doula

Melinda’s Birth stories

I am so excited to be sharing my birth stories with you today. Each birth has a different story and helped lead be to become a birth doula serving families.

In Feb of 2010, I gave birth to our first baby boy. I was fearful about birth and knew that I absolutely wanted to have an epidural. To be honest I didn’t even want to feel one contraction! I went to the OB that my Mom and aunts went to and he even delivered me! I trusted in him and in the staff at the hospital that they would take care of us. We took a class at the hospital to prepare for birth. I made it to 40 weeks with flying colors with no sign of labor happening. I was sent for the “stress test or non-stress test” and my amniotic fluid was looking low. I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes with this pregnancy, so with those two things together they told me they wanted to induce and sent me to L&D. I was actually excited because I was so done being pregnant, just like any woman at 40 weeks and 2 days right!? The pitocin was started and after I felt the first three contractions I was ready for my epidural. After getting the epidural I soon realized that it was not working on the left side of my uterus! I had no idea this was something that could happen! My legs were completely numb along with the right side of my belly but I could still feel everything on the left. They rolled me to my left side to try to get the meds to flow to that side of my body and even talked about taking it out to replace it again but we never did because I just kept thinking the baby would be born soon. I was in that position for most of the 18 hours of labor. Our baby was born vaginally after an episiotomy. There was a lack of communication of what was happening with him after birth. They took him to the NICU and my husband went with him while I was being stitched up. I felt worried, so worried about my baby and wondering what just happened to me! I wasn’t able to see him for quite some time because I couldn’t walk and he had to stay in the NICU. Eventually, my husband came back for me and wheeled me to NICU to see our baby. It seemed like a lifetime until I could walk again after the epidural. I had this scary feeling of wondering if I would ever be able to walk again! Once all the feeling came back I had an intense sore aching feeling on my left hip(due to laying on it the whole labor) that didn’t subside for months after birth. With this, my episiotomy, and trying to navigate how to keep this little person alive and happy, I wondered how and why people would ever want to go through this multiple times! My recovery took longer than normal but not having anything other experiences to compare it to I was sure I would never do this again! 

In 2013 I got pregnant again. With this baby, I knew I needed to explore some other options. Knowing that the epidural did not work for me the last time and the fact that I did not like how it made me feel, I started looking into childbirth classes that could help me through labor without the epidural. My husband and I took a Hypnobirthing class together and this made all the difference for both of us! He learned skills and techniques to help me during labor and also helped him to feel more a part of the birth and have a more involved role. He will tell you today that I drug him to the class but he is so glad that he did it! For this birth, I wanted to let labor start on its own and at 40 weeks and 5 days it did! After 4.5 hours our second baby boy was born unmedicated! The first thing I noticed about him was how alert and wide-eyed he was! I labored in a big birthing tub with him but had to get out for the delivery. My husband and sister (not yet a trained doula, but would be the next year) were with me during this birth and I was so grateful for their support. The birth high I felt after this baby was born is something I will never forget. I wanted to scream to the whole world “I just did that!!!” Everything about this experience was so different from the first. My recovery was such a night and day difference it was astonishing! With the birth class, additional research and education it made all the difference.

My last birth was full of emotion for me. I knew this would be my last baby. At this point In time I had completed the Birth doula training through DONA international and had finished the training and certification to teach Hypnobabies childbirth classes while I was 20 weeks pregnant. My husband and I chose to give birth in a birth center this time. As this was something new and different for us, it was not a decision that was taken lightly and had a lot of thought, conversation, education, and prayer that went into it. I found a CNM(certified nurse midwife) that ran her own birthing center and did extensive research and interviewing to choose a care provider. This birth was the fastest with no tearing at all! I credit that to the midwife who coached me through the last three contractions so I didn’t tear. That was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done physically in my life but was totally worth all the effort! It was such a great and amazing experience for all of us. Our midwife even made us breakfast that morning before we went home!

Tiny Blessings doula Melinda shares her birth stories

Mom guilt

Mom Guilt….. Have you ever felt it? How does it creep in? 

Mom guilt is real. It effects so many if not all moms out there and it sucks. Im going to be real honest and pretty vulnerable here for a moment. I suffer from mom guilt. Almost 7 years ago I became a mom. That day I met my baby girl my entire world changed for the better. Everything was wonderful my perfect little girl would look up at me and smile and there were days I felt like a queen. Then MOM GUILT! I will never forget the very day that I first felt it. My daughter was 5 days old. I had just returned home from the hospital and still recovering from my cesarean section. She was hungry and I was doing everything to feed her and she just wouldn’t latch or calm down long enough to get enough milk. I could feel my shoulders creeping up and the tears coming, while at the same time anger flooded over me. WHY!!! WHY won’t you calm down I thought! I sat her down a little forcefully and walked away. Instantly my mom guilt kicked in! I couldn’t believe it! How did I just set my baby on the floor and leave walk away. She’s hungry… She doesn’t know how to communicate other than crying… How dare I? I have told myself I am a terrible mom so many times, ie: When I went back to work, Stopped Breastfeeding, had another baby and didn’t give the other kids as much attention, my son broke his leg cause I let him step off to steep of a step, when I am gone for long periods of time etc etc. The list could go on forever! There are many ways that mom guilt can creep into our lives.

Tiny Blessings doula's son breaks leg

 

The following are moments we may tend to feel mom guilt more.

 

  • Tiredness
  • Anxiety and or Depression
  • Overworking
  • The feeling of having to be “perfect” (there is no such thing)
  • Social Media and more

How do we overcome mom guilt?

Mom guilt looks different for everyone. In today’s world there is so much pressure in our society, expectations of what other moms are doing and what is the best way to be a mom. From the very beginning the pressure is there on what is the best thing to do. Should I have an unmedicated birth or a medicated birth, Should I breastfeed or not, should I go back to work or be a stay at home mom, should I hire a nanny or take my child to daycare. YOU NAME IT! We ask ourselves these questions all the time and its silly. THERE IS NO FAILING!!!! Really though there isin’t! Momma’s you’re doing a great job. Please believe it. There is no book out there that can tell us exactly how each child is going to be and how we as parents should be. According to Postpartumdepression.org 70-80% of mommas experience the “Baby Blues” and a recent study 1 in 7 women can expect to experience postpartum depression in the first year of pregnancy. Postpartum depression can stem from mom guilt. And as mentioned in a few blogs back even Antepartum depression can happen.

So how do we overcome this feeling of mom guilt? 

  • Change our thoughts- we do not have to compete with Mary Jane and Sally Jo. Be the best mom you can be and don’t worry and focus so much on what everyone else is doing.
  • Accept- Accept the way you parent. Chances are you’re amazing and you just need to accept it.
  • Let the guilt go- There are so many things in life that we can feel guilty for. We need to let them go. Do your best and learn from what things you wan’t to keep and things you want to change and don’t let the guilt take over.
  • Know your children love you- Most of the time we may do something or say something that we regret. Our children know we are not perfect- they love YOU more than you know!
  • Consider what you contribute- This applies to all mommas. I have heard oh so many times working moms bashing stay at home moms and vice versa. No matter your role in the home or workplace recognize what you contribute to your family and give yourself a pat on the back.

You’re AMAZING!

What I hope you leave with today is the knowledge that momma…. You’re amazing. We have to let the fear, shame, guilt, and doubt go. I saw this video one day and it really hit me hard. I bawled while watching and then watched it again and bawled even more. Please know you’re amazing mommas. Keep rocking parenthood and know you’re not alone and there are others that are feeling that mom guilt too. Lets end the mom guilt.

XOXO- Meagan

Source: Postpartum Depression  

How to choose the sex of your baby Shettles Method…. Boy

HOW TO CHOOSE THE SEX OF YOUR BABY?

Something many people do not know about my little Webster (my VBA2C baby) is when we were trying to conceive him we did some “crazy” things during the process. My first two children were girls and we LOVED them of course but we really hoped for a little boy the next time around. I was told about the Shettles method. This method was how to try and get a certain sex. I rolled my eyes because I figured YA RIGHT, there is no way you can choose the sex of your baby. RIGHT??? Somehow I was still interested. (you can find it on amazon click the image below)

Doula tells about things she did to get a boyAt the time we were not quite ready to start trying for our third baby so I figured Id dig a little and see what information I could get on it. A friend of mine gave me the book Titled “How to choose the sex of your baby” She said that it was VERY important for me to read the entire thing not just the boy section. She did it with her kiddos and swore by it. Sooooo I started reading along. A lot of the information was very interesting to me. I started doing the things it said like tracking ovulation, temping, checking CM (cervical Mucus), and eating different. After a few months of doing this my husband said he was ready to start trying. I told my husband about the book and what I was learning. We knew that the third baby would possibly be our last child so I asked him what he thought about us trying the things in the book. He said sure, I suppose we can why not. I told my husband what I was doing and asked him to do a few things too.

“Let me tell you all this conception was anything but romantic ha ha”

THINGS WE DID TO GET A BOY!

HIM:  I told him he needed to start by cooling things down: My husband LOVES hot showers, unfortunately for him I needed him to take luke warm showers so his guys were not “overheated”. Scrotal temperature is something that is discussed in the book. A good scrotal temperature is one that is just less than the bodies temp, so keeping loose fitting unders, not sitting in a hot tub or taking hot showers, and not overheating while he worked out were the instructions I gave him. He also needed to drink caffeine just before we had sex. Who doens’t love a good excuse to drink Caffeine? Well, this is another thing that men can do before sex. He doesn’t drink coffee so I had him drink a nice cool Mountain Dew about 15 minutes before we had sex.

ME: I mentioned above a little about what I was doing however let me get into deeper detail for you. I talked about checking my CM. If you haven’t seen or heard of the term CM that means Cervical Mucus. This is something we make all month long and depending on how our CM texture is is how fertile we are. What you are looking for when you ovulate is “egg white” CM. This literally means just like it sounds it should look like egg whites clear and super stretchy. When having a girl your CM will look different because you want to catch things a little earlier than you would with a boy. In addition to checking CM I also took my temp every morning. I chose to take it vaginally, some do orally I don’t think there is a right or wrong way to temp as long as you’re temping every morning before getting out of bed and really trying to temp around the same day everyday. You may have heard about a Basil thermometer. I didn’t use a one but I did get a nicer one that read fast and accurately. Eating was a large thing for me as the book talked about keeping my Alkaline levels down. Staying away from Dairy, and focussing on raw fresh fruits and veggies. One of my favorite snacks was bananas with almonds sticking out of them. I also drank Alkaline water.

WHEN WE FOUND OUT WHAT WE WERE HAVING…. GIRL OR BOY???Doula In salt lake city tells how she got her boy

At 14 weeks I went into my doctors and begged for him to show me baby so we could see if we knew the sex because we were telling our parents on Christmas day and I wanted to give them an ultrasound with a bow on the head or a bow tie. He agreed and said it may be hard but we could see. When we were looking it appeared the baby was a girl. I was so excited but also super bummed. We told our family on Christmas day and we told my friend who gave us the book that we tried everything and we found out we were having a GIRL. She was ADAMANT that we didn’t do it correctly. I told her that we did everything to a T. She still swore to me that I must had missed something. Fast forward 6 weeks at our 20 week ultrasound. We walked in and started the visit. She did as most techs do starts at the head and moves down as they measure and check everything. I kept telling my husband AHHH look how cute she is, she’s a wiggler, etc etc. The tech stopped and looked at us??? She said Im so sorry but why do you keep calling this baby a girl? I said oh we found out a little early that she was a girl and told her what we chose to name her. She looked at us with a very strange look and said WELLLLLLL, this is a BOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!

NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

IT COULDN’T BE!!!!!!

She moved the arrow down and made it into a finger and pointed to what was MOST DEFINETLY     not a girl. I was shocked, my husband was shocked we couldn’t believe our eyes or ears. We walked out thinking WOW it worked. It actually worked!!!! When I told my friend she said she was wanting to have their last and really wanted to try for a girl. At this point I am a firm believer that the things I did had to of helped me right???? I told her all about the book and she started all the things to try for a girl. Guess what she got a girl. She has blogged about her story as well you can find that HERE. Our sweet boy just turned 2 and we just can’t get enough of him. If you would like to read more about this method check out the book

HOW TO CHOOSE THE SEX OF YOUR BABY” by Landrum Shettles and David Rorvik. 

Utah VBAC Link- Tiny Blessings Partners up

VBAC doula in salt lake city meagan heaton teams up with utah vbac linkI am super excited to announce that I will be teaming up with the wonderful Julie Francom in a company called Utah VBAC Link. Together we are trained doulas who can’t wait to help couples during their VBAC journey’s and educate on Cesarean prevention. We will be providing evidence based information and helping couples have educated conversations with their providers and support teams. I am honored that Julie has asked me to partner up with her. We wan’t The Utah VBAC Link to be a safe place for you to ask questions, share your stories, and find great resources during your birth experience. Both Julie and I have had Cesarean Sections and have had VBAC’s. While pregnant with the ending goal of a vaginal birth we both found ourselves looking for resources and facts that we could get for ourselves. Although there is most definitely information out there we always seemed to want more. Coming fall we plan to bring a whole new resource to our mommas here in Utah and look forward to educating couples all over the Utah Valley.

Tiny Blessings will still be offering doula services to all mommas. 

Please share your story on social media and hashtag #whywevbac for a chance to have your story featured on our blog website and more.

Meagan Heaton Doula in Salt Lake

When I decided to become a doula I knew I wanted to help couples. The nurse that was also a doula when I was TOLAC(ing) with my second baby truly did wonders. She wasn’t able to spend the entire time with me but when she would come into the room and apply counter pressure and feel me with positive affirmations. Although the birth ended in a Repeat C-section I was so grateful for her presence during that birth. Learn more about me Meagan Heaton and why I became a birth doula here HERE

Click HERE to more about Meagan Heaton AND  Subscribe to her YouTube Page to stay up to date on her Fitness tips during and after pregnancy.

Fresh Living – What is a doula??

Utah doula Meagan Heaton with Good Things Utah Kari DiazFresh Living Recently asked me to come on and explain more on doulas. When people ask me what I do and I reply with “I’m a Doula” I often get odd looks like WHAT? What is a doula? When I reply I’m someone that joins a couple and provides continuous physical, emotional, and educational support people often will reply OH! So you’re a midwife. Although Midwives and doulas share a passion for pregnancy, moms, birth, babies, and postpartum care we are very different. I also have people comment saying so you probably only do home births then huh. That is one of the biggest misconceptions of a doula. Doula’s support birthing places. Home, Hospital, and Birth Centers. I have many clients who want to go unmedicated but there is also a good amount of women who really have no desire to go natural. They look forward to getting the epidural but want a doula there for the support. Even with an epidural there are a lot of things that I can do as a doula to help with the laboring process. Changing positions is something that is really helpful in labor and helping with progression. Along with the positions I can help provide education to help mom and birthing partner(s) to feel comfortable. Something else people are not aware of is I can also offer C-section support. Having had multiple c-sections myself I feel like I can personally relate to my c section mommas. I love when I am able to help educate a family on the process and even join them in the OR and help them feel comfortable when the day comes.

It was so much fun to be on Fresh Living with Kari Diaz and her co Host Nicola last week talking about what a doula is and how a doula can benefit you. Click HERE to see more on the Fresh Living Segment and what a doula is. Always feel free to message me with any questions.Good Things Utah invites Meagan heaton Salt Lake City doula to explain more about doulas

 

 

How my love for fitness started

Fitness during pregnancy can be a little daunting. I know it was for me. Learn more about how I found my love for fitness through my pregnancy.

Growing up I found a love for dance. I danced on a National dance team and loved every minute of it. Other that dance I never really did any other active sport or class but I always wanted to run but could never get myself to run a mile. I had the hardest time finding my form and my breath. It wasn’t until 2011 that I had decided to explore my abilities and sign up for the Utah Valley half marathon.I was married at that time and My husband and I had been trying to become pregnant for the last several months. I began training and after a month into it I learned I was pregnant. (HMMM FITNESS AND PREGNANCY???? IS THIS OKAY?)

I remember the excitement that came over me when I found out. I could hardly believe that I had a little human growing inside of me. Right when I found out I got nervous to workout much and was VERY nervous to run. I just pictured this precious little baby trying to grow and me bouncing around making it much harder. I wasn’t sure if the force of running was too much for my growing baby.

I decided not to do the half marathon that year and really just got too nervous to do much at all. I had a friend tell me that whatever I didn’t do before pregnancy I shouldn’t do it now. I asked my doctor and he told me that it was okay but I kept finding excuses for myself not to do much. For the duration of my pregnancy I stopped working out. I also found all the excuses in the book to eat poorly. “I’m pregnant its not a big deal ill just eat whatever, I am carrying a child I deserve this hamburger” In the end I gained 42 lbs and was very uncomfortable. I got very swollen and just wanted to have a baby. After I had my baby girl recovery was hard. I still weighed a lot and I physically felt drained. It was then that I knew that the next time I wanted to do things very differently!

Fast forward to 2013 I again learned that I was pregnant with our second child. Fitness became something I did regularly at this point in my ilfe. I had just lost the pre baby weight from the first baby 3 months before I got pregnant. When we found out I knew that I wanted to continue this time around. I had started teaching a fitness class called ballet blast. It was a great barre’ class that was low impact but delivered great cardio and strength training. If there was anything that I learned the first time around it was that I wanted to incorporate fitness and healthy nutrition during my pregnancy. FUN FACT: It is great to incorporate fitness during pregnancy and actually can help with delivery and recovery. With my first I ate out a lot and really didn’t focus too much on healthy fruits and veggies so this is something I wanted to change as well. (I have a whole bunch to say about nutrition but we will save that for another post). The whole pregnancy I ended up gaining 23 lbs and even though I felt pregnant I never felt miserable like I did with the first pregnancy. I was not very swollen or sore and I really enjoyed the nine months. I was so grateful that I decided to be active because it truly made the world of difference for me. This lifestyle has carried on as I have become older and continued to have children. Being a doula I always talk to my clients about healthy eating and physical activity. Keeping in mind not everyone is going to be able to run a marathon during pregnancy. Everyone will be at different levels of physical ability but there are many things you can do still.

To learn more on how you can encourage a healthy pregnancy by staying active check out the link below. Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel for free videos that you can do before during and after pregnancy.

Reflecting Back on my VBA2C!

Labor had been going for over 24 hours and I decided to go on a walk. The birds were chirping and the sun was just coming up. There was a calm presence to the neighborhood. Contractions had been lasting about 1 min long and were about 4-5 minutes apart and had been like that for hours. It was after that walk 6am sharp when things changed. I suddenly had a LOT of pressure and contractions were a solid 3 minutes apart lasting up to a minute and a half long. We called the midwife and agreed to meet at the birth center at 9am. It was that day i discovered a strength that I didn’t know that I had, learned to let go of fear and trust my body, and had my precious baby boy Vaginally after 2 cesarian sections. I was surrounded by an incredible birth team and will forever be grateful for them. I have spent all week reflecting back on the events that week. What a special time. Happy birthday to my baby  boy. My labor and VBA2C story

 

If you would like to read the full story visit the blog post HERE or my Facebook

A post from my husband!

Today I wanted to share with you a sweet post that my husband recently posted on my facebook page. I walked out of a prenatal visit and was notified that he had tagged me in a post. I figured it was something about our kids or something. To my surprise it was a long post that brought on many tears. I cant thank my husband enough for his incredible love and support.

Last night she was gone again. I was about to get off of work (4:30 pm) and she called and let me know that a soon-to-be mother was in labor and needed her. I rushed home and as I walked in she walked out. She had a rushed look on her face as she was worried she wouldn’t make it on time. The kids and I had a great night (its nice being able to bond with my kids when Mom is gone) which consisted of bike riding, pizza, book reading, and bedtime. After the kids were down I received a message from my wife that the mother was pushing, shortly after that another message that the mother had given birth to a baby boy (8:30 pm). She typically waits with the new family for a couple of hours so she would be home later. Get another message that the mother is a little woozy and that she would be staying with them for a bit longer (10:20 pm) to make sure that they were settled and safe before she left. She arrived home hungry and happy (11:00 pm) and we chatted for a minute before heading to bed together.

This has become a fairly regular occurrence lately as my wife’s Doula services have become more and more in demand. Truth is I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I have had the blessing of knowing my wife for 10 years now and throughout that time i have seen how much she absolutely loves people. She is an extrovert of epic proportions, she takes 30+ minutes to say goodbyes at gatherings and on phone calls. When we started having kids and she decided that she wanted to stay home to raise them she struggled immensely with the lack of social interaction with other adults. She started teaching dance a few nights a week to try to fill that void, unfortunately that didn’t truly “fulfill her” (she loves dance and teaching dance and our two little girls will be dancers for their entire life, much to the chagrin of their father).
When she decided to become a Doula you could say that I was a bit skeptical, but she was determined. She took certification classes and started her journey. She has dedicated herself to this role more than any other role in her life (apart from being a wife, and mother which she is amazing at). She has had her share of successes and failures in this journey but there has been one thing that has remained constant… That smile on her face. She loves this work, she loves the medical professionals that she works with, she loves the families she meets, she loves the mothers, she loves the babies, and she especially loves childbirth. I can’t imagine anything better for a husband to ask for than a constant smile on his wife’s face. This “calling” has provided that for her”

I am so grateful for my husband and how supportive he is when it comes to doula work. I know that without him this roll would not be possible. And thank you to all my incredible clients who invite me along their journeys. Summer is here! I cant even believe June has come and gone. May and June were busy months for me at Tiny Blessings Doula services. Lots of beautiful babies being born and wonderful families being added to. Check out some of the adorable families in the “My amazing clients” album on facebook

I have also filmed a couple more videos which I am very excited about. They are coming here soon I promise. I hope everyone is having an amazing summer so far. See you soon!

Fitness- Arms and Legs

These are fitness videos arefor anyone needing a quick workout. This Arm and Leg workout was designed for everyone! As many of you may know I have started a YouTube channel. My goal with this channel is to help anyone feel like they can get a nice quick workout in during pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, and postpartum. Today’s workout is nice and short but will hopefully leave you with a little shake in your arms and legs. Be sure to SUBSCRIBE and look out for more videos coming out soon.

I would love to know what type of workout you would like to do. Please e mail me and tell me what you would like to work on and Ill get that video created for you!

Tiny Blessings doula starts YouTube Fitness Channel

Check out the video HERE