“Being a [parent] is not about what you gave up to have a child, but what you’ve gained from having one.”
That quote explains exactly how I found my passion and calling. Each of my children have helped me gain more perspective on what I wanted to and now do as my career. They have also given me the strength in pursuing my dreams.
I have always wanted to be a mom so when I was pregnant with my first child I was overcome with joy and excitement to meet my son. I personally felt more than prepared to transition into a family and mother. Little did I know my pregnancy and postpartum days were going to be challenging. At 36 weeks gestation I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes, began insulin shots and was induced on my due date. After giving birth to my son he was transferred to the NICU for two days. I had kidney issues which caused us to stay in the hospital a week. Getting my son to latch was hard so I exclusively pumped for 9 weeks until he learned to latch. On top of that I had to go back to work at 8 weeks postpartum (I used to be a teacher); which I was not ready for. Immediately motherhood threw a curve ball into what and how I believed it would be.
Even with all these struggles life did keep moving, you know, since time doesn’t stand still…and as a first-time mom I really delved into the online mom world. I met moms with the same struggles (breastfeeding, high-needs babe) and the same interests I had (baby-led weaning, cloth diapering, babywearing). One day in my moms group a friend was talking about woven wraps and I was like, “what is this long piece of fabric?! “This opened my eyes to all the different types and brands of baby carriers. This motivated me to find my local babywearing chapter and even become a Volunteer Babywearing Educator (VBE). I was a VBE for 4 years until I decided to leave due to a growing family and business. I had become a Certified Babywearing Educator (CBE) by that time continuing to help caregivers privately with babywearing. Babywearing helped me with a high-needs baby, helped me get out easier and helped me be hands free. Thanks to my son I found my love for babywearing. He is why I am a Babywearing Educator.
In Winter 2016 we found out my husband and I were expecting our second baby. At this point in mom-life I had done a lot of research on natural birth. I also read mom-pinions on the matter. I was really striving for a home birth but it didn’t work out. However a friend had reached out to me about hiring a Birth Doula. It was something I had heard about but didn’t think about. I met with Casey from Little Otter Birth Services and after meeting with her and hearing more about what she does, I was “sold.” I hired Casey as my Birth Doula.
In having Casey as my Birth Doula we made a birth plan and I had the best support through labor and delivery. She was still a listening ear for me after having my daughter. Again I had breastfeeding issues and the transition into having a second child was hard. I had to exclusively pump for 4 weeks before my daughter learned to latch. During those 4 weeks I somehow had to figure out how to pump, keep the baby fed, and keep the oldest child alive and happy. One day I reached out to Casey to catch up. I explained how I wanted to help caregivers after they have a baby because knowing my struggles I was sure there were other caregivers needing support too. She suggested that I look into becoming a Postpartum Doula which is what I did. It was through the birth of my daughter and transition into a mother of two that I understood my calling to help mothers and families with postpartum care. Thanks to my daughter I became a Postpartum Doula.
Being a Babywearing Educator and Postpartum Doula fills my heart with so much joy. I personally find the postpartum stage to be beautiful yet I find that the postpartum stage can come with challenges. Each mother and family may have their own set of challenges that they will work on overcoming. It is my belief that mothers and families do need postpartum support. It is a stage in life that seems to be forgotten or pushed to the side. We prepare for pregnancy and birth but we don’t seem to prepare for the postpartum stage. Even myself, I did not prepare for the postpartum stage, nor did I have postpartum support. My husband had to go back to work pretty immediately and so I struggled in these transitional times.
I, a Postpartum Doula, could have benefited from the support of a Postpartum Doula. I could have used help with simple meal preparation, giving my eldest more individualized attention, light household organization, and breast/bottle feeding support. It is from my own experiences that I have come to realize how important postpartum and babywearing support is for all mothers and families. It is my pleasure to help families create postpartum plans and provide them with postpartum support so they can have a smoother transition. It is my pleasure to help families confidently use baby carriers so they can be more hands free.
Thank you to my children who have enlightened me and given me strength to help other mothers and families.