When I got pregnant with my third baby, I had a lot of comments about being an expert now so it should be easy. I mean yes, I guess I was an expert. At that point I not only had . my two personal births behind me, but had also been a birth worker for 4 years and had attended about 70 births by then.
But what if I told you that it wasn't until my third pregnancy that I learned my biggest lesson - which then had a giant effect on my birth and postpartum and completely changed the work I have done with my doula clients over these last 2 years?
Hi. It is me, your long lost doula friend over at The Maya's Nest.
It's been a good year since my last blog post. Three kids is no joke, plus I still have my doula clients!
Today as I was looking through some photos of my third birth, it got me thinking about the main thing everybody told me about third babies -
"OH - THIRD BABIES ARE WILDCARDS!"
As in EVERYBODY said this - from Susan in the freezer aisle, to friends and family and even doulas and midwives who really should know better about how to not freak a pregnant person out! What it ended up doing is scaring me. Yes, even though I have all this birth knowledge, constantly being told that this birth was going to be a wildcard made me fearful of what was to come.
Now, sitting on the other side of the birth and the first year as a parent of three, I want to say this -
THIRD BABIES ARE NOT WILDCARDS. THEY ARE JUST DIFFERENT. Just like my first birth was different to my second birth, my third was just different.
by Samantha Garcia Gagnon, Pitt Meadows doula + photographer
This last weekend, I had the complete pleasure to spend my time with the many wonderful doulas we have in our local birth community at Flock Yeah - the mini birth conference.
Flock Yeah is the brain child of Gena Kirby, a birth worker best known for her work with sharing the Rebozo as well as her work at Progressive Parenting Radio. She also spearheads the Cultured Doula Program. This is the third chance I've had some time with Gena. The first time we met was when she held a Rebozo training which opened my eyes and my mind to all that Gena had to offer.
Last year when I heard that Flock Yeah was coming to Vancouver, I knew I had to go, and I have to say, I most definitely was not disappointed. Last year, Gena was joined by Whapio Diane Bartlett of The Matrona and Lesley Everest of MotherWit.
That weekend last year changed my work immensely. It wasn't the first doula training I had ever done, but it brought something totally different from any other experience I have had. All three guests brought a new perspective to birth that I hadn't encountered. That weekend built my trust in birth. And more importantly, it brought into focus the transformation that birthers experience and my role in being witness to this. After that weekend, what I shared with my clients changed a lot. I moved my focus in prenatals from just looking at the medical side, to really exploring the physiologic. We went deeper into understanding where the brain goes and the heart goes too. We spoke more on the importance of the partner and in honouring him for his special role. And with that change, came better outcomes and happier clients who really knew their power and trust in birth.
When Flock Yeah announced they were coming back, I think I was one of the first to register. I needed more of that magic.
And again, another wonderful weekend. This time Lesley wasn't able to join us, but we were graced with the wonderful presence of Summer Jesse Forest, the "anti-super mom". While not a birth worker herself, the wisdom she shared which focused so much on self care. It cemented for me the need for me to fill my own cup, just like I encourage my clients to do the same! We cannot fill from empty cups - so fill your cup to that you can be better at helping others.
Whapio, who is a holistic midwife and wisdom keeper in the US, has such a unique insight into birth. Never before has anyone brought forth the truth that birth is a mystical experience. Whapio went deep into explaining the endocrine system - which secretes hormones which control our births! She then went on to bring us deep into the experience of birth and understanding where our brains go. It is so amazing to hear the scientific and spiritual connection of birth. She also spoke about the importance of the partner in birth - which is something we really focus on in our team!
Lastly but definitely not least, our dear Gena spoke about envy and jealousy. It is true when she says that it all comes from the false belief in scarcity. I also learned a new word - MUDITA - a pure joy unadulterated by self-interest. When we can be happy of the joys other beings feel, it is called mudita; It is my new favourite word and how I am making sure to live my life.
Check out my video above for a peak inside my amazing weekend! Also a few of my favourite photos below!
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
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