Friday, April 20, 2012

April Homebirth

This was a lovely homebirth.  As a newcomer to homebirth, each one is beautifully unique and amazing.  Quiet and dark held this house until it was time for this little babe to be born.  The birthing team was a strong and cohesive unit - including the mom and dad.  They, especially, responded seamlessly to one another. 
Thanks for letting me in your sacred space.  It was an honor to bear witness to your strength and love.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Birth Photography, The Beginning...

Today I met with my first homebirth photography client and the midwives that will be helping her to birth her baby. 
I don't know about them, but I'm super excited about this opportunity!
Not only do I get to be a part of another homebirth team, I get to take pictures...another (and my first) passion.  Nothing beats that!
My old slr camera broke quite a few years ago.  I didn't want to buy a cheap version of what I wanted, so I just put off buying a new one.  I used a cheap digital camera (it was hard to get used to at first) and then I started using my phone.  I wasn't a doula and I was only taking pictures of my kids eating breakfast or making faces or wearing cute outfits. 
I needed a new I bought one.  Unfortunately, it hasn't been shipped yet.  Fortunately, the birth isn't (hopefully) for at least a couple more weeks.  I bought a Nikon D80 from  I can barely stand waiting for it to arrive.  The UPS man is like Santa for grown ups. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

August 23

Erica was my Doula for the birth of my daughter, Zoey Lee on August 23, 2011. She is a wonderful doula and really helped me throughout labor and stayed with me when my baby needed to go to the nursery and my husband followed. I will be happy to speak to anyone about Erica and recommend her. Having a Doula is essential for childbirth, even if you don't want natural birth. Erica is easy to talk to, knowledgeable and very supportive.

Evangelina Gonzalez-Dufresne

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Obstetrician on C-secions in MA

I read this article only moments ago.  I'm still processing it.  I immediately posted it on my Facebook page.  I read this blog commenting on it.  I, too, am angry at what was written.  I also find it very informative. 
It wasn't too long ago that I was a doula for a birth that just about mirrored the birth described in the article.  Except these parents were not thrilled with the outcome.  They are indeed very much in love with their little love, but not with the experience. 
It simply amazes me that doctors, many who are parents themselves, can look at birth as they a blind robot.  It's not as if they necessarily ignore what is front of them...they simply don't see it, process it, like the mother might be.  It's simply mechanical with a means to an end.  And that is all that matters. 

At a recent Las Vegas conference on obstetrical safety, some 125 members of the audience were asked to raise their hand to indicate their personal C-section rate. “Less than 15 percent?” the speaker asked. Two hands in the large auditorium went up. “Fifteen to 30 percent?” Half the hands were up. “More than 30 percent?” The rest. Then the speaker asked the room, “How many of you care?” No one raised a hand, and the room broke out in laughter.

I'd like to believe that someone would endure eight-plus years of schooling, long hours and sleepless nights to be able to help people.  These obstetricians who simply don't care aren't doing their job.  Sure, they care about the mother and baby coming out of the hospital safely...who doesn't?  However, "safely" is subjective, I suppose.

Is it safe to subject your patient, the mother, to depression or symptoms of PTSD?  In a study done
in Sweden, "76% of the moms in the study had experienced their delivery by emergency cesarean section as a traumatic event."
Additionally, in a study comparing the psychological effects of an emergency cesarean, planned cesarean, instrumental and normal vaginal deliveries.  Surprise, surprise - the psychological effects of an emergency cesarean and instrumental vaginal delivery "should be regarded as a pointer with respect to possible post-traumatic stress."
When inflicting this sort of trauma on a woman, why is it then okay to send her home with a newborn?  That same woman, who feels robbed, violated, hurt, angry, disillusioned, depressed, anxious, alone, unworthy, lacking and/or just plain wrong, is expected to be happy about her experience.  I'm probably crossing a line here, but it seems like obstetric rape. 

I birthed three babies vaginally.  I had pitocin and epidurals.  I did not feel like something was taken away from me because I didn't go into it with the thought that I had a right to anything else. 
With what I know now, I read articles like Dr. Wolfberg's and think, "gross."  It's just gross.  It makes me want to put on clean clothes.  It makes me want to yell at people.  It makes me cry for those it adversely affects.  It makes me hug my children tighter. 

I'm fortunate to have this information.  Thank you, Dr. Wolfberg.  I now have another article in my arsenal to present to mamas who want a natural childbirth experience, and steer them away from sterile, uncaring hospitals, and into the caring, colorful, loving arms of a homebirth circle, where she might stand a chance.
If you've time to read more, here's an article about a mother who was charged with child abuse for refusing a cesarean.  She and her baby were apart for three years while this case was being held in court. Never mind that the baby was birthed vaginally and was perfectly healthy...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011 sucks not being a super hero

Okay, so I love my job.  I love helping moms achieve the kind of birth they want.  I love seeing the look in their eyes as their baby is being born.  I love hearing a newborn cry.  I love watching a woman labor down, utilizing the tricks of the trade.  I love hearing a woman say, "I did it!" and "Hi baby.  It's your momma.  I love you."
Then there are days like this.  Days where a beautiful first time momma heads to the hospital intending to birth naturally and without complications...but ends up with every intervention known to man.  Broken-hearted and beaten-down she looks to you for answers, but all you can do is give her information to make her own choice.  Don't get me wrong, information is a very powerful thing.  Letting the momma make a decision with all the information on the choices available at hand is such an empowering gift.  But, when she and her husband are looking at you, not knowing what choice to make, my job sucks.  I want to tell her to get up and walk out and go find a midwife and have a home birth right now.  I want to tell her to keep on trucking because she can do this, she IS doing it.  And I do tell her that.  But she is defeated.  She's tired.  She's hungry.  She's tethered and hep locked.  She's on pit and has an epi.  Her legs are numb and her belly aches.  And then all you can do is watch as they wheel her down the hall, prepped for surgery. 
Then you remember that you're there for support.  And you've done that.  You've provided her with information to make educated choices.  That is your job.  You've applied counter-pressure.  You've massaged. You've listened and validated.  You've supported her decisions.  You've cried in your car on the drive home.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

A Homebirth Experience

I'm completely in love with homebirth.  I love attending any and all's birth.  I just have a special place for homebirth.  Here is a lovely blog post on why one mama chose to birth at home. 

Cranberry Moms blog photo...look, it's me in the middle!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

What's New...

I almost have enough births under my belt to be a certified toLabor doula!  This is pretty exciting.
In addition to being a birth doula, I'm expanding my reportoire of trainings.  In October I'll be attending a Childbirth Educator training.  In November I'll be attending a Postpartum Doula training.  This is all big, big, big for me.  This will open up new opportunities for me and for my clients.  
As a Childbirth Educator I'll be able to inform women on birthing choices more indepthly than I can now.  I'll be able to teach, something I love doing, and give women the tools to help their birthing process be a more comfortable one.  As a Postpartum Doula, I'll be available to my doula clients for extended periods after birthing their babies.  I'll also be available to mamas who I was not a doula for. 
I have this dream in my head:  providing personalized childbirth education to doula clients with postpartum care afterwards.  This can provide women with a very personalized experience. 
I can hope and dream, right?