adjourned to the pub to watch one of the infamous England:Germany quarter finals.  It was the 1996 Euro Semi Finals I think.  I said goodbye to my fellow students and went round to Jane’s home.  Paul, her husband, was half in and half out of the front room door.  He was, of course, rooting for England and trying to support his wife who was labouring in the bedroom.  It seemed such a weird situation.  I didn’t know which groans were loudest; Jane’s as each contraction rose or Paul’s for each goal missed.  
Of course the match went to penalties and with the last kick, some choice words in Paul’s direction and England’s inevitable defeat, we left for the hospital.  Somehow England’s loss wasn’t felt quite as keenly by Paul this time.
I slowly beginning to get it.  I loved this.  
I had and have no interest in being a midwife.  Seems a mostly thankless task to me.  Don't get me wrong.  I LOVE midwives.  I think that they do a brilliant job.  I just think that they are overworked and underpaid and they don't get to do the job that they signed up for.  Obstetric nursing seems to be their role rather than that of supporting women through birth.  
Seeing that baby born started a spark within me but it would be a few years yet before I recognised it and was able to do something about it.

Future England stars?  

Monday, 13 December 2010

Quick skip forward in time

So let me tell you about this weekend just passed.

I'm not on call.  So that means I can go anywhere I like including up, down and out of the country.  There are no babies due to be born on my watch.  I can drink red wine until the sun goes down (or even comes back up again).  

Just like the other Doulas do, I suspect, I made concrete plans.  I was taking the Wee Weapons (of Mass Destruction) to the theatre to see Beauty and The Beast at the lovely Unicorn Theatre.  I was not worried that my lovely twin mum (EDD - Estimated Date of Delivery - March 2011) had been leaking water.  She had been scanned and the waters around the babies were fine.  Hospital sent her home and told her to keep an eye out for signs of labour but that she would probably continue on for several weeks yet.  Are you jumping ahead of me people? 

I get on the bus with the WWs and their sister (my space fairy).  The phone rings.  I recognise her number.  There's been a show of blood and they've gone to hospital to be checked out.  She is 7cm dilated and is there any possibility that I can go to her.  Sadly not!  My heart broke, but what was I to do?  Three children of my own who were very excited about a pre-Christmas Theatre trip.  She understood; my on call for her didn't start until the beginning of February.  

Remote support.  That was the best that I could give her, whilst ringing and texting around to see if there were any Doulas available at such short notice.  I hopped the tube.  I called at the other end.  The hospital were keen for her to have an epidural.  She was not keen.  We talked through the pros and cons.  Then moved on to text as I had to go in to the Unicorn.  

I watched the first half of the show with a sad heart.  I love birth.  I hate missing births.  I rarely miss births.  Compulsive checking of my phone so that the man behind me clearly thought I had a sense of self-importance.  Intermission.  A text flashes through:

"Babies born.  All well!"  Sob!!!!!!  Gone were my dreams of a last minute hospital dash.

There had been no time for the epidural.  She had a natural, vaginal birth.  The babies were whisked into special care, then transferred across London later that night.  No room at the inn. :(  

I spent most of yesterday talking to Mum and Dad about ways they could get transferred to the same hospital as the baby.  The Midwives were determined to discharge her.  "You've had a normal delivery.  There are women waiting to give birth!"  A sympathetic doctor arranged the transfer but she had to make her own way to the hospital.

The next few weeks will be spent encouraging her as she expresses her milk for the boys.  She was sad today as she was barely getting any drops.  But these things take time and the milk will come.

Today ends with me feeling a little at sea but despite not being there I know both parents appreciate that I'm at the end of the phone at any time of day or night.

Two healthy boys!  Lots to give thanks for.

These lovely boys are now 3yo and have been joined by a sister

Sunday, 12 December 2010

How did I get here

Who knew that a Christmas meal with the sixth form lads would end with the birth of my gorgeous niece! First and last drunken birth you'll be pleased to note.

My poor lush self wanted to sleep but my sister was in labour and the Country Awards were on the television. (Remember the world of only four channels.  It was the only thing on).  With every contraction my sister squeezed my hand.  No alcohol fuelled sleep for me then. My first ride in an ambulance was surreal.  My head was lightly banging but it seemed churlish to comment when my sister was in so much more pain.  I called her boyfriend and, as the hospital had a one support partner policy, waited outside for news of the birth.

She was the first newborn I had ever seen or held.  For me, it was love at first sight.  Big brown eyes and a tongue that was continually poking out.  A frog princess.  My sister wasn't impressed with that description.  I asked her about her memories of the birth.  Her response: "It hurt!  You were pissed!"

My beautiful niece and her son

Welcome to my world!

A little about me and what I do I think!

I'm a Birth and Postnatal Doula training to be an Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant IBLCE Vison.  Mouthful huh?

I'm a Recognised Doula with Doula UK which means I follow a Code of Conduct and also adhere to the Doula UK Philosophy

I am mother to five children ranging down from 18 to 6 year old twins. (Please note that the twins are 6 and 3/4 as that is VERY important to them just now).  

People often say I must love children to be a Doula, but it is not the love of children that drew me into Doula-ing.  It was and is a love of people.  Watching new families come together, new life come into the world.  Looking on in awe at the strength, power and beauty of women as they birth their babies.  That's what drew me and holds me captivated.  Until I found Doula-ing, I didn't know that I was called to be a Doula. 

How did I fall into this crazy world of Doula-ing?  Hmm... that means I need to go back a bit and I'll need to share the beginnings of my journey in all its splendour and gore.  That may take some time, so I'll share as I go and hopefully you'll be still be here.  It'll be a long story because I feel that my Doula journey has just begun and has many a mile to travel.