Category Archives: doula

this is more like it!

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and now Sunday–and I have done my 5 minutes (at the very least) all of these days. 🙂 It’s mostly journal-type stuff, but Saturday I added some wordage to my NaNoWriMo 2010 re-write. It’s not perfect, of course. I’m kind of looking at this as the second first draft, since a lot of it is just going to be completely different.

I sort of started the reboot yesterday as well, but I’m not sure how that’s going to go, exactly. I kind of thought I could do a short story with it and submit it to Jeremy’s Mad Scientist anthology…but I don’t know about that now. We’ll see what else I can come up with this week.

I’m already kind of full-up on things to do this week already, with sewing the baby quilt (picture to be provided when there is a baby quilt to photograph!), doing my outplacement stuff to get info on either finding a new job or starting my own business (more likely both of these things), helping out at the coffee shop, and doing doula business stuff. It’s going to be a long week, but I think it’ll be a good one. 🙂



fail…but not disappointing fail

I haven’t done my five minutes since Monday, but I’m not upset about it. I’m itching to get back to it, which is what I’m doing as soon as I finish this update, but I’m not disappointed. Here’s why: my doula client gave birth early Wednesday morning, and I was with her from Tuesday morning through Wednesday around 9:30am. She was a total champ, with 34 hours of labor BEFORE she got her epidural, and a baby 5 hours after that. Everybody’s happy and healthy, and hopefully going home sometime soon today.

So now I’m off to my 5 minutes after a baby-birthing break!


2.12.12 checkin

I haven’t done my ROW80 updates this week, but there wasn’t really anythng to tell. I haven’t been doing my 5 minutes, I haven’t been exercising, I haven’t been doing a lot of things.

I also haven’t been working; I got laid off from the job I’d had for almost 6 years on Tuesday. It was a surprise, but most definitely a GOOD surprise. My friend B and I decided that I could take the week off because of the layoff so I can relax and get used to it and get it all out of my system. This week, we start the business plan, fix up my doula website, and start figuring out how that business is all going to look–and what else I’m going to do until my doula business hopefully becomes self-sustaining.

Of course, I’d rather just keep doing what I was doing this week, with a little more writing thrown in. It’s been very relaxing…very nice. 😉

I did just buy a new computer yesterday, since I have to return the work one tomorrow. This one isn’t anything fancy; it’s got Windows 7 on it, but none of the Microsoft suite yet. Gotta love friends with Microsoft hookups for software… I mention the new computer, however, because the bootup time is pretty fast in comparison to the work computer (less than a minute as compared to about 10 minutes!), so I can get up in the morning, turn on the computer, go grab a drink of water, and come back, sit down, and do my morning writing. Now THAT’S pretty amazing! Looking forward to Monday morning, for the first time in a long time!


laid off, and yes, i’m happy about it!

Tuesday morning, I had a planned phone call with my supervisor. I thought she was going to be chatting with me about my schedule, or the fact that I have a doula client due any minute now and we’re short-staffed, or something to that effect. As it turned out, when I answered my phone, it was my supervisor and our director calling to tell me my position has been eliminated.

The company got bought out at the beginning of the year, which was a little bit surreal, because not much changed from my point of view. I went to work, did my work, and went home, same as always. There was new stuff coming down the pipe in terms of our processing line, but I hadn’t been included in any of the new project teams–nothing too surprising, and certainly not upsetting. I’m the kind of employee who doesn’t effect changes within the company, but I’m the total cheerleader for changes and learning new stuff when I’m told to. I figured as a low-to-mid-level peon who showed up and did work and cheerlead for changes, my job was safe. Turns out, not so much.

I wasn’t the only person laid off; there were 22 others sacked as well. Talk about a reorganization!

At first I was stunned; then once I got off the second phone call–this one with HR–and immediately started telling people my GOOD NEWS. This company knows how to lay people off well. And no, I won’t say which one. I don’t think they’re hiring right now. 😉

So yes, I’m thrilled I got laid off. It was far from a dream job of mine, and with the severance and such, it gives me some time to put my doula business together and figure out how to do it well–and then DO IT. It also gives me time to sort some things out for myself, both personally and literally; I’m spending time going through all those boxes of things I wanted to sort before I moved in August that I didn’t have time to sort. It’s taking a while, but it’s worth it.

The next several months will undoubtedly be fraught with moments and days of terror and worry about the next phase of my life, but for the moment, I’m good. 🙂



…is a virtue. Been hearing that for years, and I’m quite certain I’ve said it a few times myself.

I have a doula client, one that I took pro bono, with whom I have a really good rapport. We (she, her husband, and I) met, we’ve had 2 pre-birth appointments, and she was due this past weekend. From the first, I stressed that, as their doula, I’m there to help throughout labor and delivery with whatever they need–even if it’s just a calm presence in the room from which they can both draw strength and confidence. We talked about how, as soon as she thought she was having contractions, she would call me, no matter what time of day or night, and I would come as soon as she wanted me.

This morning around 8:45am, I got a text from the husband saying that they’re at the hospital, she’s in labor, and they’ll let me know when they need me. She was doing well, apparently, and they were fine as they were.

I texted again a little bit before 2pm as I hadn’t heard anything, and didn’t hear back right away. I figured that meant something was happening, and I was right: I got an answer saying that she’d gotten the epidural (“thank God”) and is currently sleeping. He’s ordering lunch. He knows how to get hold of me.

They didn’t call me, they don’t want me yet… So much for that rapport.

As a doula, I am an extremely empathetic, yet eminently practical, woman. I am perfectly aware that when a woman–especially a first-time mother–goes through her pregnancy, she really can’t predict a lot of what’s going to happen. She doesn’t know what she’s going to need from moment to moment, which is why women need a lot of support around this event. I’ve had my training, I’m doing my studying, I’m talking to mothers and doulas and dads, and I can’t wait to do this for a living for real.

Being the empathic yet practical woman I am, educated in the ways of childbirth and the idea that the best way to keep a laboring woman comfortable is to do whatever she needs, I can completely understand that adding me to the equation at any point may actually be a stress to her. That is the last thing anyone wants.

But I’m still disappointed. I was really looking forward to being a part of the birth, and the formation of a new family. Next to being there for whatever the mom needs, that’s my favorite part.

And…since they haven’t said they need me yet, I have to go to work. *sigh*

This counts for five minutes of writing today, I think. Go, me! 😉


with a little help from auntie b…

…I’m taking control of my life. 🙂

I’ve spent a lot of time moaning about how things in my life suck, especially over the past few months. In the past year, I’ve gone from working 10am-7pm, Monday through Friday, to working 4pm-12:30am Tuesday through Friday, and 1:30pm-10pm Saturdays. There were reasons–jobs reshuffling within the company, people leaving for new opportunities, volunteering to change my shift, and then being asked to change it again, and being told I’m working Saturdays because it was my turn “to take one for the team, because seniority doesn’t matter here.” I’ve had discussions with my direct supervisor regarding changing off of the swing shift, and was told yesterday that it’s not going to happen until AT LEAST the end of January, more like sometime February.

The whining has involved many of the following “issues”: not getting enough sleep, getting up too early, going to bed too late, not getting to write, not getting to study for my doula work, not getting to spend time with my friends, and just not having enough time to spend with myself.

This afternoon before work, I had a brainstorming session with a friend, who calls herself my Auntie B–which is absurd, since she’s less than 4 years older than me. 🙂 But she has a lot of life experience, and a very direct (yet caring) way of telling people what they need to hear about themselves. As I am generally pretty good at accepting these things when I hear them, she really helps me out a lot. We sat down, made a list of things I need to do, plus things I want to do, and then started picking days for these things, and general times for some of them.

We first gave me a going to be/getting up schedule. This is one of the things I am the worst at. I love going to bed late, sleeping late, hitting the snooze button, and making excuses to stay in bed with my cats. However, even though I love these things, most of them are the worst things I can do for myself in terms of getting enough sleep and having a consistent “daytime” for myself. It’s always one of those things I “should” have better control over. Well, starting tonight, I DO have control. And I’m accountable to Auntie B for going with the plan, or discussing changes to the plan.

Mondays, which are one of my two “weekend” days, is now reserved for weekly food planning, grocery shopping, cooking food, and non-cooked food prep for the week. This means less money on eating out, and cooking healthier food than I been eating whenever I eat out, which tends to be about once per week.

Tuesdays and Wednesdays I’m training to be a barista for when my friend has a baby in February and needs assistance.

Thursdays is doula study day.

Friday is lunch day: plan lunch with a friend/friends I want to keep in touch with and can’t hang out with because of when I work.

You get the idea.

As it turns out, I just needed a manager to help me figure out what the hell I’m doing with my time. 🙂 Together with figuring out my budget (which I’m doing mainly on my own with a piece of software called YNAB (stands for You Need A Budget), this plan will help me finally put my life in order.

Mostly. 😉


tired….very tired

In my last post, titled rather carelessly and certainly profanely, I was stressing about finding a new place to live. That was over a month ago. I still don’t have anyplace to move in less than 20 days. Seriously.

I did turn in an application to be a condo roommate today. I really, really hope I get it. The place isn’t perfect, of course, but then I’ve only found one place that was–except that it was way too expensive, and right off of a busy highway. Thus, not actually perfect… This condo is also off a main highway–a major highway, in fact–but I’m just too tired to care anymore. I need to move. I need to move to someplace that isn’t horribly expensive where my cats and I can live for a year at the least and then see what happens. I can deal with traffic noise, even though I am someone who enjoys having the window open at night. I also like having a fan running, so that should help provide some white noise. If all else fails, they make these nifty little things called ear plugs… 😉

In other, completely unrelated yet horrible news, I have two friends battling cancer. Stella*, who is actually the mom of a good friend of mine, has apparently just stopped all treatment and is going home until she just can’t cope anymore, when she’ll head to a hospice. It’s looking like a matter of weeks. Lenny*, a friend of mine from church, apparently has lesions on her brain, so they’re switching her chemo and doing some sort of gamma laser knifing or something next week on the lesions.

Obviously, my apartment hunting woes can’t even compare to what my friends, their parents, their children, and the rest of their families and loved one are feeling now. I’m not, in any way, equating my belly-aching to their courageous lives. I love these women; it’s making my heart hurt all the time that they’re so sick, and all I can do just doesn’t seem like enough. Cancer sucks. It sucks so much that it makes me want to become a medical researcher just to find a way to make sure this never, ever happens to anyone else. I’m really pretty good at chemistry; it would be a struggle, and I’m pretty sure it would take all of the rest of my life to even come close to making a difference. But when you think about it, what’s my one life in the balance against the lives of all the people who have died, who are dying, and who will die of cancer in the future?

Wow. That was deeply philosophical, a bit depressing…and somewhat uplifting, as well. My one life is what I have. What I can do for these women and their families may not feel like enough, but it is enough. It’s all I have. Finding my path in life as a doula has made me happy–continues to make me happy, transforming me and my life almost every day–and I know that my happiness makes them happy–even through their suffering. Loving myself and leading the life I know I’m meant to lead is a big part of what I can do for them and their families.

Suddenly my heart is a little less heavy.


no more kings

Cover of "No More Kings (Dig)"

Cover of No More Kings (Dig)

No More Kings is the name of a band I heard about a few years ago because of a song they did called “Sweep the Leg”. It directly references one of those movies many of us loved as kids–the lovable, geeky underdog making good, getting the girl, and kicking the bad guy’s ass. Or face, as the case may be. Check out the video on YouTube here:

The other song I know from No More Kings is called “Zombie Me”, and this video is the first place I heard it:

Why am I putting this in here? Because I’m thinking about buying at least one of their albums off iTunes. Their self-titled release has both “Sweep the Leg” and “Zombie Me” on it, so I might just start with that one. But I’m digging all their stuff from the brief listening you can do on iTunes. Decisions, decisions.

I’m working this afternoon–as usual, being that it’s Saturday–and not getting any writing done. Damn job, with all its “stuff to do” and “money to make”. 😛 One of my roommates today asked me if I was off to deliver a baby when I left today, but I didn’t have time to correct him–again–and tell him I don’t and won’t be delivering babies. Silly man.

Speaking of roommates, one of the other ones had a girl over this morning, and they were seriously going at it when I got home. I could tell the girl was kind of trying to be quiet, but the gasping was pretty loud. Given the amount of gasping she was doing…and having heard other girls with this particular roommate…I would say that she actually did a pretty good job of keeping quiet. He seems to be pretty talented in the bedroom, if the sounds are any indication. My only issue is that they were having sex a little after noon on a Saturday with everyone home. And up and around. I don’t think I’d be able to do that. At night is one thing; when you’re pretty sure no one else is there or awake, okay. But with everyone there? Uh…no. I’m not a prude, I don’t think. I’m pretty sure that much of my reaction actually has to do with the fact that I’m JEALOUS. *sigh*

 Right. I have to get cat food and go to the credit union tonight as well. I’ll wait until another coworker shows up so I’m not leaving the [relatively] newer coworker here by herself on her first Saturday working. Back to No More Kings!


irony defined

Sunday was my 5th anniversary at my current day job. This means that I’ve been coming to this building (or logging on from home) roughly 5 days per week for the past 5 years. I also count the previous 3.5 months before my hire date when I was a contractor here for a project, but the company doesn’t. Either way, it feels like the longest 5 years of my life.

I worked my previous job for 7 years. It didn’t feel nearly as long, but I have a pretty good theory about that: I worked in 5 different locations during that 7 years, and the first 2 locations were only part time. I moved 4 times (3 of those from one state to another) in that period, so even though it was the same job from place to place, the people were different, the facilities were different, and the locations were diverse as well: 1 midwestern state, 1 southern state, and 1 northwestern state. Yeah, definitely different clientele in those areas! 🙂

I got to work this morning and there are decorations on my desk, hanging from the ceiling above me, and an adorable dinosaur card signed by bunches of my coworkers. I wasn’t expecting it, and it’s pretty nice to be made a big deal of on a day that’s NOT my birthday.

So here’s the irony, if you’re still reading. In my email, there was an announcement that someone in the company (in DC or Virginia, I think) is moving to a new position at a company called Geeknet, Inc. I immediately surfed to Geeknet and looked for job openings. *sigh* On my 5th anniversary. Oh, well.

This is especially silly because I have career #2–birth doula–coming along nicely (slowly, but nicely) and career #3–writer–has been kind of running/waiting in the wings for years. Moving jobs now would be just silly. I have a year left here, and then it’s on to #s 2 and 3, and I can handle that. My team is awesome, and the work isn’t that bad. I think I’m just chomping at the bit a little, because I know #s 2 and 3 will be where I need to be, and I wanna be there NOW.

Unfortunately, instant gratification in the form of tv, movies, crackberries, and iPhones have trained me to expect things now. There are 2 things in my life I want now that I just have to work toward and wait: getting out of this job, and losing weight. Neither has a pill I can take nor a mantra I can recite to make either come faster.

Winning the lottery would likely help with both of those things, but I’m not holding my breath on that one–especially since I never remember to buy a damn lotto ticket.

gp 🙂