When Your Birth Story is Not What You Planned

We all have a picture in our minds about what our birth story will be.  Who will be there.  Whether or not to get an epidural.    Labor at home or the hospital.  Where to give birth.  There are tons of different things that make up our “perfect birth”. In reality, birth is unpredictable.  Many things happen that can change our story.  And sometimes our expectations are not met and we can end up feeling disappointed.


So often we hear people say something like “At least you and baby are healthy” or “You can always have a different birth next time”.  I’ve been guilty of saying these things myself.  Sometimes we just don’t know what to say.  But the truth of it is that every birth story is important.  Each journey is unique and our feelings about that journey matter.


If this has happened to you, then I would like to tell you what you should be hearing.

“Your story is important.  I am so sorry that it didn’t go the way you wanted it to.  I know that your heart hurts.  It’s ok to love your new baby and still struggle with the way that you welcomed that baby.  You did the absolute best that you could do and it is no way your fault.  You are amazing for growing your baby and bringing this wonderful new person into the world.  HEAR ME…You are enough.  And you are a great mom.”

Now, what to do if you feel disappointed or traumatized by your birth.

  1. Love on your new baby.  Snuggle that sweet little person and tell them how much you love them.
  2. Find someone that you feel safe with and tell them your birth story.  This should be a person that you know will listen without judgement and hear you with an open heart and open ears. If you don’t have that person in your life, then call me 910-578-7629.  I would love to hear your story.
  3. Feel your feelings.  Like I said, it’s ok to love your baby and still be sad about your birth.  But stuffing those feelings won’t do any good.  Allow yourself to feel those feelings.  Be gentle with yourself.
  4. Do something for yourself each day.  Show yourself some love.
  5. If you start to feel more than just normal baby blues, please know that you are not alone.  Reach out to other moms, or me.  Someone.  PPD happens to all kinds of moms and it’s important to get help.

Your birth story is so important.  And how you feel about it is so important.  I hope that every mom knows that.  And if you don’t, call me and I’ll remind you that every birth story matters.


The Journey into Motherhood

The journey into motherhood looks different for every woman.  It even looks different for women with each of their babies.  My journey with Thomas (my 15 year old) was much different than with Sierra (my 13 year old).  Each pregnancy, birth, and postpartum is so special.  Every time a mom grows, births, and mothers her children, it will be unique.  It’s a journey that she should not have to walk by herself.  The people that come along side her are very important.  They will encourage, support, and love her.

Her partner is perhaps the most important.  Together, they will journey into parenthood.  Mom will go through lots of changes and knowing that she is loved and supported is meaningful.  This can look different for each person.  It might be foot rubs in the evening, listening as she is crying over what seems like nothing, helping her get comfortable even though it takes 10 pillows, or driving to the store to get pickles at 11 at night.  But it will always mean loving her, celebrating with her, and enjoying the journey day by day.


Her family is another important piece of the team.  She will need their support, as well.  This means supporting her choices, even when they differ from the other women in the family.  It means staying positive and telling her that they believe in her.  It means celebrating the life that is growing inside her.

Women often don’t know the importance of a good provider.  Someone that listens to their concerns.  The right provider will have a similar view of birth as the mom.  They will support her decisions and if something happens that changes the plan, they will make sure that she and her partner understand what is happening.  The right provider will make a mom feel safe and she will trust them with herself and her baby.


The doula is the final piece.  A doula will come along side the woman and her family.  She will be there to offer support in any way that is needed.  Mom will be able to call or text anytime.  She will talk with a woman about her fears, her excitement, and anything else she needs to talk about.  She will help the partner to feel confident in their role.  She is not a replacement, she is an addition.  The doula will “hold space” for the mom, helping her voice to be heard.  The right doula will help a woman feel confident, supported, and understood.

In many situations, one or more of these pieces might be missing.  She might be a single mom, or her partner might have to be gone during labor and delivery (as is often the case with military families).  She might have a rough relationship with her family, or have a provider that doesn’t always agree with what she wants.  One thing she can count on is that her doula will support her.  The right doula will know that every birth story matters.

5 Things Your Newborn Wishes They Could Tell You

You did it!  You grew a baby in your belly and you gave birth to your beautiful little one. You and your family are so excited to get to know this little one.  And your baby is getting to know you…and the world around them.  There is a lot going on in their little body.  Here are 5 things that your baby wants you to know (from baby’s point of view:)).

  1.  Skin-to-skin is one of my favorite things.  I love being close to you (and daddy).  It’s where I feel safest.  I know you and I know your smell.  I don’t want skin-to-skin to end when we leave the hospital.  My whole first year I want to be held and snuggled skin-to-skin.  It’s so good for both of us, and daddy too.
  2. The world is a scary place.  When I was in your belly, everything was muted.  I could hear your heart and your breathing, but now everything is so loud!  There are sights, smells, and sounds that are brand new to me. Even wearing clothes feels strange. It can be very overwhelming.  When it is, I just want to snuggle into you and go to sleep.
  3. Nursing is also one of my favorite things…and not just for eating. Sometimes I just want to be held and comforted.  Sometimes I don’t feel well and nursing helps me feel better.  Sometimes I am scared or tired and nursing will help me to sleep and calm down.  When I am nursing, I can smell you and hear your heartbeat.  It is very soothing.couch-baby
  4. I have no idea what a schedule is.  This newborn thing is hard (it must be hard for you too).  I don’t know when bedtime is, or when to take naps.  Sometimes I want to sleep for 4 hours, sometimes for 30 minutes.  Give me some time and I will settle into a routine (but it probably will still change from time to time).
  5. You cannot love me enough. I won’t get “spoiled”.  I promise that I won’t always need you as much as I do right now.  Eventually, I will want to explore my world.  I will have my own opinions and make my own choices, but right now you are the most important thing in the world to me.

The first couple of months of parenthood can be really hard.  Everything from nursing to learning what your baby’s different cries mean.  There will be days where you don’t think that you can take one more sleepless night.  But you will make it.  You only get these days with this baby once.  Cherish them.  Because your story matters.


What You Don’t Know

I talk to a lot of moms, both pregnant and not.  That makes sense, right? I’m a doula.  Pregnancy, birth, and babies are my business.  I love it all and I love talking about it!  However, one of my favorites is talking to first time pregnant moms.  There is something about that first time.  It’s all new and exciting.  And scary!  I’ve heard lots of moms say they don’t even know what questions to ask.  They don’t even know where to begin.  And often their husbands feel the same.  They don’t know what they don’t know.

It’s never too early in your pregnancy to start thinking about what is best for you and your baby.  There are lots of ways to approach your pregnancy and birth.  And lots of information about all of them.  It can be very overwhelming.  There are some great resources out there.  Here are some of my favorites:

  1. Birth Boot Camp (they have an excellent online childbirth class!)
  2. Spinning Babies
  3. Dr. Sears
  4. Evidence Based Birth

When you start to educate yourself, then you will start to know what you want.  Not what your mom wants, or your care provider, but what you want.  Everyone loves to tell moms what they should do and how they should do it, but this is your choice and your family.  When you know your options and what is best for you, then your voice will start to come out.i-believe-in-your-bodys-ability-to-have-your-baby-and-in-your-ability-to-know-your-body

Another thing that is important is to build your support system.  These are the people that you turn to with your questions, concerns, and fears.  It doesn’t need to be more than just a few people.  Your partner,  your doula, your provider, or other moms.  They just need to be people you trust.

My job as a doula is not to tell you what you don’t know (although, I do have a lot of knowledge to share), but to help you find the answers you are looking for.  I will come beside you and your partner and walk this journey with you.  I trust the decisions you will make.  I trust you to know what is best for your family.  I believe in you!  We will talk about your fears and concerns. I will listen when you are having a hard day or are sick of being pregnant.  I will encourage you to listen to your body.  I will support you in any way you need.  Why? Because  I love moms, dads, babies, families.  And I know that every birth story matters.

A Place for All Women

Yesterday I had the pleasure of going to the  Mommy’s Milk Breastfeeding Circle.  It is held in The Woman’s Nest in Macon.  I had never been there and I was so happy with what I saw.  The middle Georgia area has needed a place like this for so long and I am thrilled that we now have one.

The Woman’ Nest is owned and run by Lindsey Kyte, CNM.   When I got there,  I was immediately amazed at how warm and inviting it is.  They have converted a little white house into a place that women can go and find support of any kind.  I was there for the breastfeeding support group, so there were little ones and babies everywhere.  It was a safe place for the moms, as well as their children.  The room was beautifully decorated.  It was designed to make everyone feel comfortable.  The meeting felt like a group of friends just getting together for a play date.  It was an honor to be surrounded by such amazing women.


Lindsey is  warm and caring.  You can tell how passionate she is about reaching out to her community within moments of meeting her.  When asked about it, this is what she said,

“I strongly have a passion for women being supported by women at all stages in their life but especially during motherhood…. we need to feel loved, appreciated, lifted, worthy, and not judged because we are so critical and judgmental of ourselves and abilities as women….We are all fabulous and have a lot to share with the world and I want women to feel that and have a sisterhood that brings it out in them!”

This place is wonderful.  You will feel welcome the moment you step in the door.  Their goal is to provide support for women in all stages of motherhood.  Because of Lindsey’s love and passion, women in middle Georgia now have place to go to.  They have classes, retreats, and circles.  All there to help improve the lives of families in GA.  Because when you improve the lives of moms, you are improving the lives of those around them. That has a ripple effect.  It can only make our community stronger.

As a doula, I love families and am grateful for anything that helps them in their journey.  The Woman’s Nest does just that.  We all need a bit of help now and then and a safe place to find it.  Because our stories matter.  They matter to us and those around us.  They matter to Lindsey too.

Thank you, Lindsey, for giving the moms in our area the support they need.



Everyone Needs a Life Doula

While I was in my Birth Boot Camp doula training, there was a conversation about
fullsizerender-9different types of “doulas” that people might need.  Things like a “dentist doula”, someone to come and hold your hand during dental procedures that inevitably cause anxiety.  Or a “tattoo doula” for those that are scared that getting a tattoo will be too painful to bear.  That got me to thinking.  What kind of “life doula” have I had in my life? My answer…a deployment doula.

My husband, Tom, has been in the military for 17 years. Right now we are stationed at Robins AFB in Warner Robins, GA. We have loved being a military family and the military has been good to us.  However, with all the good there are some hard truths.  One of those hard truths is deployments.  It is hard to have your spouse far away, often times in a war zone.  He just came back from a deployment to Africa.  This was the 5th and one of the hardest deployments.

I would never have survived if it had not been for my “deployments doulas”.  My friends that walked through it with me.   On the days that I didn’t think I could do it, Brandi would look at me and tell me how strong I am and that I could (and would) do it.  Deb would listen to me cry and tell me she understood.  Kelly and Kathy loved me in the most practical img_4464ways, being there when I couldn’t do everything that needed done.  Rachel dropped everything and held my hand the day I had to put one of my dogs down and my heart was breaking.

That is what a doula is.  Someone that comes along side you and walks with you, helping you in any way you need.  They support you in your decisions, not judging you because it’s not the choice they would have made.  They remind you that you are strong and amazing.  A doula believes in you and doesn’t leave when things get hard.  We all need a support system like that.

When it comes to pregnancy and birth, there is no one right way to have your baby.  But you do need a support system.  Someone to support you in your decisions, hear your fears and concerns, and empower you to be everything that you are.  That is why I became a doula.  Your birth story matters to me.

I am so grateful for my “life doulas”!