Friday, July 25, 2008

"Silence is the perfectest herald of joy" - William Shakespeare

I remember going to one of my first doula visits (with the woman who would eventually give up her law practice and become a doula) and talking with the couple about all the things we had to discuss before labour. My client's husband later confided to her that he was alarmed by how much I talked during the visit. "Oh!" I said. "He hasn't seen me at a birth. I'm so quiet. My eyes and hands speak, but not my voice." He was so relieved (I think I'd actually scared him at that visit)...and I went on to attend all three of their children's joyful births.

The reason I talk so much at our prenatal visits, is that there is so much to cover. My own children are in their twenties, and I have been discussing birth with them all their lives. I STILL haven't covered it all with them! Can you imagine trying to filter all the information to fit into two visits (and many phone calls) with clients? It really can't be done.

The best I can do is help my clients get a sense of the underlying philosophy of birth, to encourage them to trust their bodies, to help them to remain undisturbed while going through labour. I still talk and talk before labour begins. But, the volume goes down to a whisper once labour is upon us, just as the lights go down....because we have to be silent to hear the lessons that the coming baby has to share.

- Jacquie Munro, Vancouver Doula

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Coming up for air...

Okay, so I've officially decided that the full moon really MUST make babies come in groups!

In the past week there have been so many babies, with their due dates randomly spaced over a six week period. Thankfully, there were no overlaps. Well, there was one 8-minute gap between two clients (it took me 8 minutes to run down the hill from one completed birth at St Paul's hospital to the next client's house on Pacific!)

So, there were two undisturbed home births, two undisturbed hospital births, and two challenging births caused by sweet posterior babies (resulting in one cesarean and one vaginal birth). The largest baby (9lb 13oz) and the smallest baby (6lb 12oz) this week were both born vaginally with no meds. What a ride!

Here are some wonderful quotes from the women in labour:
"I'm not scared, it just hurts."

"Once a contraction's over, you feel like you're in paradise."

"That was good! Almost no pain!" (about contractions in the shower)

"You have no idea how hungry I am right now!" (said at 10cm)

"That was the best experience of my life!"

"When his head came out, there was all this liquid, and it almost healed me..."

"I never knew he'd be this beautiful."

"I never knew she'd be this beautiful."

Now, if everyone else could just keep their legs together for a couple of days... I have my daughter's engagement party to get sorted!

- Jacquie Munro, Vancouver Doula

Monday, July 07, 2008

Baby at the Breast

Sorry...shamelessly proud mum here. My daughter Sarah painted this Warhol-esque breastfeeding baby (acrylic on canvas) as part of her final Breastfeeding Counselor project. Love it!

Now that we're on the topic of breastfeeding... A lot of women mistakenly believe that they will automatically receive incredible breastfeeding support at the hospital and during the initial weeks at home with the baby. Sadly, this is just a myth. Read about the resignations of local lactation consultant extraordinaire Renee Hefti, and then sign up for the breastfeeding courses that she offers in the community (604-733-6359).

Shameless promotion here - but it's truly necessary!

- Jacquie Munro, Vancouver Doula