Saturday, March 12

Being A Doula







When I was pregnant with my first son I didn't really know what to expect. I was 23 and had been working as an EMT up in Peace River Alberta. 
I didn't have any family around so when decisions were being made as to where we would deliver and how and what we wanted, I was blissfully unaware of almost all options available to me. 
I had had one friend who was more alternative and had had a midwife birth with a doula, but my husband at the time and I felt a hospital birth was a better option for us because we were both in EMS and trusted the doctors we knew and worked with and of course...."what if"
Looking back now, I am not upset with my birth experience. I was induced like so many women, I only had my husband there (again, like so many women) and we were left to figure it all out alone with only the occasional nurse to pop in and out to check out how we were, check the babies heart beat and to ask "do you want drugs yet?"


After what felt like a year long labour and birth, I had massive sleep deprivation, a baby boy, and a  shredded bottom end that would take a full year to heal. 
So 7 months later when I found out we were expecting baby number 2 (yup you read that correctly) I started to look at options that might allow me to have a birth that would be better for me in the long run. And that's when I decided I was going to birth with a midwife. We had moved to a small town that had a birthing centre in a hospital (best of both worlds for us) the midwife would over see my delivery and my doula would be there to help support me not leaving the entire responsibility to my husband. 

Birth number 2 was so different to my first in every possibly conceivable way. I went into labour on my own , I gave birth In the water with a midwife and doula. Not only my body left this second experience unharmed, whole and intact, so was my confidence and faith in myself. I also found a desire to make sure EVERY woman had a birth like this. Or at least have a birth where they felt supported and not left alone. Someone would be with them and that should not only be an option for people with money. 

After the birth of my third son (a respectable 12 pounds, again delivered with my midwife Noreen Walker and doula Ava in a birthing pool) I registered for a course to become a Doula. 
That was in 2004. I have been helping women give birth for almost 12 years now. It is and always will be one of the best parts of my life. 

Not all births go as planned but every woman deserves to feel supported during this experience. To not be alone in a room, and every couple deserves to have a constant with them from beginning to end to help with the little things that busy hospital staff can't always attend to. 


Having started radio 4 years ago, I have not been able to do as many births and childbirth classes as I normally have. But I do get to squeak in a few, and this beauty is up next.







Due in the next month or so, Rachel and her husband have invited me to join them in the birth of their third child. I taught them classes with their first.

J - So Rachel, why did you decide to go with a Doula? 


Rachel - I was induced with my first, which ended in an emergency c-section because she turned out to be footling breach. For my second I wanted a VBAC so badly, and that's what I got...but I wasn't prepared enough to work my way through contractions. I ended up choosing an epidural, which completely stalled my labour. My body did exactly what it was supposed to, and what I had wanted it to do, and then I intervened and it changed the course of the birth. This time I want my baby and body to be in control, and the support of a doula will help me work through those intense moments. 

J - What do you hope it will be like?

Rachel - Empowering. I am excited to see what I can do! 




The next few weeks are going to be so exciting. I have kept my phone on at night and will until the baby arrives and I leap when I hear it ring at night.

...It NEVER gets old helping with babies. I am still just as excited as I was with the very first birth I ever attended.


Today:

I am grateful for this part of my life. The people I have met being a doula, the experiences I have had and the lives I have seen brought into this world have changed me. Serving women in this capacity has proved to be some of the most fulfilling work I have ever done. It's a beautiful thing that I will never take for granted.

I am grateful for technology. So very very grateful. Getting to FaceTime with mom is such a blessing.






I am grateful the peeling skin from my burn is done now. FINALLY! It was super gross and I lost most of my tan, but the shedding in disgusting amounts is now over.

I am grateful for vanilla coffee in the morning. WHAT.A.TREAT!!



J


OOh and anyone looking for a midwife or Doula in or around edmonton can look 


or 


Monday, March 7

The Rob and Joelle Reunion Tour.

One more day and then The Rob and Joelle show starts round 2. 

Our reunion tour if you will. We are like that weird old band you once liked a song or two from who is playing in your towns old bar one thursday night. That's us. 

I can say truly and completely, I never thought this day would ever happen. When Rob left last June to do a morning show in London Ontario, I didn't think I would ever speak to him again let alone work with him again. Yet here we are. 9 months later and we are about to do the Rob and Joelle Show the sequel. 

I have changed. I have grown. I am not the same person I was 9 months ago. But I am nervous as hell. I won't deny that. 

What if he leaves again? What if I can't get past my anger from him leaving the first time? It took me a long time to forgive what I felt was a betrayal of him leaving. Over dramatic? ok. Maybe it is. 
I am told ,"that's how radio is" so maybe I was just being sensitive. There was a lot of loss that week Rob left, maybe I made it bigger than it was. Regardless, that's how I felt. 
But over time, the sting went away. With time, I saw how good it was for me that he left and how I grew in my craft.  I discovered just how creative I am. I found out how capable I actually can be and what I am really made of. When he left I saw myself differently. I saw that I, again, made it through 100% of my worst days. It wasn't pretty, but I made it. 

So here we are. About to try this again. 
We will cover for Rachel during her mat leave for the next few months, Monday -Friday 3-7pm. 
I am excited to see what we are capable of doing now. 


I find it funny that I have worked on 4 different teams in 4 years. 2 times with Chris and now 2 times with Rob. 
Not sure how that makes me look, but I guess I can't do anything about that. It is what it is. My story will write itself exactly how it's meant to be. It's the journey that is the best part. 

Tuesday night at 7, we shall see. 

It would be nice if you would join us, in all the asshattery and awkward shenanigans you can handle. 






Today:

I am grateful for Chris. He is a talented and kind man. People don't often get to see that side of him because he doesn't open up often. I am sad our time together is over after this week. He has been the greatest person to work with during the last 9 months. He has let me find myself and grow. Everyone deserves to have a friend like Chris.

I am grateful for the geese across from my hose. I heard them last night. They are back... and that means it's spring soon!!

I am grateful for perogies.
Honestly. They are a gift from food heaven.

J

Thursday, March 3

Change Is Inevitable.

The Memory on my laptop is full.

I have not downloaded the pictures off my phone for weeks because I have no room. I am not sure what the correlation to downloading pictures is to me actually writing on my blog, but somehow there is a direct link. Maybe I only write when I can add pictures to the posts because thats how my brain works best, with pictures. Maybe I use them as a filler. Not sure now, Ill think on that one a little more.

I finally get around to blogging when I receive at least 3 text or messages from strangers on social media. That's when I know it's been too long. I use to write when I got 1 message....that's too much pressure now. lol

It has been a busy few months.


I don't know how to write about mom.

I am literally sitting here starting paragraphs, staring at my computer, then deleting the paragraphs. Im frustrated, angry and feel alone in these feelings. So, for now it's only facts.

So the facts are: She just had a PAT test. Having the PAT test allows mom to start Amino therapy after one round of chemo.
The PAT test shows speck in her lungs now too.
So dates to start the Amino therapy are what Mom and Steve are waiting for.


I hate that I use to be an EMT. I hate that I ask questions and I hate that I am never satisfied with small amounts of information. I wish I wasn't like this. I want to be like everyone else.


Other things that have happened in the last little bit. Rob Grant is coming back to NOW radio. We  start working together again next week. I would be lying if I said I wasn't nervous, but It should be fun. Hard work covering the drive again for the next 6 months, but fun.



It has been a huge 8 months of growth for me. Having Chris with me during this time has been so helpful. Change is the one thing that is always a guarantee.

Speaking of change.... Jason asked me a question, and I said yes.
We will talk about that more later.


It's been a long day, and this blog post has taken almost 2 hours to write.

So, I will call it a night and try to write more tomorrow.

Today:

I am grateful for my time working with Chris. He is the kindest man you will ever know. He has taught me so much over these 8 months. He has been so patient and understanding during all the hardships I have had to deal with.

I am grateful for the warm weather.

I am grateful for Downton Abby and the escape it gives me late at night.

J