Our Strong as a Mother kicked off this week & we couldn't be more thrilled. There's an amazing group of women, our instructor Maria is so knowledgeable & uplifting, the space is gorgeous and the children are such a joy.
The lovely Darien Funk dropped by today and took some photos of the class. How great are these?!
A big thank-you to this amazing group of women, Maria, Amanda & Darien!
We have space for some drop-ins on Wednesday. Send us an email if you're interested in trying out some classes.
As I approach my sons 4th birthday, and I reflect on pictures from my pregnancy and birth; the well of emotions floods. I am taken back to being 35 weeks pregnant and hearing the ob-gyn in Stratford tell me I would not be allowed to have a "trial of labour" with my midwife at the hospital. It felt as though after months of planning and praying for a VBAC- it was being taken away. "I have reviewed the files again and I feel uncomfortable with allowing you to have your trial of labour at this hospital, we can schedule your c-section right now while I'm on the phone with you and I expect you to be in for your weekly check up next week so we can discuss a plan" was what the ob-gyn said over the phone after telling me the day before in person that she would sign off on my midwife assisted VBAC. This was the doctor I had trusted less than two years before to give me sound advice and deliver my daughter but the words she was saying felt wrong after all the research I had done. "Do I have other options?” I asked through choked back tears "Well I can refer you to London but I mean your midwife wont be able to go there and they are going to say the same thing I said.” and with that I was referred to London.
I messaged my friend Jess whom had just had a water birth at home and I poured out my sadness. "Ok my doula will take you on" crazy how those words later impacted so much. Within 3 hours Kirston and I set up an appointment to meet and discussed costs. I remember her saying her price and being totally taken back with panic, we had a 20 month old, my husband was on disability and I had no extra income. How would we make it work? But I met with Kirston anyways to talk and we clicked. She had my back and believed in me. I knew I had to figure it out. I sat down and looked at my budget and I saw that it would be really tight, but I moved things around and set up a payment plan with Kirston.
I went to London at 37 weeks met my doctor and she was all for my VBAC. I met with my midwife at 38 weeks I was 2cm dilated she did a sweep and nothing.I met my doctor at 39 weeks she did a sweep and nothing again. 40 weeks another sweep and nothing. Kirston and I met again a couple times. She was knowledgable, encouraging, calming, gave me birthing tips encouraged me and supported me in making a plan. 40+3 I ate an entire pineapple, the midwife did another sweep and nothing… NOTHING. I thought I was going to be pregnant for ever. People would send me messages every day " Baby yet?!” and it was driving me nuts I messaged Kirston one of those times "IM SO F***ING DONE WITH BEING ASKED!” her response was a joke link to a big no baby yet.. 41 weeks I felt SO done- I met with my ob-gyn in London and we agreed that at 41 and 3 we would do a c-section because I felt that was best for me. I remember crying and messaging Kirston feeling like I failed but she said "Trust your body and your baby".
I went to bed and woke up at 10pm with contractions that were 10mins apart and that's how they remained until morning. I text Kirston in the morning "OMG KIRSTON ITS HOSPITAL TIME OMG OMG OMG" and we met in London. The doctor that was in took a look at me laughed and told me to go walk around and see if it sped up contractions and they would check me in 3 hours. 3 hours later, I was sure the contractions were getting stronger. Kirston walked all around the hospital with me, kept me calm, suggested some movements to help, and we went back to get checked. Half a friggin cm that was all! They sent me to labour at home and said come back in when they are 5-7mins apart. So I went home and Kirston assured me she was available if I needed her…
Hours and hours went by, I took baths, sat on my birth ball, took more baths.. ate ice cream. I was still nursing my oldest so I nursed her to sleep and went to sleep between contractions. Then they stopped just stopped for like 3 hours I had none. I messaged Kirston freaked out and she said to take a break and get some rest while I still could. So I did and after 3 hours; boom contractions. At about 10pm, they were so strong I couldn't handle the pain so I got in the tub because they were only 8-10 minutes apart and I knew it wasn’t time. I sat there for hours riding the waves as they came being one with my body and listening to me body at 1am they were 5-7mins apart I knew it was time to go in. I messaged my mom(who was going to be watching my oldest as well as was our ride to London) and they waves started coming closer. Half way to London, around 2am at this point, I realized I didn't message Kirston! So I called her and she promised to meet me there. My contractions were between 3-5 minutes apart when I made it to the birthing floor but the moment i was put in the triage room they slowed almost to a stop. I was so scared they wouldn’t let Kirston in with me and my husband yet and my fear stopped my contractions. But the nurse checked me and I was 4cm and the reassurance that my body was doing its job which helped me relax and the contractions came back. They got me into a room and let Kirston come in at 3am. With every wave, I felt like I couldn’t keep going but Kirston kept reminding me to trust my body and of my goals. I begged for an epidural by 3:30am but Kirston gently reminded me of my goals and of all my progress. I was 5cm so I asked for the gas just to take the edge off and it was working for a bit. By 5am I was begging again for an epidural, I remember looking at Kirston not the doctor and asking seeking her opinion or approval or both I don’t even know lol.. they checked me again and I was "only" 6cm do I decided yes I wanted an epidural. At this point I had been in labour "forever" and I felt I couldn't do it anymore. It took them until 6am to come in to do it and after eight failed attempts they called in a new Anesthesiologist to do it. Through this time Kirston was there talking me through every contraction as I fought to sit still while they poked at my back. The second anesthesiologist did a few more attempts and finally they got it after an hour and a bit of trying to get it into place. They then checked me and I was between 8-9cm so the while time they did the epidural I was in transition and if they had of checked me right before I would have known I didn’t need the epidural.
I rested for an hour, then it was around 7:30am and I just needed to let the last little bit of contracting happen. At 8:30am I felt the pressure and I knew it was time but they told me I had to wait "NO GET A DOCTOR IN HERE NOW OR I WILL PUSH WITHOUT THEM" I had found my voice and I was ready to advocate for myself because of the support and encouragement of my midwife and Kirston. I was taking control of my birth & I felt like I roared it… I probably said it in a tiny voice but either way I was powerful. I started to push as I felt the waves come a doctor came in and within 5 pushes he was crowning. The doctor kept telling me to push harder. I looked at Kirston and blocked out the rest of the sound and she couched me in a gentle voice and within a few pushes I was ripping the hospital gown off and pulling my naked slippery meconium covered perfect baby boy to my chest. I kissed his head and listened to him scream and Kirston reminded them I wanted delayed cord clamping. I delivered my placenta with one tiny push and they took my sweet boy to weigh him and wrap him up. I remember kirston holding him and seeing the love in her eyes for her job and her telling me she was so proud of me. My husband was in the room the whole time but Kirston was pivotal to supporting us.
Looking back at the cost and the struggle of budgeting it vs the support and service I have no regrets. We sacrificed our cable and internet for 2 months and you know what? I can honestly say I would do it again tomorrow of I found put I was pregnant again. If I had not have hired Kirston I would have agreed to the plan for a repeat c-section and I would have missed the most healing incredible experience in my life.
So we've put this out there but have yet to say much about it... so here's all you need to know.
We all know the importance of being physically active & how being physically active does wonders for our mental health. We love supporting Mothers & this feels like a big piece that we were missing- the physical aspect. We've done some Mom & Baby Stroller Bootcamps in the past- which were great but didn't feel quite right for what we wanted to offer.
So we stepped back and put some more though into it. We knew we wanted an awesome program that met women exactly where they were and embraced them right there (in struggle & triumph). We didn't want women to feel pressured to loose weight but instead to be comfortable moving. We wanted women to be challenged in their mind & body in a way that felt good. It was also important for us to have a fitness instructor that didn't have a quick fix to sell you & that was knowledgable in pelvic floor health.
And you know what? I'm pretty sure we nailed it. We're so proud of this program & I'm certain we have the perfect women leading it!
Maria is a certified pilates instructor and holistic nutritionist. You can also find her handcrafted products around Huron County :) Maria is passionate about whole body wellness & making strong connections within our bodies. She is the owner of The Wellness Potion. Maria will be teaching the classes.
Amanda will also be leading this group. She will be hosting the Mom's Night Out at the end, running the online accountability group & showing up to each work-out & sweating it with you, while cheering you on. Bless her. We knew Amanda would be perfect for this. She's so candid and the perfect person to journey alongside with.
The classes can be described as a healthy, productive routine that will assist you in feeling physically better, as well as enhance your mental and emotional well being while connecting with other moms and bonding with your baby. Fun and inspiring classes that are designed to elongate muscles, tone the body and pelvic floor and provide a sense of calm.
So we'll have 16 classes at Maria's beautiful studio, an online accountability group full of inspiration, check-ins & sharing of ideas. you'll receive one of our Strong as a Mother shirts, we have an awesome prize for the participant with the best spirit & a Mom's Night Out to celebrate all your hard work!
Each class will celebrate you exactly as you are while challenging you physically & mentally.
As always, a percentage of all profits benefit our Huron Birth Maternal Outreach Fund.
You can purchase tickets here;
Check out the facebook event here;
Or email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or for more info!
Registration is due by April, 5th so we can have the shirts ready in time.
Okay friends, this coming Thursday I'm doing something that feels big; I'm ditching my comfort zone.
The Huron Small Business Centre is hosting a pitch event- Make Your Pitch Huron Soup Event. Attendants pay $7 at the door, Sweet Love Eats is serving up some Artisianal Soups (there will be vegetarian options), you get to hear the pitches & vote on your favourite (cough, cough Huron Birth). The winner will receive the money generated at the door as a micro-loan, as well as some other prizes to help their business.
I'm prepared, excited & a wee bit nervous. I know this will be such a great event & that all the greatest things happen when I step out of my comfort zone.
So friends, I have a few requests of ways that YOU could help a Mother out;
We know we could make an impact with this grant- come hear our plans!
Honestly though, they had me at "in celebration of International Women's Day". How could I possibly not show up for an event supporting LOCAL FEMALE ENTREPRENUERS on INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY?!
Right?! Well, you shouldn't either...
Here is the fb event;
I promise I won't picture you in your underwear & promise to hold all the babies so parents can eat their soup.
I am so excited that Huron Birth is offering our Toddler Time Group once again!
Amanda is going to be running this one. If you haven’t met her yet; you are in for a treat. She is such an awesome support to parents and is always keeping it real. Here’s a quick look at what we have planned for this group;
- intro/ meet & greet
- toddler music class with Aimee from The Music Box.
- potty learning
- picky eaters
- picture day with Alicia Foulon Photography
- Moms Night Out
Spaces in this group are starting to fill up. Please don’t forget to register! You can do so by emailing email@example.com.
Siblings are welcome to attend!
Here is some info on Amanda 💕
We’ll be giving away these AWESOME prizes over the next week to CELEBRATE our new growth, the launch of our new website & to say thanks for all the support we’ve received on this endeavour! Be sure to check the Blog and Facebook page daily for info on how to win!
SUNDAY- S’well 17oz White Marble Water bottle - Congrats Nicole Campbell! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to claim your prize.
MONDAY- 3 prizes!!! 2 winners will receive a Huron Birth “Tired as Mother” mug, the 3rd will win a mug AND a pass for our Mom & Baby North Group!
Ca Kelly you have won a pass to our Mom & Baby North and a mug! Leonie Vandenberg Millian & Kristen Zisterer you have both won one of our Tired as a Mother mugs :) Please email email@example.com to claim your prize.
TUESDAY- Mayflower Design Nursing Hoodie! [size and colour to be chosen by winner] Congrats Nicole Henriques! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
WEDNESDAY- $25 shop credit at The Dancing Llama!
THURSDAY- Tired as a Mother Mug!
FRIDAY- Girasol Wrap!
Winner will be chosen the following day for each prize.
Winner will be announced on this blog post.
Winner must claim prize within 24 hours of being notified or we will draw another winner.
Winner must be able to pick prize up in Goderich, Bayfield or Exeter.
Be aware that if your privacy settings are private we may not see your entry.
My 3 year old will help choose the winner as no one can dispute the randomness of a 3 year old.
Okay, here it is! All that I have been working so hard for, what prompted the growth mindset of Huron Birth- my heart & soul...
Huron Birth Maternal Outreach Fund.
Anyone who knows me knows that I have a big heart for community. Living in community with others has truly made my life as a parent so much better.
They would also know that I have a big heart for supporting families through pregnancy, birth and into parenting. These are the golden years folks!
I’m not referring to the state of our homes, sanity, or appearances. Ha! These years are golden because this is when we lay the groundwork for lasting bonds, where we learn to communicate with our partners optimally-to create a safe place for our growing families, where we grow into confident and capable parents, where we develop attunement and resiliency within our family.
It has been such a blessing working with families in the perinatal period of their lives. I feel SO privledged to witness so much vulnerability and raw love. It is a beautiful reminder of what humanity is and is always challenging me as a Mother, Wife, Friend and Community Member.
That being said, there is a VOID. There is a VOID in the Perinatal Support that is available to the vulnerable members of our community and it hurts. Down to my core, I know that in building relationships, providing optimal support, and making community connections through these golden years, of a family’s life- is HUGE! I know that investing in a Doula is worth it, I know that investing in support for the perinatal period of a vulnerable family’s life is worth it.
I have been supporting vulnerable families through this golden period for years now. I have worked with many families out of the goodness of my heart, with a significantly reduced rate, or sometimes through the support of sparse funding of other local organizations. The reality is that despite the need and value; there is not funding readily available for this in our area.
When passionate about something: I become quite the “do-er”. This Huron Birth Maternal Outreach Fund is my response to this void. By growing Huron Birth into a team, we are able to do more! This fund will supply Birth & Postpartum support to the vulnerable members of our community. A percentage of all Doula services and groups/ workshops run through Huron Birth will be put in this fund. We will also be hosting some exciting events and fundraisers to raise funds for the Huron Birth Maternal Outreach Fund.
This next week is going to be an exciting time for Huron Birth! Our new website is launching, we have some EPIC giveaways planned, and new events to be announced! But, it just wouldn’t of felt proper to start off the party without explaining the heart & soul behind it first.
Oh 2018, am I excited for you!!
In the new year there will be some amazing humans joining the Huron Birth team. I can not wait! Community is one of my favourite things; I am so excited to bring that to the professional side of Huron Birth.
Our new practitioners will be introduced early 2018- so stay tuned!! In the meantime, I’m still looking to add another Doula to Huron Birth. So, if your passionate about birth and supporting families, or know someone who is.. get in touch! Students welcome! Life learners sing to my soul ❤️
What a year 2017 has been! Although, my Doula/ Parenting world was a bit slower than most years, our family life has been a tad faster. In the fall of 2016, our home opened as a Concurrent Home (foster home that is also approved to adopt). We’ve had the joy of caring for and loving on 6 littles since then- some through respite care and others as foster placements. It’s been a year of love, growth, and challenges that we wouldn’t change for a moment. I am looking forward to sharing our foster parent journey with some of you, as I get back into the swing of things next year. I also wanted to quickly share a few things from our journey :)
I know people mean well and are genuinely curious! But there are some questions we were asked A LOT. Some of them kind of got old quickly, others we would quickly be able to predict where the conversation was going and already had our response down. Here are some of the questions/ comments we hear most often;
“I could never be a foster parent. I would get too attached.”
Well then, I think you’d actually make a great foster parent! Children so need attachment. They are always worth the risk. We’ve also been really blessed in that we still have contact with all but one of our former placements. I know people mean well when they say this, but I can’t help but feel like an Evil Ice Queen who’s some how able to avoid attachment. We crumbled when one placement ended quickly. Thankfully our wonderful people held us up, we owned that hard for a bit and it was so worth it!
“Which ones are yours? “
Again, I know people mean well but seriously?! I typically just say “Today- they all are.” I know you’re not trying to single a child out but you are.
“Are you done fostering?”
This is a loaded question. I find it similar to asking someone if they are done having children... kind of personal and not up for conversation unless we initiate it.
“Are you going to adopt Johhny?”or “It’s just so sad children as young as Johnny need to be in foster care.” While Johnny is standing next to me.
Children’s permanency plans have a lot of thought and planning put into them by many people, and often are changing. Frequently, we as foster parents have no idea what a child’s future will hold. Adults don’t casually share their hard with others. Why would it be appropriate to dive into Johnny’s? When you meet a child, ANY CHILD, despite wether they’ve lived a life full of broken or not- rejoice and delight in them! Children are awesome! Their hard is their business, on their terms.
“You’ve actually met their parents?! “
I have... I actually made a priority of it.... we actually speak weekly... and (gasp) they are really nice people!
Not in every situation have we been able to speak weekly, but I’ve never met another parent that I couldn’t connect with and in most cases we were able to speak often. I treasure that connection, the knowledge they share, and witnessing their love for their child is truly beautiful.
Here are our biggest take aways from our year;
We’re stronger than we ever imagined.
Hard is hard, but when it’s the right thing to do putting yourself out there isn’t so scary.
There aren’t just good parents and bad parents. We’re all a bit of both. There are generations of brokenness and hurt. How we come together as a community to support these cycles is everything.
Empathy comes easy.
Loving children who were not biologically ours was not at all a challenge and came quite naturally. Though, I would argue, that when you are meeting a child’s physical and emotional needs, you are impacting that child on a biological level and leaving a biological footprint. Therefore, we have a biological connection ;)
The impact of trauma, missed attachment and attunement have significant developmental implications.
Our village of friends and family is AMAZING!
Foster Parents are amazing people. We are so fortunate to have met a bunch and call them our people.
We have more to offer than we ever would have thought. Our home is TINY, we are far from rich, and we are flawed humans. Though somehow, we still have so much to give. How cool is that?!
If you have any questions about fostering, or supporting fostering families and want to chat- feel free to reach out! I may not know all the answer but can likely find someone who does.
Join us for this informative 4 week class! We will cover the last weeks of pregnancy, the birth process, comfort measures, infant care, breastfeeding in the early weeks, and have professional maternity photos taken. This small group setting is a great way to get informed and connect with other pregnant mothers. Registration is required, please email email@example.com. $55 registration fee.
Huron Birth Blog
Our blog will encompass our current happenings, findings, pictures, musings, and guest blog posts on an array of parenting topics.