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Doula May 29, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — springtwist @ 9:43 am
How I Think of my role is changing. Kinda just like everything else around me. Becoming comfortable with that feeling is hard.
What is a doula, anyway? Not a trained medical professional. What the hell do I know about birth anyway? I feel like, compared to a midwife, it’s practically nothing. I know nothing about birth. I have no technical or medical training.
20 minutes ago I felt like “yes, this is what I need to be doing,” when I was talking to a mother on the phone, a stranger, while she cried because she’s so overwhelmed. Now I’m thinking, I’m crazy, this work…. Its nothing. I’m fooling myself thinking this work is needed.
I don’t have an elevator speech. You have 32 seconds to answer the question “what does a doula do?” And sell them on it. I don’t know how to put that elevator speech together. Maybe I don’t know what I do. I’ve been doing this for two years and its getting to the point where I have to wonder if I need to drop it for a real job. Like this isn’t real, or important work. I can’t sum it up in 32 seconds because I don’t know what my role is.
But when I’m with Angela and her baby, it feels perfect. When Angela cries openly, when she’s angry, swearing and overwhelmed and scared,  when she’s processing all the shit this world has given her and she feels safe doing that because my presence makes it safe for her, that feels perfect. Spending 30 minutes stroking her sons tiny body from his shoulders to his toes and watching him relax under my hands, blissed out like a cat in a patch of sun in my lap, its real.
My job isn’t to give mom a good birth. I can’t do that. I’ve seen 2 emergency c sections. My job is to help her make the best of her birth taking into account everything we have been given. If she goes for emergency c/s, I have to try to make it okay. Soften the blow. And be there afterwards to help her learn to come to terms with it.
My job is not to question doctors or midwives, or answer medical questions. I never thought it was, but some Doulas are crazy and will challenge doctors or make them look like the bad guy. Doctors are not the bad guys. Their primary concern, as always, is safety. They are not terrible. Some Doulas cast them in that light. Doctors are not out to get you but some Doulas are definitely out to get them.
I think my job is to guide her. Help her navigate this thing she’s never been through before. LISTEN to her, validate her, let her cry and swear and get fucking pissed off because her partner walked out on her at 8 months and then emotionally blackmailed her and threatened her with the police. allow her to feel those shitty things she’s feeling, and make it safe. Have no biases.
Its like I’m getting paid to be her best friend. Its so, so so weird. I wish the mom wasn’t the one to pay me. I wish it was covered by OHIP or something. The dynamic is complicated, mixed up.
Doctors and nurses don’t have time to be so intimate with patients. Safety has to come before her mental stability. You need to do that emergency c/s and can’t be concerned right at that moment about if mom will be traumatized or not. Will she ever be able to let her partner touch her again. Will she feel like a failure. Well at least she’s alive.
My part comes next. I deal with the intimacy, the emotions, the aftereffects. validating and giving moms permission to feel the way they do. Tell them its okay to not be okay.

Had a client contact me, and as soon as they saw my fee they basically shut the whole thing down. let me be clear-  it was BARELY FAIR. it was such a low cost it was nearly ridiculous. And they just said “well you charged (moms sister in law) only $520.” yes. because that was a year ago and i wasnt working as a team. I have had a couple more births since them. I am now certified. I gradually need to increase my prices so i can actually make a fair wage off of this work. You live in richmond hill. Don’t talk to me about money, because I just spent my morning supporting a mom who isn’t sure if she can pay her rent or her hydro bill right now and has gone back to work while her son is 4 weeks old after a c/s. if money is the most important thing to you, then thats fine. I’ll see ya later sometime I guess. good luck finding a good doula for less.

I don’t expect to hear back from them.
I had another client contact me in the winter. “so what happens if I go into labour, and then my sister can get here on time and I don’t need you anymore? can i call you to say don’t come and get my money back?” absolutely not, you ridiculous woman. I am not just a replacement for your sister. When i rearrange my life for you for a month while i am on call, and give you exclusivity so you can have my full attention,  I am trusting that I will get paid for that.  when she says something like that, it tells me shes not serious. she will not value or respect me, and my alarm bells went off. she picked a different doula so I didn’t have to work with her.

best cat ever May 11, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — springtwist @ 9:37 pm

the Elsa dress. i spent most of the afternoon with my sewing machine.


okay so it doesn’t actually LOOK like Elsas’ dress, but I short-cut it by buying a dress from value village and then Frankensteining it. spell check tells me that’s not a real word. it so is. I don’t actually care if its not exactly right, Princess Coco loves it and wore it the rest of the afternoon. it definitely looks handmade. I need to clean it up a bit and shape it to her body more and add the sparkly cape.  right now it sticks out in weird places, on account of a couple of my short cuts. I need to have short cuts becasue I need to do the Anna dress next.



“look mama, I’m doing Elsas’ ‘let it go’ dance”


further proof this cat was a Labrador in her past life. Here’s Blaze doing weird shit to Twigs face. Finger in the eye, try to pull out whiskers, trying to stick her whiskers in her ear, trying to hold mouth and eyes shut, and try to put fingers up her nose, which turned into just covering her nose completely. trying to lift her lips up to see her teeth. Twiggy just took it all.





how else do i know shes a reincarnated Labrador? she plays fetch with herself. she throws her toys down the front stairs and then runs to get them.


vegetarian May 10, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — springtwist @ 12:16 pm

Cordelia hasn’t eaten meat (knowingly, as in, we’ve been able to get her to eat a homemade chicken finger if we don’t tell her its chicken) for something clsoe to two years. she used ot eat a lot of it as a baby and the ngradually get picky, and meat was one thing that disappeared.

coming back from the market today a conversation in the car started about which animals we eat. coco told us “yeah! theres fish that swim in the water, then theres fish that we eat!” so we jumped on that pretty quick. actually, sweetie, they are the same fish. the pigs we saw at Riverdale farm are borrowed from another farm, and each fall they go back to be slaughtered so people can eat them. when it was in the context of the pigs that we saw on Thursday morning, coco got uncomfortable. (blaze didn’t care. she thinks pig is delicious, and she proudly stated “and i like to try everything! i love meat!”)

so we explained it as clear as possible. when farmers raise an animal, like a pig, or a chicken, or whatever, its because the animal will die so that we can eat it. we told her about the farmers, Wendy and Damian, who grow the animals that we eat. she understood. and she didn’t like it.

yesterday Jim taught coco the word ‘vegetarian’, and today we brought that word back into the conversation. we said that coco already didn’t eat meat, and if she didn’t want to eat meat, then she never needed to eat meat again in her whole life. that word was ‘vegetarian.’ she kinda likes the sound of that.

its strange to have a child who is stepping away from me. she is very quickly speeding down that track of becoming her own person. as her own person, she is deciding that eating animals  isn’t fair and it makes her sad, so shes chosen to be vegetarian, at least for now. shes been veg for two years, but i think it was today that she really understood what meat IS and where it comes from. so we will no longer be tricking her into eating chicken fingers, and now that shes made a conscious choice, we will honour that.

now i just need to arm her against my dad, who is of course going to be rude and condescending to her when he heres of this decision.

shes four in two weeks. holy crap.


May 1, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — springtwist @ 6:28 pm

check this out.


this picture makes me very happy. this is Bob and Kristy new living room, with, as she says, “not a stick of furniture in it yet”.  first dinner in their new house. Chinese takeout and red wine in a truck stop cup. sitting on the floor. Very powerful picture, time for a new adventure.

I just thought, hey Omi should see this picture.

then I remembered. there is no more Omi. She went to sleep Friday night and didn’t wake up Saturday morning.



it stopped raining!

Filed under: Uncategorized — springtwist @ 1:02 pm

im thinking my soap is going to have to stat its own facebook page, its starting to get a lot of attention. i made a batch recently and put up a photo, and it was sold out in 16 hours. too bad all those people need to wait for it to cure for a few weeks first.

this is strange – people want to buy things from me?

its weird to me that people just don’t do it themselves. i understand people are scared off by working with lye and 220 degree caustic soap batter, but they are buying laundry detergent from me. seriously people? just go on the internet for 38 seconds. but no, they’d rather pay me to do it. i feel dishonest charging them for it. i have taught a few henna workshops to people, and i swear everything i have taught them they could learn watching youtube videos. but yet they want to travel from BARRIE to pay me to show them. people are ridiculous. whats even sillier is selling henna kits. a little bit of henna, and some supplies that amount to about $5 in material costs. and somebody just bought one the other day for $30, and this weekend a whole bunch of people are buying them from me.

i would much rather learn a new skill and learn to do something myself. one of my friends calls me her “friend who does everything” and i am starting to realize that most people aren’t like that. people would actually prefer to pay me to teach them what they could learn for free on youtube, or with just a little bit of googling in the right place. are people lazy? do they all suffer from a case of learned helplessness? are they afraid of hard work? (as if pickling was hard work….) everything you ever wanted to know about somethings is available to you now. just learn how to do it.

i think i found myself a summer job. its painting my sister-in-laws new house, because she doesn’t want to, a) learn how to do it herself, or b) pay some painting company $5,500 to do it for her. but she’ll pay me to do it because i wont charge her even half as much. she could save everything if she just learned to do it herself. painting is not hard, its just mind-numbingly dull. shes talking about the ridiculous price that was quoted to her for re-tiling the bathroom. in the back of my head, im thinking, ‘that cant be hard either….’

how is it possible that so many people have zero real life skills? when the zombie apocalypse comes, you’re gonna need to know how to do your own canning and knitting and sewing and cooking and butchering. when the zombies come, and you all want soap and pickled beets, you’re gonna be shit out of luck if the zombies get me first.



there is screaming. time to go corral the hooligans and stop them from trying to creatively kill each other.