A day in the life of Debbie the Doula

Before jumping into this post I have to say a big Thank You readers of I am, therefore I write. My little notification tab was astoundingly filled with “likes” today. Some associated with my early morning post on the Miami face chewer and others focused on random posts within the blog. I appreciate the like-itude you sent my way 🙂

More to the point, Debbie the Doula conducted her second childbirth class with the expecting daughter and son-in-law this afternoon. We have set a meeting schedule for every 2 weeks to fit with Ca’s free from work weekends. Last time we got together was on Mother’s Day for our first class–pretty apropos I think. My two clients learned lots of relaxation techniques which I was told today they have been dutifully practicing. Great job guys!

Today was all labor, all the time. More precisely, we covered all of the first stage of labor and the accompanying breathing techniques associated with each phase: early, active and transition.

I had assigned Ch some homework, just to see what his preexisting level of knowledge was regarding labor and birth. I know that Ca has a huge working knowledge of labor as a nurse but I wanted to make sure Ch was up to speed on basic terms, etc. He did great in our little quiz.

It is such a joy teaching a couple that really wants to know what labor and birth is all about and to work with a mom, even though she is my daughter, who feels that these techniques for coping can and will work for her in labor. Medicines have their place at times, but during the time years ago when I was teaching full-time, mom’s were moving back into anticipation and acceptance of managed births, rather than seeing the power they possess as women to birth their babies with love and support and little intervention. At that same time, myself and fellow instructors and doulas began to see a reversal of the open policies toward labor. Coupling client philosophy with increased medical procedures, it became very disheartening to attempt to circumvent these patterns as a provider.

My current clients work so well together. They are a joy for me to watch as a doula. Ca takes the techniques seriously and Ch strives to be loving, supportive and present in all aspects for Ca, even though this is only practice for another 3 months. Their work together is all the more special when I am privileged to witness the love passing between these two family members. I have no doubts that Ch will be a constant for Ca during labor.

We have two classes left together and will most likely be finished at the end of June, leaving them a good solid month to practice as much as possible. Of course, no one knows for sure how her labor will progress, nor how she will react during this life changing event but my philosophy is that the more prepared the couple is the better they will be able to draw from their knowledge when the hard work really begins.

I look on her belly in awe each time I see them together. This was my first baby and now she is going to be a mother herself. How can the time have gone so quickly? She was my baby, my little girl, my young adult and now she will experience a life event unlike anything one could ever imagine and Ch will be by her side.

I hope they know how proud I am of both of them. I don’t say it enough I’m sure, but I hope they realize. As I said to Ch today, try to praise mom after each and every contraction. Never let her feel like she has failed in any way. Keep her positive and support her no matter what. Simple words like, “I love you, great job, you are awesome, you can do this” go such along way to reassure mom. So to both of them I say:

“Great job, you are both awesome, you both can do this and I love you both.”


Oh hell…

In the words of be-speckled Ralphie from “A Christmas Story” I have to say: Ohhhhh fuuuddddgggge!

I am not the greatest person in the world when it comes to being frugal with food. I toss stuff that I shouldn’t have bought in the first place and have been known to chuck stuff that was probably still useable but for me, not so much.

I don’t set out to destroy perfectly good food and thus dump money down the drain though.

Today, for the second time in the last few months I have accomplished destruction of food, although not on purpose mind you.

On a regular basis I hard boil eggs to eat for breakfast, lunch, an occasional protein snack. Just a few hours ago, while allowing myself to be completely preoccupied with homework, creative writing homework no less, I have burned the hell out of half-dozen or more eggs.

The first time, my husband caught the chaos just as they started popping in the pan. Today I missed quite a few pops. It wasn’t until the burning smell of calcium rich egg shells wafted toward my office door that I remembered I had placed 8 eggs into my pan, filled it with water, turned my stove onto high and walked away.

Walked away for an obviously long period of time. I will be damned if I will succumb to this disaster however.

After allowing the crispy, browned shells to cool, I peeled each and every one of those eggs, tried to remove as much of the chocolate-brown burn marks from the normally snow-white congealed albumin and put them in a baggie and into my refrigerator.  I will eat those eggs. I will not throw out almost 1 dozen highly overcooked eggs due to my own stupidity.

A positive from this destruction is creeping into my brain though.

The homework I was obviously engrossed in when I allowed my eggs to burn was a literary non-fiction piece for Creative Writing. It started out as a piece on my kids but I wasn’t liking where it was headed.

Non-fiction. Literary. Humor. Sadness. Idiocy. Burned eggs. I see a storyline here.

On becoming a Versatile Blogger

A blog can be so many things.

It can be a place to gripe, whine, bitch and moan. It can be a place to rant, rave and tell the world and all within it just how horrible this place is. It can be a place to share dreams, ambitions, hope and yes, even failures. It can be a place of solace, a place to connect, even a place of anonymity depending on your fancy.

A blog can be cathartic, it can inform, it can educate, it can motivate, it can inspire.

A blog can erase boundaries of time, space and ability, both mental and physical. Bloggers come alive within the pages of their blogs and posts. Bloggers live out fantasies within the pages of their blogs. Bloggers are meek or bloggers are bold.

Bloggers and their creations are humanity itself. Blogs open doors and windows into worlds we might only imagine on the fringes of our consciousness. Bloggers have as many reasons to write as there are grains of sand. I am a blogger, and today I was nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award by a fellow blogger who brings beauty, insight and depth each time she posts and I thank her sincerely for her nomination.

This lady can create a story with pictures alone. Visit her blog and see for yourself:


Follow her blog. The pleasure of stepping into nature with her photography can brighten even some of the dullest, hardest, and longest days. Those sorts of days when all you want to do is complain. Then you see pictures like this

or read posts like this one called “The Rabbit’s Return” and somehow you want to kick yourself a little and say “is it really that bad?”

So a huge thank you to Sue (Mac’s Girl) for the nomination!

Now, following the tradition of Versatile Bloggers before me, I must nominate 15 outstanding blogs that I feel deserve recognition. Will you be one of those?

Also, as a requirement for this award I must share 7 things about myself specifically for my nominating blogger but in this case how about if I put myself and my “stuff of interest” out there for all. So here ya go:

1. I want to stop working and write.

2. I want to live in Italy and ride around the countryside on an old bicycle, in the sun and picnic by the side of the road.

3. I want to be 21 again and live a completely different life (although I don’t want to give up my children).

4. I want to be unafraid to sing, loudly in public.

5. I want to know if ghosts are real.

6. I want to know what happened to the two Patrick’s from my childhood/adolescence.

7. I want to see my father again.