Four years ago at this time I was driving around The Triangle in my Mini Cooper drumming up business for my new diaper service. I had a handful of customers and and enjoyed my days of visiting new mamas. The diaper service was my gateway to affording to follow my dreams of being a Doula. I knew that it would take years to build my experience and reputation, so my income would have to come from elsewhere while I worked on my craft.
Within months, our business grew to levels we hadn't anticipated. The Mini Cooper was no longer a viable option and we searched for a home to launder our thousands of diapers. After an exhaustive search, we put down roots in Grace Park. Our humble little space was born.
Throughout this time, I began serving women free of charge in exchange for evaluations and suggestions on how I could better my skills as a Doula. I am so thankful to these Families for allowing a new Doula to enter their sacred space and attend the most intimate of moments. Because of them, I knew I was on the right path.
As I went from home to home delivering diapers, I was invited in, and many times a two hour diaper run would take an entire day! These New Moms craved outside stimulation, and sometimes I was their only adult conversation for the entire day. Something had to be done I thought.We needed a community.
Now let me honest, this was not entirely altruistic. I knew that in the near future I'd be having my own children, and I knew what kind of support I wanted and whom I wanted to be surrounded by. So, I developed The Diapering Doula boutique- which was less of a boutique, and more of a meeting space for Mothers.
Our weekly New Moms groups, hosted by Tina Sherman, swelled to capacity. We brought LLL into the fold, as well as a number of other non profits. The space became a soft place to land for many women, and village grew.
As the years went by, I became more confident as a Doula. I credit many women for this transformation. Jessica Altemara fielding calls from me in the wee hours of the morning when I struggled on how to best support a stalled labor. Jamie Jackson kindly welcomed me into her Hypnobabies classes so that I could learn about her education model. Ann Tumblin was a constant support, and still is, a wonderful mentor. Julie McBurney, aside from just being a fabulous friend, shared her knowledge of Reiki with me. Erin Luben guided me in writing a dynamic Lamaze curriculum. Truly, the list is endless. The seasoned Doulas of the Triangle Community are what helped me become the Doula I am today.
Then it was my turn! I was pregnant! I had my very own village already set up, and I have to say, that that is the only reason I was sane at all. My friends Jennifer and Milli talked me through hyperemesis, and I could have never had the blissful postpartum I had without the love and generocity of Samantha Dunn who ran my business whilst I enjoyed my new family.
While high on postpartum hormones, I returned to work and had extraordinary expectations for myself. The boutique was busy, the diaper service better than ever, and I finally had street cred as a Doula with the new baby I had fiercely birthed. I found great pride in breastfeeding and my passion for supporting other nursing moms was afire. We soon began having milk drives, and to date, we have rehomed over 6,000 oz of milk to babies in need!
Then... Cora became mobile. Oy Vey! There was just no getting around the fact that I couldn't have it all... at least all at once. My husband and I sat down and decided that our priorities lay with me being with Cora and so our boutique was closed. The diaper service marched on.
In April of last year, we opened The Family Nest, a consortium of women-owned businesses dedicated to the well being of Triangle Families. I began attending births after a years hiatus, and started teaching childbirth guidance programs. The Family Nest had good intentions of serving others, and it served its purpose for burgeoning businesses, but it proved to be difficult to maintain, so it's season ended this Spring.
Last year I decided to spend more time focusing on lactation support. After having attended many births, and having one myself that didn't go as planned, I realized something: though birth is at times unpredictable, for the majority of Mothers, breastfeeding can be a success. Breastfeeding offers a sense of control (to a point) and can heal old wounds and birth trauma. Nursing is natural, yes, but it's a learned behavior, and we are far removed from the days that we sat at the knees of our breastfeeding sisters and aunts and learned from them.
I began implementing longer and longer breastfeeding sessions into my childbirth classes, to the point that was teaching three hour courses. It was a sign. This winter I earned my CLC thanks to many donations from friends and family, and I hope to sit for the IBCLC exam in the future.
The diaper service has always been a great constant throughout this process. I am very grateful to the families that we have served. It is with a mixture of trepidation and excitement that I am announcing at we are no longer accepting new clients and are allowing our current customers to expire.
I have a great hope that someone will step forward so that I may pass the torch. This business has huge potential and is perfect for a family who needs flexibility. Should we not rehome the service, we will allow its season to end gracefully and with excellent service to our customers.
Thank you for allowing my family to flourish. Thank you for supporting me as I found my way as a Doula. I am sucessful because of this community, and I will continue to serve birthing Mothers and follow my passion for childbirth education and lactation support.
Motherhood. For many, it's a sorority easily joined, and for others, it's challenging. All pledges are legacies, having come into this world from the prior generation of sisters. I joke that the best club in the world has the hardest hazing. Labor is work. It is painful. But, it is also cleansing, and when a woman steps through it, her every fiber imbues strength and valor.
I knew everything there was to know about Motherhood until I became one. Now Im clearly a member, because Im mildly clueless (apparently my brain was ushered out with the placenta) My life is navigated by the whims of a two year old, and a pot (or two) of java each day . Forget The Peace Corps; Motherhood is the hardest job you'll ever love!
The sisterhood. I am grateful for those who have come before us and revel in those little women who will one day proceed us. My fellow Mamas rock, and because of them I keep my sanity in the midst of life's upheavals, or my toddlers meltdowns at Target. I have a soft place to land. I have a shoulder to lean on. I have a group that I can be completely myself where candor is appreciated.
I have lived in dozens of places throughout my life, and I am so thankful to put down roots in the Triangle. Six years ago this week we bought our house and decided this was where I'd rush. My ceremony was four years later when I gave birth to Cora. I am now on the welcoming committee and am so grateful that I have the opportunity to share our sorority with others.
I hope that should my daughter decide to have children, she will find her sorority, her tribe, her troupe and there she can revel in how strong, smart and beautiful she is. Happy Mother's Day Sisters.
(PS, I was not in a sorority, so apologies if my metaphors were wrong!)
Wednesdays, May 22-June 26 6-8:30pm $229 per Couple, includes TheLamaze Guide and The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding Topics Include:Anatomy and Physiology of Pregnancy and Birth; Comfort Measures in the Third Trimester; Identifying Labor; Comfort Measures in Labor and Relaxation Techniques; Empowering the Partner; Interventions and Advocacy; Breastfeeding and Expectations after Baby.
Comfort Measures in Labor, Click Here to Reserve Friday, May 31 6:30-8:30pm Friday, June 21 6:30-8:30pm $50 per Couple, This is a great supplementary class for those who have attended a childbirth program and wish to delve further into ways a Partner can assist Mom. It's also a perfect refresher for seasoned parents.
Saturday May 25 1-4pm Saturday June 22 1-4pm Cost $75 per Couple , Includes The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding Topics include: anatomy and physiology of breastfeeding; initation of breastfeeding; breastfed baby norms; latching on and positioning; common "booby traps"; pumping basics; expectations in the first weeks; Partners and Babies
I rarely follow recipes and throw a little of this and a smidgen of that into a bowl and hope for the best. I am not known for my baking skills; however, I do know a good cookie when I taste one, so I tried to recreate my random cookie success and note it. Voile- this non baker has her own recipe!
I recently presented these- still warm from the oven- galactagogue goodies to a workshop of Ladies- approved and second! They are easy, full of milk making ingredients and they are yummy. Here's the scoop:
What You'll Need
2 Cups Rolled Oats
1/2 Cup Flax Meal
1.5 Cups Unbleached Flour
1/4 Brown Sugar
1 tbs Baking Soda
2 tbs Cinnamon
1/2 tbs Nutmeg
1.5 Cups Chocolate Chips
1.5 Cups Pecans
1 Cup Raisins
1 tbs Salt
3/4 Cup Coconut Oil
1 tsp Vanilla
1 Can Pumpkin Puree
1/4 Cup Black Strap Molasses
Preheat oven to 350f. Mix all dry and all liquid ingredients separately and then combine. Drop a spoon full of dough onto ungreased cookie sheets and place in oven 12-14 minutes until mildly firm to the touch. Enjoy!
Last weekend, I attended a Passion for Birth workshop on Topsail Island. My mentor, and dear friend, Ann Tumblin, sets the bar high when it comes to setting the stage for wonderfully innovative classes, and nothing tops the view from her classroom.
This is the second CBE workshop that I have attended with Passion for Birth, and I got just as much out of it this time as I did the first time around. The students who were at this particular event were exceptionally interesting and entertaining, and our backgrounds varied from working with a teens, to hospital instructors, to those just getting started. Each person brought something unique to the program, and I have to admit, I took notes and just might have to steal some ideas from these Ladies for my own classes.
(We didnt have anyone to take pictures for us, and I wanted us all included)
I love teaching, and I love changing up my curriculum- it insures that I never get bored, my students enjoy themselves, and the content remains up to date. I also find new games for my classes- so beware- I have new props in my teaching chest that will be sure to dazzle, or at the very least elicit a chuckle.
This is a wonderful video that I encourage Mothers and Partners to view. Birth can be powerful even if the journey changes route. Discuss with your doctors and share with others who may be planning a necessary Cesarean Birth.