10 Questions & Answers from YOU!
In an attempt to do a variation of those reintroductions that are all too common on this platform - I recently posted a question box in my stories, prompting you guys to ask me some questions! These are my favorite ones I received.
1. What is the best advice for someone planning to be a support person for a birth?
-Before the big day, talk to them about their choices. Do they wish to use pain medication, or are they planning to use position changes and breath work to cope? Do they want to labor for a long time at home, or do they plan to go to their birthing space once labor begins? Do they want minimal interventions, or are they open to whatever their care provider suggests? Although labor and birth can be unpredictable and often goes differently than we expect - it is still important to know what mama is hoping for out of her experience, so that you can do your very best to help her achieve it. Something you can do to help keep her comfortable is to educate yourself on different pain relief techniques and positions. You can find TONS of visuals on Pinterest!
2. How do you balance doula life and mom life?
-I used to struggle a LOT with mom guilt - of being a working mom, of sending my son to a Montessori school five days a week, of not being able to do our bedtime routine every night, of being away from my son for extended periods of time due to long labors - you get the gist. I was sharing my feelings of mom guilt with a friend, and she reminded me that guilt implies wrong-doing, and that instead of feeling guilty about being a working mom, it’s ok to feel sad about missing certain events or moments that I can’t get back. I make it a priority to be as fully present as possible with my son when I am with him, and to be fully present with my clients when I am called to a birth.
3. How to prevent back labor? Or how to get more comfortable during back labor?
-More often than not, my clients encounter back labor for 2 reasons: 1) baby is positioned sunny side up, which means their head is down but their body is facing towards mama’s stomach instead of her back; and 2) they have a history of back issues, like scoliosis, sciatica, or a herniated disk. To prevent back labor, if you discover that baby is positioned sunny side up ahead of your due date, you can try the “three sisters of balance” method on the spinning babies website to try to get baby to turn (jiggle, forward-leaning inversion, and side-lying release.) If you have a history of back issues, I highly recommend weekly or bi-weekly chiropractic care during the duration of your pregnancy. If you are in labor and are experiencing back labor - utilize a rebozo as well as warm compresses and water.
4. What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done?
-Birth unmedicated. 😅 Kidding. I actually had to think about my answer to this one for a good while, and as much as jumping off of cliffs in Puerto Rico was intense - nothing compares to the scary choice I made during my Senior year of high school to free myself of feeling the need to meet other people’s expectations. I had an encounter with Jesus the summer before my Senior year, and it flipped my world upside-down. I lost all of my friends (ok, not ALL of them, but most of them!) because I no longer felt the need to participate in the things that formerly identified me as part of the “in-crowd.” Laying aside popularity in exchange for my new-found love of Christ was not the plan I necessarily had for my final year of high school and beyond - but it was, by far, the best decision I’ve ever made.
5. What’s the most random thing you’ve done?
-My Senior year of high school, my youth pastor was preparing to leave on a mission trip to Nicaragua with a team of about 7-8 guys. Knowing I had a heart for missions and a new-found love for Jesus, he invited me to go with them - 3 days before leaving. I hesitated initially, for obvious reasons, 😅 but in the end chose faith over fear and decided to go! We listened to Josh Garrels’s Ulysses album the whole trip and worshiped with no electricity during a rainstorm and served in a school in the middle of a garbage dump and received prayer from missionaries that was more powerful than I’ve ever experienced. The trip was life-changing and the eye-opening in more ways than I can count. (Pictured on the left is a little girl I fell in love with, she and I were attached at the hip during my time there.)
6, What’s one lesson you’ve learned in marriage?
-I stand firm on this saying, that “the grass isn’t greener on the other side, the grass is greener where you water it.” If you dig a little deeper with your married friends or coworkers, and ask them the hard questions - you will likely discover that they are struggling in some way in their marriage. When I posted about my husband and I’s separation back in November, my DM’s were flooded with shared experiences. No marriage is perfect, despite what it may appear like on social media. Marriage is a covenant - one that God designed to bring us to our knees in dependence on Him to do well. Instead of focusing on what my spouse is lacking in, or comparing our current season with the season other couples are in - I can emphasize my spouse’s strengths, celebrate how far we have come together, invest time and energy into bettering our relationship, and concentrate on ways of bettering myself.
7. What is one lesson you’ve learned in motherhood?
-Motherhood has taught me SO much - but perhaps more than anything it has shown me that children are our teachers. Showing up for my son every day teaches me patience, unconditional love, and how to be intentional with my time, energy, and resources.
8. What’s the hardest part about being a doula?
-Long labors are hard. Long labors that last through the night are even harder! I really like my sleep. 😅 And being on-call is sometimes tricky, especially for coordinating childcare. Having a partner definitely makes things a whole lot easier.
9. What’s your favorite thing to do in your free time?
-I love hanging with my family at the beach or park, photography, and writing. Oh! And getting my nails done. 🤗
10. If you could give any piece of advice to an aspiring or new doula, what would it be?
-Be teachable! There is SO much more to being a doula than what they teach you in an online or in-person training. Ask experienced doulas who you align with morally for words of wisdom on the fundamentals of what it means to work as a doula: on-call life, collaborating with healthcare providers, work/life balance, eliminating any personal agendas/biases from your philosophy, and the basics of childbirth education (just to name a few!)
This was fun! What is a random fun fact I don't know about you yet?!