"What is a doula?"
I have heard this question many times.
I have seen/read definitions on social media platforms.
I have been imprinted by "concepts" of doula instead of doulas themselves.
I am a doula.
I want to offer conversations - faces - voices to the collective.
Birth doulas are beginning to be know....so are postpartum doulas......but there are many other doulas.
A doula is a person whom serves others in support while an individual crossing a threshold: support through a transition.
It is impossible to short list what a person as a Doula provides.
Because of this - the doula voice is unique.
The doula voice is valuable.
The doula voice is formed by real life transitions - all the parts to that - standing witness to them - and how supporting those whom are living them.
The doula voice is build from the "tough bits" the REAL bits. The bits that need support and require normalizing.
The doula voice is universal.
It knows no limitations of person or experience.
I want to build the collective concept of what doula is.
I believe a collective is as strong as the voices shared within it.
Many collectives are missing voices.
I am a doula - asking other doulas to come share their voice.
I deeply appreciate tea. I love mixing it, the history and power of herbal medicinals, the conversations over cups of tea, the nourishment of warmth and how it feels when receiving a cup of tea into the body.
Tea for me is mind and body soul care: Nourishment.
Doulas aim to nourish those they serve.
Therefore in my mind....
Doulas are Tea.
THE MOON>TEA>DOULA VOICE
I appreciate staying connected to the sky above me and seeking its guidance.
I have organized the tea talks around the lunar cycles.
I am asking doulas to speak with me on the new moon and full moon.
Candid, truth speak conversations - sharing their voice.
A COLLECTIVE: disease in boundaries
I believe a true collective appreciates differences.
That can be extremely triggering.
Differences challenge a persons boundaries - so let's take a few breaths and look at boundaries.
BOUNDARIES are limitless
Stay with me.
Everyone has their own boundaries. A boundary is formed from life experiences - beliefs- information absorption - and yes...a boundary is rooted in judgment - and therefore is limitless to the individual whom is building their boundaries.
Boundaries become realities as the person embodies them.
Some boundaries are physical - some are mental.
Boundaries are a constant negotiation. They can change. They can evolve.
Boundaries are incredibly hard to understand and therefore for "upfold" as a boundary itself is build in a very evolving-life-dependant-personal-experience-way.
Boundaries are important.
Being open to understanding boundaries as confussing - can be helpful.
Respecting boundaries is a necessity.
So is: building them, voicing your own, listening to others build them, appreciating the existance of boundaries, knowing the boundaries may change and not asking them to change.
I think...BIG YEAH.
Why am I talking about boundaries?
Because when you have different voices come together - boundaries rub up on each other. Perspectives are shared. Realities are challenged.
Conflict and friction can lead to hurt feelings.
I see this as a possibility with these talks.
I acknowledge the disease (dis-EASE of emotions) that can come from challenged boundaries or perspectives.
I want these talks to be growth potential for anyone participating within them.
UNDERSTANDING a collective is only as strong as the voices and person within it.
the move perspective - the stronger the collective.
THAT BEING SAID.....
I am placing boundaries within this project as I am the one creating it.
This space (project) strives to be:
willing to share the tough bits
respectful of differences
Accountability: help it thrive
When you are a loving person whom becomes an accountability reminder for another loving person - GROWTH happens.
Let's try and foster that.
30-60 minute interviews with me on my Instagram account (or via another video platform)
The doula whom is speaking with me picks their topic
Begin the talk by making yourself a cup of tea.
Tune in to listen.
The live recording of the talk is given to the doula whom spoke.
It remains live on my instagram account for one lunar cycle.
On the Patreon page is where you will find all information:
a tea recipe or recommendation from the doula whom spoke, their book recommendation and a personal quote of theirs.
Allowing this to grow.....
If this feels like ooey-gooey good to you, and you would like to support this project:
Please follow my instagram account as that is the current platform I am using for this project along with this blog.
Please consider joining the Patreon Page in supporting this project.
If you would like to share your voice over a cup of tea to add your voice to the collective: please start a conversation with me.
2021 is currently filled. I am starting a list for 2022.
The more conversation we have: the more growth happens.
I cannot say where this will lead.
I am hoping big things.
There are many roots to this project which nurture it - I will be sharing those roots along the way.
I want to say THANK YOU for being here.
I am so excited to journey with you on this.
I need to preface this with the circumstances in which this is being written.
Baby woke upset- I could not find sleep land after getting him back into it. I have been up since 3:28Am. That is why I have the time to write this.
I began writing - he woke again at 4:30Am.
I am finishing this with him sleeping in my arms in the living room arm chair.
One of my breast may be exposed from nursing. I can no longer reach my coffee. Bummer.
On to the post.
We all know them - or we all virtually see one on social media.
The super mom.
The mom whom always has her hair done (what!?!! Washed?????? And styled!?F***!)
And makeup on....
Incredibly stylish clothes
Multiple children whom are all really stylish too *oh yes......she has more children than me and still looks amazing (more on that later!).....
And wearing heals while carrying her baby...
And has time to do her exercise in cute aerobic clothing...
And has the best (posed) mom bod ever...
And always has her eyes open and a beautiful smile on her face for pictures....
And is IN pictures instead of being the one taking them...
And creates her home to be a replicate of the most stylish decor...and its clean! (Whaaaaat?)
And cooks amazing nutritious meal that look like they are from a magazine and not a freezer...
And lives a natural organic life....
And is a successful in her work, with promotions and the opportunity to “climb the ladder”.....
And has a ton of friends (whom all look like her)....
And has no issues parenting.....
And her children will become worldly because she is so incredible...
And has a great sexual relationship with her partner....
I am so exhausted of “And.”
I’m so heartbroken from “And.”
Seeing, feeling, and holding the mommas I support as a doula whom feel all these “Ands.”
Truly makes me cry.
I have felt them too.
In business and in mothering.
You feel the pressure to be more. You feel that you are not enough, not doing enough, not achieving enough.
Perhaps this motivates you to do more or perhaps it cracks your soul a bit.
I personally have gone though both feelings of being motivated, but honestly have felt more self-disappointment and disempowerment from this crap.
Lets.Leave.that. POOP. Behind.
Known that it’s fake.
I should reframe that: perhaps it is real. At least the best moments were caught on camera. Perhaps that moms life is “THAT put together.”
More than likely not.
More than likely she has a lot more resources that perhaps you do not have.
More than likely she is not cooking her meals, playing with her children, cleaning her house, pushing her career forward: someone else is doing it for her.
More than likely her insecurities are her driving force. When truly bringing that concept into my heart, it makes me want to hug her.
Not from pity.
From seeing and feeling her not being able to stand strong in her authenticity.
No my every moment should be a perfect one. You will lose reality if trying to achieve that. That eliminates all space of real and all space for growth.
I wish every woman the ability to stand in her own self. To find her happy.
This is the only place in motherhood I hold judgement. No mother should feel she is not a super mom.
It takes a lot of courage to be strong enough to be real; to be happy with all that you are instead of what you want to become, or more what you were, to be vulnerable and show the “ugly.” This “ugly” in the realm of motherhood should be renamed Wonder Woman.
Share your moments. Use filters and special affects - they are too fun and cool not to. Try holding more consciousness to why you are sharing; making mental note of your reasonings. This is the goal I hold and encourage other mommas to hold.
Enjoy altering your moments - while remember to stay true.
Not every moment should be perfect.
What’s your goal in posting it. To make yourself feel better? To make others envious? To find sisterhood? There are countless reasons: know yours.
For the true Wonder Women: I admire your strength in being real and embracing it all. Your courage to not take others on: to not strive to be like someone else whom appears to be better. To not present any rendition of fake. To be present in you.right.now.
To be you. To be happy with the true you. There is only one of you.
Only you have that recipe.
That’s powerful. That’s real.
I’m honored to be a part of THAT motherhood pack with you.
I am always honored when birth workers around the nation and world inquire about partnering and offering the products my mother and I make in our studio to their clients/buyers. This brings me so much gratitude and joy. The sense of building the birth community on that scale.... simply makes my heart overflow.
I entered the birth community in 2015. It only seemed right to also bring the matriarch who brought me into the world into my business. My mom is my confidant, a best friend, cheer leader, and guiding parent. After convincing her to join my business on 2017, we now work together as partners in an LLC. Everything we do together is based in love.
Our base principle are integrity, honesty, innovation, and presence. This is what we bring to each other, to our business, and all of those whom we are honored to serve.
But.... please don’t ever ask me to white label sell our products to you.
This simply breaks my heart.
I take pride in what I create.
The love and intention we place in every step of our mother daughter production is sincere and real.
I have absolute respect for what others create and honor that creation as their’s.
When wanting to partner with someone and bring their amazing offerings to the families I support, I never seek to place my name on it.
I would never ask someone to white label their creativity and love.
So what about wholesale?
This also makes me feel so fortunate to have someone interested in offering our work. However, we price our product as fair as possible to make what we offer as assessable to as many women as possible. We cannot offer wholesale discounts. We can offer bulk discounts. Here’s the amazing thing which as a business woman makes me a bit sad : birth workers buying our products at our bulk discount often make more profit on our products than we do. Ouch. As a doula this does not bother me because again : we are building a sisterhood of women supporting women worldwide.
Through it all - love of color - love of community - love of support is what makes it all worthy.
Its been awhile
I am convinced time warps when you become a parent.
Minutes can seem like hours - hours dissolve into seconds - night and day shifts....you don't know if you are completely awake or perhaps still sleeping....and for some incredible reason you adjust to this as normal.
Really puts a new perspective on what "normal" is - or better said how there is no normal.
I have been fighting a battle: Life has been full.
I am slowly re-entering.
I love my work and my family. I hold nothing but gratitude for where I am in life and for the love which surrounds me.
I am taking on a new chapter.
I am not a supermom.
I will not allow myself nor any other women to feel they should be a super mom.
I am enough.
I am coming back.
Hello: I look forward to virtually being here more.
Lots of LOVE
Living out in the desert, Aloe Vera is something of a weed tucked in with the cactus and succulents. This being said, many people do not know how easy it is to harvest their own, all natural, aloe vera gel. Even more so, the wonderful properties aloe vera gives to the skin for healing and relief. If you own an aloe plant, now is your time to start harvesting the plant for all of its wonderful benefits.
So that's talk about those benefits for a brief moment.
1. Aloe vera is high in vitamins and minerals: aloe vera contains vitamins A, C, E, folic acid, Chlorine, B1, B2, B3, and B6. The plant also contains some B 12, and numerous minerals such as calcium, magnesium, zinc, sodium, iron, potassium, copper, magnesium, and more!
2. Aloe vera is high in amino acids and fatty acids: amino acids are the building blocks of protein, there are about 22 amino acids that are necessary for the human body, eight of which are a esswntial. There are approximately 18 to 20 amino acids in aloe vera including all 8 essential amino acids. Aloe vera also has a range of fatty acid's. Aloe contains HCL cholesterol which lowers fats in the blood, camper sterol, and B-sitosterol which all aid in symptoms of acid indigestion and allergies.
3. Aloe helps the skin: aloe vera is known for its wonderful properties to help heal and protect the skin. Aloe is used on burns, abrasions, psoriasis, and bug bites. Aloe also acts as an analgesic, to help relieve pain and an astringent. Aloe is also a antipruitic meaning it helps to relieve itching. On top of all this, it is also assist with reducing inflammation.
This is not all aloe has to offer, do a little research and you will be amazed! Aloe also contains many benefits when taken internally, I highly suggest learning more about it.
Start using your aloe today!
How to Harvest Aloe Vera gel
Begin by cutting the stem close to the base of the plant with a sharp knife or kitchen scissors.
Now you are ready to cut the edge spines off your low with kitchen scissors.
I typically cut 3 to 5, depending on the products I want to make.
Next, you will need to set the aloe upright in a glass 5-10 minutes to drain the natural latex of the aloe. This will assist in the aloe not being as sticky when applied to the skin.
Give the aloe a quick rinse off in the skin.
To remove the aloe vera gel from the stem, simply use both hands and peel it open at the base. This will reveal the jelly which contains the juice.
The outer skin may break into sections, this is ok. You will be removing the jelly from the skins.
Use the side edge of a fork to scrape the jelly off of the skin into a small bowl.
The aloe naturally contains fibers inside the jelly, giving it a structure. To assist in the application of the aloe vera gel to the skin or to other products, I have found it easiest to use an immersion mixer to break these fibers up. Simply place the jelly in a deep flat bottom bowl and whip.
This does cause the jelly to wroth and put some air bubbles into it. Leaving it to settle for a few minutes allows the jelly to normalize.
Transfer the jelly to a glass container, and store in the refrigerator. The jelly is good for one week.
To lengthen the shelflife of the aloe vera jelly, you can add vitamin E oil, grapeseed extract, or grapefruit extract to the jelly.
I prefer to use my jelly without any additives within the week I have harvested it. Bellow are some simple and all natural remedies my family uses with our harvested aloe.
7 Recipes for Naturally Harvested Aloe Vera
SUN BURN RELIEF
2 tbs. aloe Vera
1 tbs. organic witch hazel hydrosol
1 tbs. organic calendula hydrosol
Contents of 2-3 vitamin e capsules
3 tbs. aloe Vera
1 tbs. organic cane sugar
makes 2 ounces
1 tbs. aloe Vera
1 tbs. organic witch hazel hydrosol
10 drops lemon essential oil
ACNE FACIAL MASK
1 tbs. aloe Vera
1 tbs. organic raw honey
2 drops tea tree essential oil
Mix well. Apply to face for 15 minutes. Rise well.
ALOE SUGAR SCRUB
2 tbs. aloe Vera
2 tbs. organic unrefined coldpressed coconut oil
4 tbs. organic cane sugar
ALOE GRAPEFRUIT SUGAR SCRUB
1 tbs aloe Vera
1 tbs. organic unrefined coldpressed coconut oil
1 tbs. fresh grapefruit juice
1/2 c. Organic cane sugar
2 drops grapefruit essential oil
3 tbs. jojoba or apricot kernel oil
ZINC ALOE ACNE TREATMENT
use equal parts zinc oxide powder and aloe Vera. Add water if needed. Apply only to infected area and leave on overnight.
USE RAW ALOE VERA GEL TO...
Hair treatment: moisturized and relieves itchy scalp.
Heal treatment: apply and leave on 15 minutes to help cracked heals.
Sunburn/ skin abrasion: apply directly to area whenever needed
Aloe has become a very much loved plant and natural remedy for my family. I hope you enjoy these recipes, I would love to hear back from you on any aloe recipes you use!
DIY easy and wonderful for both you and baby❤️
My son inherited my cheeks, toes, eyes, and unfortunately my extremely sensitive skin. I have always struggled with seasonally dry skin, sensitivity to products, and heat and cold. I am prone to rashes which need something to soothe and heal. I have always enjoyed oatmeal baths, and thought I would share a couple tips and recipes on how to make your own. Many people believe you have to buy the ones in the store, But these wonderful baths are incredibly easy to make on your own at much less of a cost.
When using them for a infant or toddler, the amount of essential oil needs to be less than the amount used for an adult.
Infant = 2 drops essential oil
Adult = 5 drops essential oil
if you do not want to use a essential oils for your little one, you could also add organic herbs and spices to the bath. 1 tablespoon is plenty for a herb and half a tablespoon for a spice. Please note that a spice may seeped out of your tea bag as it is a fine ground material.
DIY all natural oatmeal bath recipe
Cheese cloth or coffee filter
Organic old-fashioned oats
Organic coldpressed and unrefined coconut oil
Organic whole milk
Metal clip or plastic by clip
Parchment paper optional
After gathering your materials, begin by adding a half a cup of the oats to a small bowl with 1- 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. I keep my coconut oil in the refrigerator, so the picture shows my shaved coconut oil on top of the oatmeal.
Set the bowl out in the sun to melt the coconut oil so that the oats absorb it completely. On a warm-ish, sunny day, this only takes about 10 minutes. You could also microwave the oats for 30-60 seconds.
After The oats have absorbed the coconut oil, you are ready to add your essential oils and to set up your cheese cloth to become a bag.
Remember the ratios for infant and toddler baths.
If the oats have not absorbed all the coconut oil, or there is excess coconut oil, place a piece of parchment paper under the cheesecloth.
Fold the cheese cloth on half and than transfer the oats from the bowl to the middle of the cloth.
You are now ready to fold up the cheese cloth.
Now you ready for your milk and bathtime!
Place the oatmeal sachet in the bathtub, below the spout so the water is directly on top of it while you are filling up your tub.
Add two cups whole milk to the bath and begin your soothing session 😊
Really work the oatmeal sachet until it forms a thick paste feeling and creates a smoothie thick cream when squeezed out. This cream feels wonderful on the skin and holds many healing benefits and nutrients for the skin.
Oatmeal sachet recipes
Here are some essential oil blends for different purposes. Again, please remember the quantity used for adults vs infants. All these baths are safe for your little one.
Lavender and Roman chamomile - soothe the skin, calm the nerves, assist with sleep.
Lavender - healing for inflammation and skin abrasions, restful.
Mandarin and lavender - uplift the spirit and calm the nerves
Mandarin - uplifting for sadness
Sweet marjoram and Roman chamomile - calming and sleep provoking
contact me for specific blends for aches, pains, emotional situations.....whatever you specifically need👌
Elderberry syrup is one of my top recommendations to help your family avoid colds and flu season. Growing up with holistic and alternative parents, herbs and other tinctures were common in supporting immunity and always came before the doctor. I am a firm believer and using in herbalism and wanted to pass on a few tips for cold/flu prevention.
1. hand washing! My son is now 10.5 months old and his hands are everywhere: mouth, eye, dirt, nose, feet, back to dirt, in the mouth and eye....you get the idea.
2. House washing - kick off the cold and flu season with a natural disinfecting of the home. I take a new sponge and add 5 drops of either lemon or lemongrass and wipe down everything...cell phones, electronics, door knobs, cabinet knobs....everything you can think of that you touch and do not regularly clean.
3. staying active - luckily I live in the beautiful Tucson Arizona, and my family is able to stay active year around. If your home has a long winter with snow - try to find indoor activities that keep you active and the immune system "pumped" to stay healthy. Yoga, mat routines, are some for the indoors. A fun idea for the outdoors - create a scavenger hunt of items and take the family on a walk (snow shoes, cross country skii) to find the items.
4. sleep - try to get as much as possible. The studies to poor sleep leading to depression, lack of focus, and immune failure are incredible. It is a very real thing, the more sleep the better.
5. Catch it before it starts - here is where this delicious elderberry syrup comes in hand. As soon as you begin to feel a tickle in the throat- begin sipping. I also recommend an echinacea tincture, and if you have a mucous growing, an echinacea/goldenseal tincture will help. You can purchase these tinctures at local natural food stores or order them online. If you are interested in making your own tinctures (HUGE savings to make your own) Stay tuned!
If you are a bit hesitant of this "herbalism stuff," there are many quick reads on the benefits of elderberry (its even on wedMD if you are really interested heheh) Elderberries are very high in vitamin A, B, and C (more than an orange!) to support the immune system.It is also very high in ORAC, or oxygen radical absorbance capacit. Studies have aslo shown that elderberry supports brain health, improves immune coordination, protects blood vessels and reduces cancer cell growth patterns in the body...yes worth researching!
1/4 c. elderberries
6 whole cloves
1 tbs ginger
4 tbs rosehips
1 cinnamon stick
2 tbs echinacea agustifolia root
4 c.filtered water
1/2 c honey for 1+ years old, 1/2 c maple syrup for under 1 years old
fine mesh strainer
**glass bottle with dropper top for giving to little ones
add herbs to pot (no sweetener)
add water to pot and bring to boil
allow to simmer 1 hour until it reduces by half (2 c.)
strain herbs and compost
allow to cool
add sweetener - if using honey, add while liqyid is still warm
store in mason jar for up to a year!
Leaky Boobs and the Sneeze Pee
Becoming a mother is a huge role transformation. The beginning is a bit rocky because your first few weeks as "mom" are not your best moments. your emotions are all over the place which makes a new identity strange to fully comprehend since you feel slightly unhinged. Your healing - everywhere. Personally, I had not worn pads for many years and had always used tampons. Obviously that's not an option after a paper. But you are not only leaking "down there," your boobs are too! So on top of being exhausted, dealing with a new identity, and healing mentally and physically you are wrapped up in pads. Pads in your underwear and pads in your bra. Lets not forget you have a beautiful new baby to take care of as well.
My first few weeks as mom was not feeling sexy or attractive to my husband. They were vulnerable, teary, and leaky. My son was my first experience of unconditional love. This is something I have always held myself to - love yourself. The first few weeks after birth, was a big realization on the limits to my self love.
Between spit ups and leaking I changed multiple times a day. between the pads up north and the pads down south you never feel dry. My first few days as mom felt "wet and scatter brained." If someone were to ask me "hows motherhood?" My response would be "Its amazing how much love you feel for your baby, and the new meaning of love they show you." other than that......no one would have wanted to hear me say "Motherhood? OH you mean the leaking, wrapped in pads, feeling like I just ran a marathon with no training, identity questions, stripped of all sexy, dirty hair, new perfume of spit up......its the best thing ever!"
I'll be honest. I did not now if I would ever completely heal. I had a vaginal birth, with tearing. I felt wrecked. I did not know if I would ever return to my post "popped-a-melon-out-of-something-that's-normally-the-size-of-a-lemon" self. And the answer is - I didn't. Hence, the sneeze pee.
So what do the experts suggest for the sneeze pee - kegels. I am the kegel queen, just trust me on that one.I do believe they have helped a lot. My sneeze pee is virtually gone.I play on a coed soccer team, and occasionally the sneeze pee makes an appearance there. What I think may be around for a few more years...perhaps always, is the intense on set of needing to pee. Its no longer a question of contemplating to hold it or not. It is a peeing now type thing. I did not used to hustle to the bathroom.....its a regular for me now.
I am breastfeeding my son, which is the most incredible bond. However, redoing my wardrobe for nursing was a bit odd.Finding outfits that somewhat disguised the bra pads was challenging. I cannot remember when I stopped wearing the pads since the beginning of motherhood blurs a bit. I think around 3 months I was able to stop having them in my bra all the time. I would instead look for signs - crying baby down isle 8 at the grocery store - lets take a detour to isle 22, sappy commercial - close eyes and cover ears. Needless to say, as time passed I better learned my body and the tingles of my breasts letting out.
Than the let outs begin to numb. They no longer have the strong tingle as a pre-sign. (There needs to be a manual for all the changes that take place so maybe some embarrassing moments can be saved.) The other day I became reacquainted with the let out in the store. All my back up tricks were not handy as it has been several months since this happened.SO what do you do?
Rock it out.
That's what motherhood is all about if someone were to ask me now. Its about rocking it out, weather physically putting your baby to sleep and enjoying that special moment, or owning the situation like a boss. It have found my self love as mother.
Loving myself to own the leaky boobs and the sneeze pee was the first step.
Stinky Diaper Pail has to GO!
Something has to be done about the stinky smell of a diaper pail. YIKES! I like a chemical free home, so I decided to try making DIY odor absorbing discs. My nose loves them. They were so easy to make (Got them done during one of my sons quick naps) and have made the smell of the bathroom so much better. I have even placed one in my husbands shoe closet.
1 1/2 cups baking soda
1/2 cups distilled water or 3 cups water boiled in sauce pan for 10 minutes
Silicone cupcake mold or paper lined metal cupcake pan (I prefer paper as it will absorb some of the essential oil. Removing the Essential Oil smell from a silicone mold can be difficult.)
Essential oil (I prefer lavender as a natural disinfectant)
1. boil 3 cups water for 10 minutes
2. Allow water to cool
3. Combine 1 1/2 cups baking soda with 1/2 cup cooled boiled water
Combine 1 1/2 cups baking soda with 1/2 cup distilled water
4. Add 20 drops of essential oil to cool baking soda mix and mix well
5. Spoon approx. 2 1/2 tbs. of mixture into silicone cupcake mold or cupcake paper lined metal pan
6. Tap the pan on a hard surface several times to smooth out the disks and release any air bubbles.
7. Allow to dry 24-48 hours out of direct sun
7. Store unused discs in airtight container out of direct sun
If you try it out let me know your thoughts!
I adore being a mom. Each day is filled with small moments of joy...and some challenging ones too! All of it is just too precious.