Witnessing birth for the first time
Just weeks after I found out I was pregnant with my daughter, my best friend asked me to attend the birth of her second child. At first, I was thrilled. But as her due date loomed nearer, I grew nervous. What was my role? What was I supposed to do? What could I possibly offer her? I’d never been to a birth before. I didn’t want to be a spectator. But then I realized that she was bestowing on me a precious gift – the opportunity to witness her birth. Needless to say, it was amazing and lifechanging. I went away thinking that the world might be a very different place indeed if more people had the chance to see a baby being born, and the awesome power of a birthing mother.
“This isn’t at all how I thought it was going to be!”
My own birth and post-partum period 8 months later, however, were not at all what I planned or expected. Visions of my “perfect birth” went out the window when my baby needed a cesarean section – stat. Breastfeeding problems cropped up pretty much from day one, and seemed to compound day by day, all while I was trying to recover from major abdominal surgery and learn how to be mother to this pink, squirming person.
“Where is the bliss I keep hearing about?” I cried. After some sleepless nights and lots and lots of love and good support, it did in fact come. I had my mother come and sit with me to keep from going crazy, popped my daughter in a sling, and found my mommy tribe of likeminded new moms.
The next hurdle was to return to work. My heart was already aching at leaving my girl. In my first week back, I developed a breast infection that ended up requiring surgery and more time off work. A rocky re-entry for sure.
“If I can do this, I can do ANYTHING!”
But I did weather the incredible highs and lows of new motherhood thanks to an incredible web of support from friends, family and caregivers. These experiences, though among the biggest challenges I’d ever faced in life, left me with an unshakable confidence in myself.
I immediately wanted to do whatever I could to help other women discover their own empowerment through mothering. To this end, I trained as a certified Leader with La Leche League Canada, and provided breastfeeding counselling in my community for 2 1/2 years.
From rock ‘n’ roll to yoga…
Life took a few twists in the road from there. I ended up leaving a 25+ year career in arts and entertainment management. I went from rock ‘n’ roll and film festival glitter of ticketing operations for Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall, to managing a family-run yoga studio, The Yoga Sanctuary. My working uniform went from boss lady pants to yoga pants, and my workplace soundtrack went from soundchecks to Om’s.
While running the studio by day, I completed my yoga teacher certification there by night and on weekends. This was the fulfillment of a longtime dream. I’ve been practicing yoga since 1999 and also following formal studies and practice in meditation since 2006. They continue to be the bedrock foundation for my own inner and outer health and wellbeing.
…. And back to babies
Through all these changes, family life with my husband and daughter was evolving too. She was growing up and becoming more independent day by day. The time was finally right to devote myself fully to mothers, and I pursued certification as a doula and pre & postnatal yoga teacher. Even though I now have a teenager and my days of mothering my own tiny infant are past, I’m more stoked than ever about all things birthy and baby.
The most important job in the world
In being a doula, I know that I am in exactly the right place to give full expression to my lifetime of skills, training and experience. And I offer these to you as you bring your child into the world. I don’t think there could be any more important and rewarding job in the world – other than giving birth itself.
Contact me to find out more about how I can support you as you do the most important work of your life. I am right here for you.
“If we hope to create a non-violent world where respect and kindness replace fear and hatred, we must begin with how we treat each other at the beginning of life. For that is where our deepest patterns are set. From these roots grow fear and alienation – or love and trust.” ~ Suzanne Arms