I am excited to join The Maya’s Nest and to work alongside Samantha. Samantha and I started our doula journey together. We took the DONA Doula Training in March of 2014. We both flew solo for a while but now have decided that together we can make a pretty amazing team.
I would like to use this space to introduce myself.
First, let’s talk about some personal stuff:
How did you become a doula?
The simple answer is that I had a doula at my birth that inspired me to help other women. I had a very tough birth that resulted in a c-section and my doula stayed with me almost until I was taken into the operating room. She was a huge support for my partner and me.
I wasn’t sure that this is what I wanted to do when I took the DONA training, I just knew that I wanted to learn more about birth and doulas. Walking out of this course as a fresh-faced, excited labour support person, I was eager to help any and ALL pregnant women. The first birth that I ever attended convinced me that this was my passion. When that phone rings I feel needed and connected to something that’s greater than myself. Helping someone out and watching a new person come into this world is an unbelievable feeling.
What is your favourite part of being a doula?
There are many things:
- the waiting. I know it seems odd, but I there is something reassuring in waiting and surrendering to time. As Murakami puts it, ““now all you can do is wait. It must be hard for you, but there is a right time for everything. Like the ebb and flow of tides. No one can do anything to change them. When it is time to wait, you must wait.” (Murakami, Haruki “The Wind Up Birth Chronicles).
- the phone ringing in the middle of the night
- the drive back from the hospital/family home after the baby has been born. Things seem somehow different, smaller, and I find that incredibly comforting.
- watching new moms and dads interact with their little person for the very first time
- being a part of the birth team
- the calm that I can bring to the labouring mama just by using my words.
- These are just a few. There are too many to list.
What do you do when you are not doula-ing?
I am a PhD student at SFU. Currently, I am getting ready to start writing my dissertation. Aside from being a student, I work with people that have disabilities as an Employment Specialist. I truly enjoy talking with people about their lives and their hopes for the future.
What is something that people may be surprised to learn about you?
All that is surprising I have sort of covered. I guess the one thing that people tend to be surprised about is the fact that English is not my first language. I don’t have a very strong accent, it only tends to come out when I am nervious or excited.
This week (March 22-28) we celebrate World Doula Week. I figured this would be a great time to launch the Blog section of my website and to have the inaugural post be about me, your doula.
Let's start it off with some fun(ny) info:
1. I am very particular with numbers. My babies had to be born on even years (2012 and 2014), the radio volume has to be in even, or divisible by 5, levels. If eating cereal that is round, I need to eat two at a time and get uncomfortable with there is one left over.
2. I have a fear of baby corn.
3. My son has the most beautiful hair color and people ask me all the time if I dye it. He is 3 years old. I tell them that I do and I enjoy the shocked faces. (I don't)
4. I actually enjoy eating airplane food. I know. Crazy.
5. I was part of the 4th Trimester Body Project
Now some more doula related info:
1. How did you become a doula?
My path into becoming a doula started about a year after the birth of my first son. I had never heard of a doula prior to pregnancy and when I did towards the end of my pregnancy, I had the total wrong idea of what a doula was. I thought I wasn't hippy enough to have a doula - heck my birth plan consisted of one word "epidural". I thought doulas were just for women wanting home births and no meds, not for me. Boy was I wrong.
I ended up not having a doula for my birth and although all ended up okay, my birth became highly medical and intervention filled. I am not saying this isn't okay, because it is. The problem is, I went into it blindly. I made choices with no information.
"If you don't know your options, you don't have any."
Upon reflection, I knew there was something missing in my birth and the more I learnt about doulas, the more I realised what was missing was a doula.
I have always loved supporting people. I have a natural need to care and to nurture. I remember when my grandfather was on his final days, I loved caring for him. People used to tell me I should become a nurse but I knew I didn't want to be responsible for medical decisions and I used to think to myself, "what kind of job can I have where my job is making people feel safe and cared for?" Well I found it.
During my second pregnancy, I became engrossed in birth information. I couldn't stop reading, always wanting to learn more. Everytime something about a doula would come up, I would think to myself how much I wish I could be one. Then I realised that I could be one! So, 7 months pregnant, I trained with DONA International and became a doula.
2. What is your favorite part of being a doula?
Oh my. There is a ton of favourites that it is pretty hard to choose. If I had to it would have to be a tie between seeing mama going through transition and doubting that she can do it then watching her conquer it and birth her baby (SO POWERFUL!) and the look on dad (or her partner's) face as baby is placed on mom's chest. The look of "Oh my Gosh. She just did that! She is a goddess!" Those are pretty amazing. And newborn cuddles - that will never get old.
3. What do you do when you aren't doula-ing?
Aside from being a mama to my awesome twosome and wife to my lovely husband, I am also a production coordinator for an online inbound marketing company. I am in charge of managing every project that comes into the agency and with coordinating with our clients. I am also in charge of baking my famous lemon bars, as per client requests :) And I have a boss who is cool with my crazy birth love.
4. What is something that people may be surprised about you?
Well the number 1 thing people seem to be shocked about is the fact that I am Filipino. No, I do not visually look Filipino, but i promise I am! My mom being a British blonde haired blue eyed beauty has a lot to do with why I don't look Filipino :) But I was born in Manila, Philippines and raised in the island paradise of Cebu :)
Unfortunately, I am not fluent in Filipino or my dialect, Visayan. I studied in an international school where only English was spoken and my family also only spoke in English. I do, however, have no problems understanding the languages. I am just shy to speak.
I moved to Canada in 2007, to marry my highschool sweetheart.
I hope you enjoyed getting to know a bit about me. Want to know more to see if I am the right doula for you? Schedule your complementary consultation today!
The Maya's Nest is here to help you have the birth and postpartum experience that you want. As your doula, Samantha provides information, support and nurturing to birthing families across the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley.
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The Maya's Nest Doulas and Birth Photographers provide information, support and nurturing while capturing life's
most precious moments to families in Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody,
New Westminster, Burnaby, Vancouver, Langley and Surrey.