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.

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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

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?

🀯🀯🀯

Black Maternal Health Week!

(Written Tuesday April 17th, 2018)

If I could, I would bottle today and open it during a shitty one.

β€’ Early for work. Early off.πŸ’ŠπŸ’‰πŸ”¬

β€’ Great hair day. πŸ’πŸ½β€β™€οΈπŸ’†πŸ½β€β™€οΈπŸŒ³β˜οΈ

β€’ Happy hour solo date at Aloha (veggie pot stickers, fried salmon sushi, ginger ale)

Today culminated the end of Black Maternal Health Week. I went to a screening of the documentary Death by Delivery at MedChi. Of course I’m ready to book my doula clients now but I know there’s much work to be done first. It was invigorating being around so many awesome women. Yes there are horrible statistics surrounding Black maternal health but I’m one of many people working to change them. In case you’re unaware like I was, Black women are FOUR TIMES as likely to die from pregnancy related causes than White women in the good ole USA; the only industrialized country with such staggering statistics.

I left the seminar floating on oxytocin, but was definitely hungry. Luckily, I stumbled upon a live jazz band playing at Trinacria across from Mt. Vernon Marketplace. Because it was late, I ate light, just a bowl of minestrone and Caesar salad.

I went home satiated and full of positive vibes, then burned some incense and Paolo Santo before bed. πŸ’žπŸ”₯βœ¨πŸŒŸπŸ’«πŸŒ¬

Departure to St. Thomas is in 8 days and I think I’m finally starting to get my mind in vacation mode…. I think. πŸ€¨πŸ™„πŸ˜‚