Dec 21, 2010

Cape Fear Area Doulas

I finally prepared a bio for the Cape Fear Area Doulas website. You can read it below, and it should be on the website soon.

I believe every woman who desires a gentle birth deserves a doula. Our culture does not always make it easy to reach out for support, but this is changing. I have been trained through toLabor (formerly ALACE) to provide educational, emotional, and physical support to women and couples prenatally and in labor. I encourage women to be educated about available birth options so you can make the best choices for you. As your doula I will provide you with informative resources and support your choices. I will encourage you to trust your body and your baby as you grow in motherhood. 
I was raised in southeast North Carolina with a family of nurses and midwives. I began to foster my own nurturing mother spirit after birthing my daughter in 2003. When not attending births, I enjoy laughing with my family, creating art, practicing yoga and meditation, reading, and playing outside.
I have experience supporting birth in both the home and the hospital setting. If you desire an unmedicated birth I am happy to help you prepare for and achieve that. I chronicle my journey at and can be reached at or (910) 520-9456. 
Young couples, single moms, or same-sex couples welcome. 

Nov 22, 2010

Navelgazing Midwife Blog

I'm thrilled that I found this Midwife/ writer's awesome blog this morning! The video she posted today is also available on YouTube and is HILARIOUS. I read a few of her other posts, and her heart shines through the words she uses to explain her perspective. Great articles for doulas, midwives, mamas and daddies. I hope you enjoy it, too!


Nov 15, 2010

Moving to Blogger

I made the decision to move my Happy Doula blog from to I think the official address is now I was looking for a new template on Wordpress because I wanted three columns and had trouble finding something I liked. So I came over here to see what was available, and discovered how much simpler blogger is to use! Wow! Wordpress can probably do a lot more, and can be more personalized, but Blogger is made for people like me. I got more done with it in just about an hour than I could have done in two or three hours on Wordpress. I find that it is just a lot easier to move things around, the formatting just falls into place, and the blog looks neat and clean with minimal effort. Perfect! I moved all the posts over (I only have a few so far). I am going to abandon the comments, so to those of you who have left wonderful comments on my blog I apologize! But I hope you will continue to check in on me now and then. I love comments! They encourage me to write more. Thank you!

Featured in CFCC SBC September newsletter

My doula business was featured today in Cape Fear Community College's Small Business Center (SBC) September newsletter.  I met with the SBC's director, Doug Tarble, a few months ago to discuss with him the feasibility of going into business for myself. Doug listened to my ideas, was open-minded and cheerful, and provided me with excellent supportive feedback as well as some helpful business resources. Thanks Doug!

Unfortunately, I am not able to link to the article as it was delivered in an email newsletter, not published on the web. 


Thoughts on Medical Interventions in Labor

I've been doing a lot of reading, studying books on pregnancy and birth, and of course speaking with women about their birth experiences as well as assisting at a few homebirths recently. I'm working on creating a packet of information to give to women who want me to serve as their doula. Besides forming personal opinions on the information I learn, I am strengthening my philosophy on how to relate with women, and work as their doula. I am constantly open to change, growth, and learning.

Michelangelo creation story
The Birth of Adam
My philosophy, based on personal experiences, births witnessed, and my own reading of various materials related to pregnancy and childbirth, is that:
Babies born from natural, spontaneous labors have the best overall outcomes, and their mothers experience easier labors and quicker postpartum recoveries.
I have seen that natural, spontaneous labor is not always feasible because of medical conditions, and sometimes not desired by the mother. I believe decisions on whether to electively induce or augment labor should be completely up to the mother, unless medically indicated, and therefore she should educate herself early on about the risks of such procedures so that she can make a wise choice when presented with the option to induce or augment labor.

It is my hope that the women I serve will have educated themselves thoroughly on the risks of the commonly used interventions. I am open to hearing any thoughts or reasoning for or against any medical interventions or styles of laboring. I can present you with information, but will never try to sway your decisions. You are already strong and powerful, and know your body better than anyone else.

I believe that laboring women need female companionship and support no matter what their medical condition or thoughts on interventions. My ultimate desire is to help you have the best birth possible.

Sweet Dreams

I am typically an 8 to 9 hours of sleep per night type of person. There were several years of my life when I nodded in and out of consciousness all day and night, never really being asleep or awake. When I got over that and began to truly sleep, I fell in love with it. I began going to bed early and sleeping in late. I would growl if someone stirred me from my restful dream-state. Ah, it was nice!

So beginning the on-call lifestyle, I was a bit nervous about missing my lovely sleep — even wondering if I was capable of waking on-demand. Today, I am amazed at what the human body, and myself personally, can do with a cumulative 45-minutes of sleep! A Power circles around the event of birth, imbuing those within the sphere with a serene energy and the ability to focus while dancing the hushed waltz around life. It is about waking up, being present and engaged. It is prayer in action; the life force itself; the opposite of sleep.

Good night.

toLabor birth doula training

I returned home last night from an exhilarating weekend in Northern Virginia. I participated in ToLabor's birth doula training, instructed by Therese Hak Kuhn. My body is still buzzing — I feel this intense sense of excitement, empowerment, belonging. The workshop was more than a clue that I am on the right path; it was more of a kick in the ass letting me know how important this work is! As doulas we each touch one family at a time, but as a whole we send massive love vibrations out into the world like surging beams of light.

I connected with wonderful women this weekend, learned a lot, found out that I already knew more than I thought, some of it intuitively and some from reading books and other blogs and websites. I want to thank everyone I spent time with this weekend for being present, honest, pure, and for allowing me the same.

Keep smiling!


Last week I wrote about going to a birth that was not ready to happen. One of the midwives stayed with the mama the following night, all three of us stayed the night after that, and then on Saturday I stayed with one of the midwives at the house while the mama's labor came and went. Between the three of us, mama had periodic supervision for 5 days. Nothing on Monday. On Tuesday, around 1pm, she called the midwives and said that she thought she might finally be in active labor. One of them went to check on her, and after arriving called her partner and then me to come back.

I was having my car oil changed and a new tire put on when I got the call. I asked my mechanic as politely as possible how much longer he would be. When I got to the house she had already been pushing for 5 minutes. Now, this is my first time witnessing another labor and birth besides my own. I'll admit I've had a few reservations and anxieties, such as whether I have the stomach to handle the intensity of birth. I do. But I wasn't sure until I had the opportunity to be there, to see her strength and power up close as she brought her baby into the world.

I learned an important lesson at this birth, as I got a glimpse of what it takes to be a midwife: professionalism, strength, wit, and ability to think fast while speaking with a voice like melted butter.

Assisting at a homebirth

I was called to assist at a homebirth with local midwives yesterday. Needless to say I got quite excited about the opportunity to be present. We took our time driving to the mama's house, chatting on the way. The day was bright. When we got there we were greeted by: the mama in early labor, both her parents, two daughters ages 4 and 8-ish, best friend visiting from out of town, four (inside) dogs, and were soon joined by another mama-photographer who was asked to photograph the birth, as well as her 10-month-old daughter. Mixed in with all these wonderful people were the two midwives and myself. Quite a house full!

Once everyone seemed comfortable with one another and settled in, the midwives led a discussion about the mama's labor progression, which had started but seemed to be in early stages. So, she and her best friend danced and moved to "Just Dance" on the Nintendo Wii for about and hour! The best part was when mama would slow her dancing to have a contraction, and her friend would bust some serious moves trying increase her score in the game. Nevertheless, this awesome mama kept winning the game, even with taking short breaks to breathe through her contractions.

After dinner, the midwives decided they would take turns keeping an eye on the mama's labor for the next day or so until she really gets going. So I came home. For now.
Patience being the elusive virtue that when asked for seems to become a test, I am reluctant to ask for help in practicing it. But, I am gladly being present with the soft buzzing sensation I feel as I await the call back. I will keep you posted!

Until then, keep smiling:)

My first happy doula blog post

SO this is my first blog post. Rain is falling down in big fat drops, pinging on the metal A/C unit outside my window. Today is my first official day of self-employment. I am excited about creating my own freedom and flexibility; I am also a bit nervous about maintaining self-discipline. I have found that whatever I am looking for in life, eventually I will find. Now I am looking to make our world a better place, in whatever small way.

The birth of a child is a magical, spiritual, yet totally natural experience. When I gave birth to Summer almost seven years ago, I thought I was ready for the birth, but really I had planned the way it was supposed to go and was only ready for my plan to fall into place. As so often happens, the plans I had prepared did not become reality. In this case, I was unprepared to deal with forces of nature more powerful than myself, and I became filled with fear. I allowed the fear to paralyze me into an object of angst.

Shortly thereafter, I began to see that fear had no place in the giving of birth. I want to share with others that in dispelling fear, you can truly experience all of your life, rather than the half or bits and pieces that you get when living in fear and running from reality. I want this blog to be a chronicle of hope, joy, reality, and truth. Truth often times is not pretty, but it is always FREE.
Until next time. . . keep smiling!