Thursday, December 15, 2011

What is a DOULA?

Well, this year I decided to follow through with a desire that I've had for years. I decided to pursue becoming a doula.

I wanted to become a doula ever since my children were little but I had no time for it. Well, now our kids are a lot older and can function well on their own occasionally. So this year I decided to take the DONA certification class to become a doula!

More and more people are employing doula's at their births because of several reasons. First, women want to have the best experience possible at their birth because a lot of people only have one or two tries at this. Giving birth is one of the biggest experiences of a woman's life and she wants it to be a positive one. Second, due to studies that have shown that cesarean rates are cut by 50% and epidural use by 60% when a doula is present, insurance companies are much more interested in paying part, if not all of the doula's fee. (Saves them thousands.) Third, more and more woman with the support of the medical community are learning that natural birth is the very best option for both mother and baby for long term recovery both physically and emotionally. (Baring special circumstances of course.)

So what is a doula? A lot of people have never heard the word 'doula' before. They have been around for centuries but not know much about in our society until more recently. The word 'doula' is Greek for 'woman servant'. She is a special kind of helper associated with childbirth. She doesn't deliver babies or do medical stuff but she helps the mother in other ways. It is hard work being in labor and having a calm, soothing person with you helps you to stay focused and cope with the experience better. A doula not only helps the mother stay focused emotionally but helps her labor. Some of the duties of a doula include; suggesting positions and changes to help labor progress, breath with the mother and help her focus during contractions, give massage, find pillows and blankets for comfort, help keep the atmosphere in the room calm and peaceful, hold her hand and remind how well she is doing, help her and her family understand the process and what is happening to her, help her communicate with hospital staff, keep her hydrated and cool/warm, encourage nursing when the baby is born, help her and her family process the birth.

I had my first birth as a doula this last week and I did all those things with the mother. She did beautifully and labored long but went all the way without pain meds. Baby did great and was born after a 24 hour labor, healthy and strong. This woman's goals were accomplished!

Does this mean that if you have a doula you can't have pain meds or anything? Absolutely not! It's not about being superwoman and having a natural birth at all costs. It's about having the very best possible experience and having peace about every decision made that day. A lot of woman want to try to go 'as long as possible' but often get easily coerced into an epidural with the first suggestion. The goal is having someone help a mother think through the decision, make sure she is well informed and then support her in whatever the decision is. It never means a woman 'fails' if she gets an epidural or ends up with a cesarean. It's all about the experience.

For me, to serve a woman in one of the most amazing times in her life, then getting to witness a new life come into the world is beyond words! I'm looking forward to being a part of future births and hopefully helping mothers have a positive experience regardless of the circumstances.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


Summer has come and is about to go.
Most of the country had droughts but our neck of the woods, here in the Pacific Northwest had mostly rain.
It rained intil the end of July!
Here we are starting September and we still have some nice weather.
We also have smoke from forest fires and school is starting for most people.

We are NOT done with summer yet!

So we are going camping this weekend with our church and enjoying the weather for a few more days.

I'm not quite ready to start schooling yet anyway. I have my homeschool closet organized but not all of our curriculum or schedules put together.

My summer has been busy.

My grandma moved.
My mom was in the hospital a few times.
We had house projects to complete including painting and rearranging rooms for the children, power washing the house (ok, only the driveway got powerwashed, the washer is still sitting in our back yard waiting to wash the house), cleaning out and organizing the garage, not to mention harvesting and canning produce from friends' gardens. (We have a tiny garden but just for small meals, not enough to put up.)

We usually go camping and hiking and biking a lot in the summer but due to the weather we only went camping once at Diamond Lake. It was beautiful but cool and wet at times.
Good memories!

We are going camping again which is perfect except I think we can't have camp fires because of the forest fires going on.
It will still be good memories!

Mostly this summer we have been blessed.
I think my biggest blessing is my family.
Our children are amazing, my husband is loving, sweet and funny, our home is peaceful.
All of this because the Lord is in our life.
Does that mean nothing bad will ever happen to us?
It is just that He is with us no matter what and if anything goes 'wrong' our Lord will sustain us through everything.
I trust Him to give me peace and strength through any storm.
Peter walked on water to Jesus in a storm.
His only mistake was taking his eyes off of Jesus, concerned about the waves and storm and he began to sink.
The Lord still held him.

This blog has been quiet too long.
I'm motivated to keep it updated but computer stuff, facebook and such just aren't a priority to me. Sometimes I wonder if it really matters what I put on here as only 8 people 'follow' this blog. I'm going to continue it because it is good for me to do. I may not be consistant but I will try.
I have a feeling there will be a lot to blog about in the future.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

One Year

I can't believe it's been one whole year already!

This time last year we had just gotten back from Texas where Dan had a vasectomy reversal.

Since our journey began, I know of so many people who have gone through this recently.
(We have friends that are coming home today from Kentucky where she had a tubal reversal done.)
I'm glad we obeyed in this and know that we are where we are suppose to be.

There is an incredible peace that comes with it all!

My Gramma asked me today if we never got pregnant would my heart be broken.
I could honestly answer that it wouldn't.
I am so content with our children and feel so blessed by them.

When we first desired children after a few years of marriage it was different.
I didn't have any children to hug or fill my mama's heart up.
I know the feeling of those who want a baby so bad that it almost hurts.

I don't feel like that right now though.

I admit that when I see someone on the same journey as us, expecting twins, I wonder just a little.
(I've always wanted twins.)

I also know that God will only give me what he knows I can handle.
I trust that he knows what is best for me so I don't stomp my foot and fuss about it.

I am content and full of joy!

Joyful that I am blessed already and that my God loves me so much and he is in control!

I trust Him.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


What can one say about Hawaii?





We probably had one of the best times together as a family.
While home was freezing in the 20s we were basking in 80 degree weather in our shorts and swimsuits.

Truly wonderful.

Our family had two weeks of being constantly together. That isn't new for the children and I but to have Daddy with us all that time was. It really drew us all together even more.

I was so struck by the beauty and natural splendor of the island.

We did a lot of things while we were there.

The first week we got to stay at a really nice resort.

We swam...a lot

We saw waterfalls

Explored a cave

Went to a lighthouse.

This is a coffee plant we saw at a coffee plantation.

Drove to the top of the mountains.

Played at the beach.

Watched the sun set.

We visited with Dan's brother and his family and got to experience the laid back lifestyle of the Hawaiians. We had such a great time but by the end of it all we were ready to come home. We missed our beds, our home, our friends and our family.

It was truly all a blessing.
Now we are refreshed and ready to start back with school and our regular routines.