Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I'm back and ready for babies!

I'm back from the land of scarves (Paris) and gelato (Italy), art, churches, sparkling seas and rolling hills...and so many babies!

We saw babies in Paris, Tuscany and the Cinque Terre being carried in slings, Ergo carriers, and wraps (so much easier on cobblestone streets than strollers!)...children singing while skipping home for lunch...restaurants welcoming children of all ages...children being greeted and twirled around by Nonnas and Mamas...and many playgrounds tucked into tiny squares.

Birth issues seemed to be everywhere...even on Medieval streets...

One street in Volterra, Italy, was decorated with branches covered in blue ribbons. At first I thought the branches were a local custom, announcing a home birth of a baby. But, it turns out that there has been a big fight to retain birth services in Volterra.  A pilot project allowing women to give birth locally had been scheduled to end in July.  So, why were the branches on this street in September? Had a woman given birth at home recently, against local recommendation? Or were the branches part of a protest against the removal of services? I'd love it if any Italian-speaking clients would read local news articles and let me know!

But, I learned that, no matter where I am, even when I'm on holiday, my thoughts do not stray far from the focus of my passion...birth, babies, mothers...

So, please don't hesitate to contact me by phone or email now... I'm home, rested and ready for babies again!

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Nine Months of Babies (or...and so we embark on a slow travel journey...)

It's been 9 months of babies...35 women, 35 births...since I last wrote a blog post.  Three sets of sparkling twins, 2 out of 2 successful and life-changing VBACs, six joyful home births (one with only 16 recorded active labour contractions!), one surprise vaginal breech birth, a few fourth babies and many first babies, eight wonderful repeat clients, more than a few speedy car rides, and many sleepless hard-labouring nights... 

These babies and their mums teach me about strength, acceptance and love daily.

In between the births, and the client phone calls (both pregnancy and postpartum), and the visits to help with breastfeeding, I get to be gran to a pretty great pair of toddlers. You can find us most days (in between some long stroller walks) at Rosemary Brown Park and Kits Beach Park. Join us if you like diggers and soccer balls!

Very early in the morning (and late at night) I try to stay current by reading as much birth/child-related research as I can, but you can also find me reading KellymomFirst the Egg and Dr. Jen as well as Paris by MouthJoel Henriques and Apartment Therapy. It's all about balance, right?

Ah, balance...

To that end, we're off to Europe on our annual slow travel journey. So many clients have told me that they were married in Siena (or got engaged in the Cinque Terre...or conceived their baby in Florence), that we decided we just had to find out what the fuss was all about.  So, Italy awaits! Oh, and Paris, too...

This is my only chance to take a break during the year (mine is a 24/7 on-call life), so please understand that I won't be receiving calls until the end of September (the 28th should be fine). I still have room for a few more babies in November (why is November always a slow month?), and in February (and beyond!) 

Please don't hesitate to email me at Vancouver Doula, but expect a sloooow response until my return from la dolce vita.

- Jacquie Munro, Vancouver Doula