Providing Professional Doula Services to Families in Greenwich, Westchester and NYC

December 2013

 

I love the holidays.

Jerry Patterson hates them….

Each year as December approaches, the battle begins.

I strive for perfection in all things surrounding the holiday season. From the tree, to the menu, to the gifts, to the cookies. Even the wrapping paper has to be absolutely perfect.

The rest of the world continues with its rude and ugly behavior while gift shopping and is filled with road rage while on the way to the printer to pick up their holiday cards.

The checkout woman at the grocery store mumbles a weak, “Merry Christmas” and I think to myself, what the fuck is that about…

Look me in the eye!

Smile at me!

WISH me a Merry Christmas don’t just say it because you’re “supposed to”.

So by mid month, with Jerry reminding me just how fucked up this whole bullshit holiday season is and how over indulgent and self-centered everyone is about it, I start to resent it too.

I begin to take notice of the asshole that doesn’t let me walk across the parking lot in the rain while pushing a heavy cart full of groceries because he thinks he should go first while his fat ass sits in his warm, dry car.

I begin to notice the look of misery on the faces of the holiday shoppers.

The woman in front of me at a store in the mall rudely steps in and out of line while haphazardly picking up 4 or 5 more items from the “impulse shopping bin”. She does this while...Read more

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house,
ALL the creatures were stirring but NO Mom and NO spouse.

Earlier that day in the middle of the night,
the phone gave a ring and woke us up with a fright.

Contractions were coming a few minutes apart,
a Doula was needed which meant Mom had to dart.

She softly whispered that it shouldn’t be too long,
but a child of a doula knows such promises are wrong.

The hours passed and the sun rose in the east,
it was Christmas Eve Day, she will be home by two or by noon at the least.

Not to worry, there was work to be done. Let's clean the house, one for all and all for one.

Will you be home Mom for Christmas Eve mass?
No, and our dinner plans will have to pass.
Not to Merry around our table,
sitting at home, watching movies on cable.

She is sad at the hospital. It’s ten at night.
Lets go to her and light up her lights.

Down the Taconic we drove like a flash,
we ran into the hospital, a hundred yard dash.

Surprise! We whispered in the maternity ward,
hoping no one was cutting the umbilical chord.
There were tears all around and some people would say,
that Debbie cried two gallons of tears that day.

Well, a few minutes from midnight a child was born,
and our Mom would be home for Christmas morn.

It’s the spirit of the...Read more

At 22 and 18 years old, my girls love to hear us talk about them when they were young.

You know, back when bathing suits were called “baby-suitins”, bicycles were called “bikle-cycles” and refrigerators were “fridger-jitters”.

They love to reminisce about their childhoods and the more they hear, the more they want to hear. They remember planting jelly beans in the ground and waking up on Easter to a garden full of lollipops that magically grew overnight. They remember when Ty pooped in the bathtub that she was sharing with Erica… 

I had a vision for what childhood should look like AND for what it shouldn’t look like. I knew that a nurturing and fulfilling childhood filled with validation and structure could lead to great self-esteem. I also knew first hand that a childhood filled with shame and self-doubt, fear and anxiety and too much independence could lead to terribly low self-esteem.

I have said it before and I will say it again…

I was determined to bestow upon my daughters, the most empowering gift of all. The gift of amazing self-esteem… and I did.

So today I share with you 3 of my “shoulds” and 3 of my “shouldn’ts”… (there are many but I will share 3)

Childhood SHOULD be about…

1)   Creating wonderful memories. For us, it was painting seashells after a trip to the beach. Baking cookies at Grammy’s house. Family apple picking days. Making Halloween costumes....Read more

My new family had just arrived home from the hospital with their new baby. 

They were totally overwhelmed by holiday stress! Their concern was that Christmas should be perfect for the entire family.  They seemed more overwhelmed by holiday stress than baby stress!   I helped them through their first day, but on my way home in the car, I thought of these 7 ways to help them enjoy the holidays even more with less stress and more sleep.

My list started out with one family in mind but I think that this list can help everyone!

The most important thing is

1) To simplify.  Try not to focus on perfection and how the holiday should be.  Start new, less complicated traditions.  Last year you baked cookies, this year you buy them;  simplify your decorations.  Shop at fewer stores or shop online.  Be able to ask for help.  Release yourself from an idealistic vision of the holiday and embrace a more realistic one.

2) Say "No" and focus on what is important to you and your family.  Be able to say "No, we love you, but we really need to be alone for a while with our new baby."  (If you do let people visit, they must come with food in their hands!)

3) Do not overspend. Simplify your gift giving.  Financial stress, worrying about money, is one of the biggest triggers of insomnia.

4) Avoid the relationship clash.  You know the button that a certain relative pushes every year to cause a blow-up. ...Read more

This post today is probably one of the most important that the women at Northeast Doulas have ever authored. It is our well thought, deep and meaningful response to a blog post that has been circling around the online doula community, entitled… “What The Fuck Is A Doula?” What alarms us the most as Doulas, is the positive reception it is receiving in the online Doula community. Are other Doulas not embarrassed by the foul nature of this post?

Northeast Doulas has a much different stance on this. We are HORRIFIED!

We can see how it might be easy to read this blog, being snagged by the eye catching title and then, without taking it too seriously think it’s just an amusing and somewhat “badass” way to describe a doula.  We can see not thinking too much about it, but we can not see not being offended by it… when you break it down, when you look at each sentence and each idea, you will see that we could not possibly ignore this. So here you have our, very detailed, take on this blog.  A blog that could have appropriately been titled, “The Angry Girl’s Guide to Becoming a Birth Avenger”.

In this post, we will reference many quotes from the offensive blog, in hopes of giving you the gist of it without you visiting the actual blog itself, as it is NOT our intention to promote this unprofessional and judgmental behavior.

I would like to start by saying that we as a group are offended. We are offended as Doulas, as women, as mothers...Read more

 

The baby (2-16 or so, weeks old) is sleeping.

She is in your room with you in a bassinette, it is 11pm, you are exhausted and ready for as much sleep as she will let you get!

Your brush your teeth and your head hits the pillow hard! You are expecting a good 2.5 hours and you need it badly!

Your eyes quickly close to the hum of your sweet bundle’s breath and you're there. Your body and mind are finally at rest. You are in recovery mode. I mean you might even have a dream, you’re so asleep and then… she sighs and moves (a tiny bit). You’re up! All the way up! You’re standing over her, ready for action… she is asleep. It is 11:23pm, you get back into bed.

OK… You are filled with gratitude for that sweet little girl and you are back to sleep. Ahhhh…

You don’t know how you are able to hear her move her mouth but somehow from a full on sleep, her tongue moves off of the roof of her mouth and her pucker wakes you like a 5 alarm fire! You bolt out of bed. You are standing over that bassinette staring at a …sleeping baby! You make your way back to bed. It is 11:41pm. You drift off to sleep with thoughts about whether or not your husband needs a hearing check…

At 11:57, she is screaming! At least you thought so, because in the .2 seconds it took you to whip the covers off and RUN 1 step to her bedside… she fell back to sleep.

You chug some water, rub your face and let you weak and exhausted body melt back into bed. You pull...Read more

 

Are you a get on me or a get off me kinda girl during pregnancy?

Is that too bold of a question?

Ahh… what’s the big deal? Let’s talk about it! We all have the same parts and the same hormones, right? So let’s normalize this whole thing by talking about it!

Many women find themselves insanely horny during pregnancy and with good reason.

Increased levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone are to blame (or thank!). These raging hormones are stimulating and increasing the amount of blood flow to the pelvic region and exaggerating the amount of your vaginal lubrication. So… of course you’re horny!

Now that doesn’t mean you’re horny every day, all day. But it doesn’t mean you’re not either. For some women, it changes with each trimester of pregnancy. For others it changes from week to week and for some… day to day or even hour to hour.

But what about our partners? Think about how confusing this must be to them. How the hell are they supposed to keep up with this stuff?!?! Especially, if you are a woman who typically has a low libido.

You get knocked up and now you want to swing from the chandelier and give blow jobs in the car! They can’t figure out if this is good or bad AND they are totally stumped as to why you want to one day and the next day, you’re the “ice queen”.

Once again… communication is key. Open a dialogue. Have a discussion about these hormones. Help them understand. Learn...Read more

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