Yurtbirth

You’ve heard of a homebirth, and you’ve heard of a waterbirth… but have you heard of a yurtbirth? Or even a yurt for that matter? Let’s start with “yurt”.

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A traditional yurt (from the Turkic) or ger (Mongolian) is a portable, round tent covered with skins or felt and used as a dwelling by nomads in the steppes of Central Asia. The structure comprises an angled assembly or latticework of pieces of wood or bamboo for walls, a door frame, ribs (poles, rafters), and a wheel (crown, compression ring) possibly steam-bent. The roof structure is often self-supporting, but large yurts may have interior posts supporting the crown. The top of the wall of self-supporting yurts is prevented from spreading by means of a tension band which opposes the force of the roof ribs. Modern yurts may be permanently built on a wooden platform; they may use modern materials such as steam-bent wooden framing or metal framing, canvas or tarpaulin, Plexiglas dome, wire rope, or radiant insulation.” – wikipedia

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Yurts are popping up all over the place, well, maybe just in our friend circle I guess. But either way, they are becoming a more popular structure here in western Canada. In fact, I want a yurt. Lucky for us, a good friend of ours has a yurt we can stay in sometimes. And double lucky, some friends of our friends build yurts, and teach workshops on building yurts!! So if this is a dream of yours too, please go check out Bird Creek Yurts.

So now that we have yurts out of the way, I’m sure you can imagine what a yurtbirth is. One of our friends recently birthed her baby in to the world, in her yurt. Yes, she has a yurt on her property, and she had a yurt waterbirth. We’ll hopefully share a birth story from her view in the near future, but right now I’d like to share the view of the photographer, Michelle Wells. Michelle took some amazing photographs of the process, and I encourage everyone to have a little lookie, and then feel honoured to even be able to look at them (I know I do).

LINDSIE’S HOME WATER BIRTH – IN A YURT WITH BABY IN HER AMNIOTIC SAC . | CALGARY BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHY

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“So I have to say, this is one of the coolest births that I have ever seen.  It was unique in every single way. By unique, I mean incredible and perfect.  Knowing that Lindsie was planning to have her baby in her Yurt with lots of wonderful windows, I jokingly asked her if  she would have her baby during the day.  Amazingly enough, she contacted me at about 4 in the morning to give me a little warning.  I arrived there at around 6:30 am just as the sun was rising upon a beautiful warm spring day. I peeked in to the Yurt…read more

PS… You definitely want to click “read more”, that is where you’ll see all the amazing yurtbirth pictures. 

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Your Vibe will Attract Your Tribe

  It can be hard to find your tribe as a newly pregnant mother, or even just as a mother in general. We have our pre-pregnancy friends of course, and don’t undervalue them whatever you do, but a mama tribe can be invaluable.

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Have you heard the expression, “Your vibe attracts your tribe”? I can’t emphasize how true this statement actually is. Express yourself, share the things you love, seek out likeminded people… they will come to you. Or maybe you’ll find a group that falls in line with your philosophies along your quest. So this may be the time to think about what your parenting philosophies even are. How do you picture family life in your home? How do you want to raise your child? Then surround yourself with people who share your sentiments.

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I floundered in and out of parenting groups until I finally found my tribe while pregnant with my third baby in 2005. The difference was that I actively sought a group whose members were doing the things I wanted to with this new baby. This included babywearing, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, gentle discipline and natural birth. So a simple yahoo group search later, and I stumbled upon the group that is now known as the Attachment Parents’ Village Calgary. I found my tribe in that group, and later in the Babywearing Calgary group as well. In Lethbridge I had to work to build my tribe, and thus the Bridge City Slingers was born. Then even later, I found my tribe in my roller derby league. And now almost 10 years later, I still value all of those tribes, I coach junior roller derby, and I co-lead the babywearing group.

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I am not saying join those specific groups that became my tribe, but I am saying it is important to find a tribe that nourishes you. It is important to find a tribe that will lift you up when you are in need, and where you feel like a valuable member.

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My one caution is don’t join a mommies group, just because everyone is a mom. While that can be a great place to start, as you may find some people you connect with, don’t stay just for the sake of staying. If the only commonality you have in your tribe, is that you’re all mothers, that is not necessarily going to be the most fulfilling tribe.

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So go out there, be intentional, be honest, be authentic, and your vibe WILL attract your tribe.

Rent or Buy. The Birth Pool Dilemma

The options available for birthing families are endless nowadays. You can choose where you have your baby, with who, and how. While this has made birthing wonderful in so many ways, it has also made it a little overwhelming for some. All the choices can be daunting.

So let’s say you’ve decided you want to have a waterbirth. You’ve done all your research over at Waterbirth International and you’ve read all the benefits on my blog post Waterbirth. Now your only decision is what sort of pool to birth your baby in to.

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I have had two waterbirths. One was at the birth centre in Calgary (pictured above), and the other was in my home in Lethbridge. At the birth centre, I just used the jetted tub they had available, and it was sufficient. And no, I definitely did not use the jets. They got turned on once by accident, and I almost crawled right out of my skin.

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When I had my baby at home (pictured above), I purchased a Birth Pool in a Box from Barbara Harper. At the time, BPIAB’s weren’t even available in Canada, and I had to pick it up at the Gentle Birth World Congress in Portland and bring it back. I can’t even describe the difference the large birth pool made comfortwise. Based on that comfort I experienced, I decided to make those pools available for people to rent, except at a fraction of the cost.

I’m going to break it down for you.

Prices to purchase your own single use pool:

  • Birth Pool in a Box single use pool $250
  • Shipping $30
  • Drinking water safe hose $30
  • Submersible water pump to drain pool $90
  • Air pump to blow up pool $35
  • Faucet adaptors for hose $10

Grand total: $445 (and this is before GST)

If you decided to go with the professional version of the birth pool, this would add another $250 to that total, making the grand total $695

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Price to rent a birth pool, and what you get with the rental:

  • Birth Pool in a Box Professional
  • Disposable liner
  • Drinking water safe hose
  • Faucet adapters
  • Submersible water pump
  • Air pump to blow up pool
  • Delivery of birth pool to your door
  • Pick up of birth pool after you are done with it

Grand total: $185

You can find cheaper pools on the market, that is for sure, but I am looking at the same brand costs for comparison purposes. The reality is, I supply top of the line birth pools, and they can get expensive if you want to own one. I have birthed in these pools (well, the BPIAB brand), sat on the edges of them (yes, you can do that), flipped around in them weightlessly (the depth makes this possible), been in them with other people (oh so roomy!), and I know that they are your best option for comfort during labour and birth. I rent pools so that you don’t have to spend $410 – $660 to experience that level of comfort.

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I know all the choices can be overwhelming. Please pop me a message with any questions you have about waterbirth and your pool options.

On Inclusion and Authenticity

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I am an inclusive doula. I also work hard to make sure my clients know my authentic self, just as I want to know their authentic selves.

I love diversity. I love meeting all sorts of people with diverse lifestyles and varying past experiences. I believe that diversity keeps us grounded in reality and allows us the opportunity to be authentic. Being true to yourself and unapologetically authentic is an amazing feeling, and I am proud to say that I run an inclusive doula business. I will provide care without judgement.

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As a member of the LGBT community myself, I understand how scary it can be looking for a care provider and doula. I understand feeling the need to hide and not necessarily be authentic. There is a certain level of hesitation and fear that comes along with being gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and polyamorous, particularly when you are meeting people for the first time (doulas included).

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**pic from http://www.lfosterphotography.com

If you are looking for a doula that is not only inclusive, but understands the challenges on a personal level, pop me a message. I would love to chat with you more about your authentic self and how I can be of service.

I can wear your baby

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I don’t wear my babies anymore. I often miss it, although I cherish the memories I have with my little ones tied on to me. I wore my youngest until I physically could not wear her any longer, and even now at age seven, she would want to go in my Amauti if I let her. I run a dayhome for my day job, and I am blessed with the sweetest little toddler that loves to be worn. Yesssss… I can still wear babies. And any of my friends that come over will no doubt hear me say at least once, “I can wear your baby”. I love it, okay?

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I am pretty passionate about babywearing for numerous reasons. With my third baby, I was determined to figure out this whole “calm baby” thing that I had heard of, yet never really experienced myself. I needed a calm baby, because I was already at the edge of losing my sanity. I love my older two immensely, but I also found them extremely challenging. I spent so much time researching, and a common theme I came across was that a worn or carried baby cries less. SOLD.

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All I cared about at the time was my baby’s temperament, but some other amazing things came with babywearing! For instance, the baby’s heart rate, temperature and breathing synchronizes with mamas while being worn, helping the baby to get used to this out of womb business.  Dr. Nils Bergman does extensive research on how skin to skin contact dramatically improves the health of premature babies, even more so than an incubator. On a somewhat side note, Dr. Bergman’s research on Kangaroo MotherCare is what inspired a friend and I to book him as a keynote speaker at a conference we hosted. He is brilliant, and if you ever get a chance to hear him speak, definitely take it. But listen carefully, he talks very fast. 

Once I decided that I was going to babywear my baby, I purchased a fleece pouch made by Hotslings.  I had him in there from day 1 and he loved it!  I would snuggle him on my chest and then slide him to my back when I needed to do something, trusting the way I could feel him resting on my back, and never worrying about any sort of mishap. I know that if anyone ever saw me wearing him the way I did then now, I would likely be the topic on a very busy babywearing forum. But I stand by my methods of wearing, as I was so in tune with my baby and his safety. This was also before people could social police the use of baby carriers, because frankly, there were none around. I didn’t know anyone who wore their baby the way I did. I am not referencing the Bjorn style carriers, I used those with my first two babies, and they were pretty common.

This was the original pouch that I used from newborn in to toddlerhood. Wait! Gasp! A baby on my back in a pouch?! Oh the horror. Yes I did that. 

I also did this (well, with my fourth):

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My baby spent plenty of time in the pouch, but I continued to research carriers.  The next carrier he was worn in was a Mei Tai.  A Mei Tai is a traditional Chinese carrier that is used to tie the baby on to you.  It has a body panel and two straps that tie around your waist and 2 straps that go over your shoulders, weave through the baby’s legs and tie off at your waist (depending on carry).  After the first 2 initial purchases of carriers I may or may not have gone a little crazy with the carrier stash building.  I proceeded to buy an Ergo, a few more pouches, a ring sling, a water pouch and a Didymos wrap. It was around that point I started EcoBaby Canada (my brainchild that I shut down in 2013). It seemed like the right thing to do.  🙂

The idea of a happy baby when worn was so appealing that I invested my whole life to it.  I wore that child everywhere, and you will never guess what.  He was happy.  He was gentle and calm.  And our breastfeeding relationship was amazing, I noticed every little cue he gave and managed to feed him before he lost his little mind.  I absolutely loved having him close enough that I could smell that sweet newborn smell and kiss the top of his head at any given moment.  Now, I understand that babywearing does not necessarily equal a happy baby, but I know for certain that it (among many other factors) contributed to the happiness of my baby.  And thus, contributed to my happiness.

This was the first carry we did with the Didymos wrap.  At that time, there were no local distributors, so I learned from a book, and ordered this beauty before ever even seeing a wrap.

I co-founded the “Bridge City Slingers” – the Lethbridge Babywearing Group while expecting my fourth in 2007. I still miss that group greatly. I have moved on to co-lead the Babywearing Calgary group, and I love it here, but I think I will always miss my original group. With that said, you should see the Babywearing Calgary lending library, it’s nuts!

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Sometimes I put my littlest biggie on my back just to test a wrap out.

So that is my history with babywearing, and what led me to be as passionate as I am about it. It really saved my life, and I can’t imagine what life would have looked like without my babies tied to me.

I am still involved in the babywearing world, as a co-leader with Babywearing Calgary, helping doula clients, and also while working at Babes in Arms. I love seeing parents have that Ah-Ha moment when they get their baby snuggled in on their chest and watch him/her drift off to sleep.  I also love reassuring the parents who have a baby that screams every time they go in a carrier, and helping them troubleshoot and figure out what needs to be tweaked to make baby more comfortable and happy.  All in all, I love everything about babywearing and I have dedicated a good portion of my life to researching it, learning it, practicing it, and teaching it. I am so thankful that even though my youngest is too big to wear, I can still help others, and wear my lovely dayhome baby. So even though I may not have a baby of my own to wear, I can wear your baby… or even better, teach you how to wear your baby.

PS… I can also help you wear multiples