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Why I wish I knew Darla when I had my baby: Karen Parmar

Why I wish I knew Darla when I had my baby: Karen Parmar

This is part of a series called “I wish I had known Darla when I had a baby” so expectant moms can find me before baby arrives and invest in their health and their family with a postpartum doula

I wish I knew Darla when I had my Logan 12 years ago. Logan was born a couple weeks early. My water broke while I was at work and I didn’t even have a chance to finish work, say goodbye to my work friends, or take a day off to myself before my baby came. Bam… I was a mother!!!

He was born quite small, which meant he needed to nurse more than some babies. He was colicky for the first 6 weeks and didn’t sleep well. I was exhausted! Although my husband was home every evening, the days were long. We had just moved to Warman and I didn’t know anyone yet. I felt lonely and then felt guilty for feeling lonely when I had a beautiful baby and husband.

Like many new moms, Karen’s entrance to motherhood wasn’t what she expected, especially the loneliness and guilt.

At the beginning, I had a hard time getting out with Logan because he would cry so much and nursing out and about was a disaster for me. I didn’t have confidence to nurse my baby in public, so I’d try to feed him in the vehicle. He would cry and so would I. I would get so frustrated so I tended to stay home, where it was easier. I wish I would have known Darla then as she would have been able to help with this.

It would have been so nice to be involved with a supportive moms group. Having a group of other moms to talk with and other babies for Logan to socialize with would have been wonderful. Although motherhood felt fairly natural to me, there were days that I would question if what I was doing was right or if I should be doing things differently. Some days I felt like I was winging it. I wish I would have known Darla then, but I didn’t. I do know her now and I’d love for you work with her.

I met Darla last winter and right away I felt good about her. She is kind, caring, and compassionate. She is one of my biggest cheerleaders, and wouldn’t it have been great to have that when I was a new mom? I would highly recommend Darla to help you through your motherhood journey.

Why I wish I’d known Darla when I had my baby: Corie Wiebe

Why I wish I’d known Darla when I had my baby: Corie Wiebe

This is part of a series called “I wish I had known Darla when I had a baby” so expectant moms can find me before baby arrives and invest in their health and their family with a postpartum doula
I had my first child in March of 2016. I was 26 years old, in a committed relationship, and had been trying to conceive for about a year prior to succeeding. I was ready for this new chapter in my life. I was excited for it. The elation I felt on seeing the positive test was indescribable. And short-lived.
My emergence into motherhood was rife with trauma, both physical and emotional. I don’t know what I expected the early beginnings of motherhood to look like, but I certainly was not prepared for the pain this transition would cause, especially emotionally. 
I became a Mom alone.
Oh sure, family came together to celebrate the birth, to meet Rhett, to congratulate us. But no one recognized the second birth, all too often eclipsed by the baby’s – the birth of a mother. This birth, in my case, was a storm. The kind you can feel coming by the tension in the air. The kind that promises to make you fear for your life by the threatening skies alone. The kind that – once you’re in it, demands all your attention be used to navigate your own survival.
By the time I went into labour with Rhett, I was already just trying to survive. I suffered with Hyperemesis Gravidarum for the first 20+ weeks of my pregnancy. I lost a significant amount of weight, and then I was shocked and upset (and shocked at my upset) to learn that I wasn’t carrying the little girl I’d been dreaming about, but a little boy instead. 
These were the first tidal waves. They were perceived as small, but were nonetheless impregnated with the threats of the storm on the horizon. A threat I could feel in my very soul.
I was still grieving the daughter I wouldn’t have when I went into labour — a labour that became a tropical storm of its own, ending with a vacuum delivery, hemorrhage, an abysmal apgar score, a jaundiced newborn, and a very unempowered me. 
I was drowning – and between mouthfuls, lungfuls, of water I was expected to respond to “Isn’t he wonderful.” “What a beautiful baby,” “You must be so happy.”
I would grasp for answers while fighting for breath, fighting to find my feet, fighting to find the surface.
I would get close enough to hope, but I was being berated by tidal wave after tidal wave.
Rhett wouldn’t eat – tidal wave
He wasn’t gaining weight – tidal wave
Our feeding schedule, allowing me 10 minutes between feedings – each one a tidal wave
None of my friends in the city had kids. My family was 3 hours away and my husband’s was 5. Neither side had dealt with Postpartum Depression anyway. I was drowning and I had no village.
My husband was frequently called home to save our son from his own mother. I yelled, screamed, at my 2-week old infant more than I’d ever yelled at anyone in my life. For offences like sleeping, or spilling milk out the side of his mouth. 
I would try to make him cry. I dreamed of killing him. I dreamed of running away so Mark could raise him properly, with love.
A coworker (who became a good friend) had a child around the same time as I did. We didn’t know each other well, but she tried to help. She’d take me to Mom Groups around the city, where I would try to make Mom Friends. I was desperate for a village, but not in a place where I could smile and chat and care about anything but this storm. I was still drowning, and it was still exhausting. Karen was trying, and I am forever grateful, but she was also going through her own transition into motherhood, and I knew I was a burden.
On top of these legitimate struggles, I simply didn’t know how to “Mom”. I felt no natural affection, I had never cared for a newborn, and I’m pretty sure intuition needs space away from constant and unrestrained fear. I researched EVERYTHING – a kind of hyper-vigilance borne to compensate my utter failure to love. I feared every cough, spit-up,and fever. My heart pounded in the space between each of his breaths, which I watched and counted, day and night.
These were the darkest times of my life. 
We came through them, we love fiercely, and our family has a strength that can only be forged through hard times, but I desperately needed a village. Women, newly unfolded Mothers, they need to be swaddled in love and fed the experience of the women around them. Not all hardship can be avoided, but not all struggles need to be endured alone. I was sure that no one had ever felt the way I did, and that was the loneliest struggle of all. 
I met Darla after the birth of my second child – already an altogether different (and better) experience. I attended the Warmen Mom and Warmen Breastfeeding Groups, and I connected more readily with the amazing women I met there.
When Paisley was hospitalized at 2 months old, I learned just how valuable Darla was, as she messaged with me day or night – providing assurances, love, care, and hope for my daughter and for me.
Darla, like any postpartum doula, will come to your house and help you, but she has also, importantly, perfected her own way of coming to your heart, and healing with love, coffee, and friendship.
If I had known Darla, she could have helped me to keep my house up whilst also teaching me that the neatness of my home is in no way a reflection of my worth as a Person or a Mom.
If I had known Darla, she could have met my baby boy. She could have held him and looked at him with that face that says “Wow – look at this perfect baby”; A face my perfect baby never got to see. I know she would have, because I’ve seen her bless other perfect babies with it. 
If I had known Darla, she could have connected me with services and resources to help me cope, address feeding issues, heal, and grow into the mother I was meant to be. The mother it took me 3 years to find alone in the aftermath of my personal storm.
I wish I’d known Darla, because Darla knows how to accept, adapt, and love. Lessons I really could have used a guide in learning. She is an entire village in a single amazing woman, and not only that – she can build a village too! Even in the wake of tropical storms. 
Why I wish I’d known Darla when I had my baby: Stacey Challoner

Why I wish I’d known Darla when I had my baby: Stacey Challoner

This is part of a series called “I wish I had known Darla when I had a baby” so expectant moms can find me before baby arrives and invest in their health and their family with a postpartum doula

“My “I wish I knew Darla” is slightly different because I did know Darla…since childhood. I did not, however, understand fully the value of a doula’s support until Darla and I reconnected at the beginning of my 4th pregnancy. Darla agreed to be my doula throughout my pregnancy and delivery. After two deliveries and a miscarriage that left me feeling fearful and anxious about giving birth, I was determined to create a new experience for myself and my baby. Darla was extremely reassuring that I could have a positive birthing experience. She equipped me with the resources to make informed decisions about my pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum care by skillfully answering all of my questions free from judgement or bias. It was truly an invaluable gift that Darla provided me the invitation and space to talk through my fears about delivery, express my sometimes irrational anxiety, and to be vulnerable about my past experiences. She helped me to build confidence in my body and its natural ability to deliver my baby, which was incredibly empowering.

Stacey glowing after the birth of her third baby, Nev.

When my baby girl ended up returning to hospital at 12 days old, I would again call on Darla for her support. She showed up for me, just as she had throughout my pregnancy and delivery. She sat with me on the paediatric ward late into the evening while I worried and cried. Her being there for me at that time was so touching to me, I doubt I will ever forget it. When Nev and I returned home, there were many days I missed Darla’s one-on-one support. I wish I had Darla’s support during my first two pregnancies and that distance hadn’t hindered her from being my postpartum doula. I certainly wish that every woman could have the same type of support that I received from Darla.”

Why I hired a postpartum doula for my second baby: Jessica Dutchak

Why I hired a postpartum doula for my second baby: Jessica Dutchak

This is the latest in a series of posts from mothers who invested in their health and well-being by hiring me as their postpartum doula for the birth of their second baby.
“After the birth of my first son, I was diagnosed with postpartum depression. It was an awful time in my life, and I didn’t know how to handle it. Thankfully I was able to recognize the symptoms and received help right away.

I don’t think I had heard of a postpartum doula previous to my first birth. While engaging in counseling sessions before my second son was born, my counselor suggested I look into hiring Darla.

After this cute little guy was born, Jessica experienced postpartum depression, so she wanted to take steps to minimize the risk with the birth of her second son.

The attractiveness of having a friendly, professional and knowledgable person supporting me post birth was something I knew I wanted. Especially due to my worries about experiencing PPD again, I knew the more support I engaged in, the better.

Meeting with Darla before my second birth has been a wonderful experience and liberating to know that she is fully in my corner. She is extremely easy to talk with and I know that she “gets it”.

Jessica hired me as a postpartum doula to make sure she is taken care of after the birth of her second son.

For those moms that aren’t sure if hiring a postpartum doula is right for them… I encourage you to do your research and really ask yourself what YOU (as the mom) needs. More often than not, we give birth and the focus is all on baby. As moms, we can be forgotten about. Darla is exactly that person to make sure I, as the mom, am taken care of as well.”

Wondering if I would be the right fit for you and your family? Comment below or contact me so we can chat over coffee about how I can support you and your whole family.
Announcing my referral program!

Announcing my referral program!

Don’t worry if you missed my announcement on my Facebook page: all of the details on my new referral program are right here!

The idea behind this program is simple: I know many women support and love what I do, but they aren’t necessarily having babies anymore! So, this is a great way to show your love for my work in empowering women during motherhood, and you get something back in return! And that gift supports even more women. Ugh, I love it so much!

Here’s how it works: you refer a client to me, and once she purchases either a birth book or a postpartum care package, you earn yourself a gift card from one of five local Warman and Martensville businesses that I love! Oh, and they just happen to be owned and operated by other women. This program, and the work I do, is all about #womensupportingwomen because then everybody wins. At the end of the day, more really does unite than divide us as women and mothers. I chose these businesses because I have either worked with them personally and professionally, I frequent their services (HELLO BULLETPROOF COFFEES!), I admire them for their success as businesswomen, and I think they are good humans in general. I’ll be sharing more about each of them in the future, and I may just add to the list! Because there are a lot of amazing women in my community who deserve highlighting and our business.

Here is a list of the businesses you can earn gift cards to:

Once the client you refer me makes her deposit on a birth book or postpartum care package, you can choose your gift card. Gift card amounts are cumulative up to a total of $200.

Thank you as always for your love and support! Share with friends who want to treat themselves to a gift card while also giving a mother the gift of support and supporting local business. Win-win-win!



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