Parting gifts 🎁

Three days before I left Alaska, this sweet faced baby girl entered the world. It was such an emotional birth for me because I’d known mom almost a month at that point. Yall know I cried my eyes out when she got here.

By the way, Mom handmade the #qaspeq (shirt) and boots (mink fur lined!).

πŸ₯³πŸ˜­πŸ€°πŸ»πŸ€±πŸ»πŸ‘ΆπŸ»πŸ’œπŸ‘šπŸ₯Ύ

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Maintaining momentum

Last night, I spent four hours at the Prematernal Home. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ€°πŸ»πŸ€·πŸ½β€β™€οΈ

First I had dinner with them, which was apparently the joke of the day to all of us because the pot roast tasted like it was made with barbecue sauce. Class went well, they enjoyed the meditation (as all my classes do) and had me cracking up when we discussed self-induction methods of nipple play and other paths of “self-love”. 🀭😏

When I asked about meditation, some said they do it when they need a break from their kids, which I absolutely believe is a thing! When it was massage time, I kinda realized how much help I could use up here. There were 8-9 women waiting and I tried to time each session to 7 minutes, and some wanted both their feet AND back rubbed; which they should, I just know a team would make this go by quicker.

One mom in particular asked me a few times “aren’t you tired?” and I just smiled and said “nope! I come alive doing this. Doing stuff like this gets me going. I forgot I was even at work today.”

And I meant every word of that. Just being able to pamper women who are about to go through a life-changing event, particularly for those whose partner won’t be there, is an honor to me. I’m happy to help someone sleep better cuz her shoulders got worked on or that knot is finally out of her back.

I needed to run to the market anyway for my kale salad ingredients (my appetite is BYKE!πŸ—£) so I picked up some bags of Epsom salt for the moms. I’d also left my headphones at the home πŸ€¦πŸ½β€β™€οΈ so a few drop offs and pick ups later, I finally got home to rub the tiger balm they enjoyed so much on my OWN shoulders.

Today was pretty dope. I had a few epiphanies as I made dinner. I also realized how much I miss my family, my loved ones. I know my sisters and I are gonna have a crying festival when we see each other, same as my parents. I’ve only seen my partner since I’ve been over here and that was Valentine’s Weekend. 🀧😭 So my countdown continues, with six weeks left, and I know anything & everything could happen.

My first Bethel Baby!

(written 3/22/2019)
I got off work near midnight last night, but decided to check if anyone was in active labor before I left. There was! So I went to introduce myself and see if she needed some support.
Things were off to a slow start but progressed rapidly in the wee hours of the morning. I was just about to go home and nap when her moans intensified.
“Nah, I can’t leave her now.”
After changing positions, massages, the jacuzzi, and a bunch of pep talks, she delivered a fat faced angel in less than ten minutes of pushing. Throughout the night she kept saying “I’m glad you’re here. I’m glad you stayed.”
I cut the cord, yall.
I can literally climb Mt. Everest right now. I could dive to the bottom of the Mariana Trench. I could spend a weekend on Mars.
That’s how elated I am. That’s how birth work makes me feel.
And now I’ll take a nap, not just because I’m exhausted, but because this is overwhelming in the most amazing way!
#AliciatakesAlaska #TundraDoula #Manifestthelifeyouwant #doula #Birthworker #BirthPartner

Actually doing the work

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Today I spent three hours at the Prematernal Home giving back and foot massages. I used Charisma, Lemon Zest Shea Butter, and mango butter for massages. Then I used strawberry-lemon, orange, grapefruit, or lavender oil in the foot soak.

It was truly a gratifying experience. They were all so happy I was there! One even told me when she heard the director announce I’d be coming, she ran out in the hallway and signed up first! I kept the list of their names as a memento.

They told me about their kids and showed me pictures and videos of birthdays and all that. So many chubby faced love bugs! πŸ₯°Some were having their first and others already had 4 or 5 other children. They had me cracking up when they told me about the way people look at them when they’re in Hawaii. The Yu’pik walk around in t-shirts and shorts in 70 degree weather; but Hawaiians are freezing cold! 🀧πŸ₯ΆπŸ€£

Several of them mentioned they’d hoped their husbands could make it in time. They were wondering who else was a doula in town and apparently I’m the only one here. So I’m glad they said they’ll ask their doctors at their upcoming appointments about having one.

The issue, as I’ve begun to understand it, is that Medicare only pays for the mother’s flight. So these women are flown in around week 37 and stay in the Prematernal Home until delivery. In some cases, they’re flown to Anchorage if there are complications. But either way, if they’re here from a village, chances are they’re by themselves.

If Medicare won’t pay for a companion flight, I wonder if they’ll pay for doulas to be there instead? I’ll have to look into the laws and bills and such. Mama Shafia did it in Oregon. I wonder if I’ll do the same here?

🀯🀯🀯

Returning as a changed woman

I haven’t posted on here in months. A lot has changed. Some great, some bittersweet. All of it necessary though.

I went to St. Thomas for Carnival and felt invigorated, only to return to a crumbling relationship; the end of which made me want to go right back on vacation. I immediately contacted the travel recruiters for medical technologists I used to be in touch with, updated my profile, and began looking up cities that I could call my next home.

My contract at work was up the following week, and my apartment lease was for the end of June. Everything was falling apart/ending , only to make me prepare to rebuild/restabilize…..

Well, my work contract got extended (twice!), I didn’t pass the ASCP exam (which I’m about to reschedule), and my sister Faith had her baby. So yeah moving away wasn’t in my best interests in the short time that I’d decided but it’s still on the table.

What makes me say that is my experience in New Orleans. I randomly decided to go while at work one day in late May. Something was calling me about that city, and I’d been wanting to go for years. Not just for Essence or Mardi Gras, but to experience the culture. I have several associates and friends who live there so I was quick to ask for recommendations. I booked a relatively cheap flight ($162!), and skipped my happy ass there from June 14-17.

A homegirl I went to Morgan with lives there and let me to crash at her place. I was ecstatic! But I also wanted alone time, so I booked an Airbnb for the remainder of my trip. Soooo much happened in the four days I was there; I’ll make a separate post just for that trip. But I can see myself living there… Like for real. I got my palm read in the French Market and babbyyy when I tell you I slid out of my chair at the accuracy of the messages! Thank you to Michelle, the palm reader. I also met someone my last night there. The way our paths crossed is something out of a romance movie but again, that’s for another post, another time. Just know that I’ve been beaming ever since!

Toward the end of June, I completed my doula training and am now a full circle birth worker! You can read more about my training here. I cried my eyes out when I got my certificate. It was such an emotional moment, and my sister Faith got to be part of my training, since we had a blessing way for her and my nephew Xavier.

I also went to Baltimore’s Carnival in July, and the guy I met in NOLA was there too (part of how we hit it off)! My friends and I played DC Mud Mas which was A LOT of fun. I definitely gotta do that again. And there were parties leading up to the parade as well. Since my mom discovered we’re Haitian on her dad’s side, I’m doing what I can to immerse myself in Caribbean culture.

On a sad note, my friend Ciera’s mom passed after a lengthy battle with cancer. She took NO shit from anyone and I love that about her. May she rest in power.

Finally, on a high note, my sister Faith had her baby August 1st at 5:02 pm. She labored for awhile and went without medicine as long as she could, but ended up getting a C-section because she wasn’t dilated enough. Xavier has the sweetest little face and I am so proud of my sister for her hard work!

Whewww that was a lot! I won’t stay away so long ever again. Thanks for reading and I’ll be back with more updates soon. 😘