Welcome to my doula blog! My name is Martina, and I am a self-professed birth junkie. I love anything and everything to do with pregnancy, birth, babies, breastfeeding and beyond. I will talk birth to anyone who will listen. I am one of those ladies who has to fight the urge not to bombard others with pearls of wisdom surrounding all these topics. It is a hard task to hold my tongue, but as a woman who often does not enjoy unsolicited advice myself, I also believe in respecting others when it comes to giving advice. However if it is the case that you would like to talk birth me with me, I am always open!
This is the reason why I am hoping to start (and complete) my doula training, hopefully within the next year (starting that is, it may take me longer to complete!).
I am hoping to make this blog sort of like a diary, a place to keep track of my journey towards hopefully accomplishing my dream.
I would like to take a moment though to mention the ever important disclaimer when it comes to blogs such as this - I am not a medical professional! And will not be even when I do become a doula. In fact it is not my goal to give advice here, it is merely a place to document my own personal growth and knowledge on my path to becoming a doula. Seldom will you hear me writing long pieces involving lots of research and quotes from other sources. I may include this sort of stuff in my rambling, but it is not my goal to 'be' the research.
I have included a list of websites and blogs that I have found helpful throughout my childbirth travels, and I hope that you will find them interesting as well.
Now that I've made that point, on to other stuff. I suppose I will include a little bit about me and why I would love to be a doula. I am a mother of two boys, born August 2008 and April 2010. I am one of those women who absolutely loved being pregnant in every way. It was a joy from start to finish in both cases. I was fortunate enough to have wonderful pregnancies, free of any discomfort, sickness, or complications. I had two very different birth experiences which I will probably talk about in separate posts. And while there are always things I wish had been different, I have made peace with my experiences and view them in a positive light.
I have breastfed both of my babies right from birth with very little issues, and feel fortunate and proud to have done so. I am a huge advocate for breastfeeding and do believe that breast is best. My first son was breastfed until about 14mos, and my second son is 15mos and is still breastfeeding without and signs of stopping soon. I will let him decide when to wean.
And now onto what made me decide I would like to be a doula. I did not put that much thought into my first pregnancy. I knew I wanted a natural birth, and I had decided to practice Hypnobirthing techniques to achieve this. My son had other plans and was breech, at which time I was advised he would need to be born via cesarean section and that I should book it ahead of time. Which we did. Again, I will likely elaborate on the details at another time.
After my cesarean (which went as wonderfully as one could hope for in such a situation), there was never any doubt in my mind that for my second pregnancy and birth I would plan for a vaginal birth after cesarean (referred to as VBAC). As my pregnancy progressed I became increasingly aware of the fact that I needed to plan - to prepare my mind, my body, my baby - for labour. What I did to plan for my second birth was not exclusive to my VBAC situation, in hindsight I should have planned my first birth the same way. If I had I may have been more informed and perhaps could have avoided the c-section. But hindsight is 20/20 they say. During my second pregnancy, I poured my heart and soul into researching about birth.
Following the birth of my second son it hit me - I loved this. Not only did I love being pregnant, but I loved giving birth. I loved breastfeeding (I already knew this of course). I loved all the planning I did, every detail I put into it to achieve my goal of a natural birth which was so important to me. I had hired a doula for my second birth (Kelly Maslen from Simply Healthy Family) and I now knew why they were so invaluable. I wanted to continue on this quest, not only to learn more for myself but to be able to educate and support other mothers who wanted that very special and often elusive natural birth experience.
The early days and even months with a newborn and a toddler left me feeling like my hopes of becoming a doula were light years away. Sleep deprivation, lack of time and energy, and a tight budget meant that it wasn't in the cards anytime soon. But I tucked that dream away, hoping to revisit it at another time.
Fast forward 1 year and a few months later and here I am. My dream seems more attainable now. My boys are a little older, and while I still hope to have another child I think that soon my time will come to start my training. It is not exactly in the budget as of yet, but it is a goal I am working towards. Until I can officially register for training I will be reading as much information as I can. There are reading requirements for the courses that I want to complete so while I am waiting I can get started on my reading. I've realized that I already own and have read several of books on the list, so I am going to start with re-reading those and then hit up the libraries in town for other ones.
Right now my goal is to read one book a month, and that I will have registered to start my training within one year from now.
If you have read this far, thank you for joining me on my journey! That is all I have time for today, as the boys are up and parental duties are calling.