What does it mean to be a size-friendly doula? And why does it matter? 

It’s accurate to say that because I myself am fat I am more aware of the way that plus-sized people are treated during pregnancy and birth. This had made me a passionate advocate for size equality. I want people to be treated with the same respect that I would like to receive. I want other people to experience love, feel valued, and be celebrated for their achievements regardless of what their body looks like. I want pregnant people to be proud of their bodies and what their body has a achieved. 

But being a size friendly doula is so much more than that. No matter what size you are, when you're pregnant, everyone has an opinion about your body and they aren't afraid to voice it! Oh, the things I have heard!

"You look so tiny, there's no way a baby's going to fit."

"Because you’re overweight, a C-section would just be easiest."

"You're going to have a huge baby (or a tiny baby, a high-risk pregnancy, gestational diabetes, a super long labor, a scheduled C-section)."

"You're so huge! Are you sure there is only one baby in there?"

"You don't have fat arms so you must be having a boy!"

All of these statements (and similar comments) are completely unacceptable! People may be surprised to know that they don't have the right to comment on other people's bodies, even if that body happens to be pregnant. 

So, keeping in mind that you probably already have more than enough people ignorantly commenting on your body, we just won't. We just won't talk about your body at all except to say how gorgeous you look and how your body is doing such an amazing job growing a baby and reminding you that it's going to do an amazing job birthing that baby. We believe in our core that your ability to birth a baby is not directly related to your size.

The thing is, no matter what your size, no matter how you got pregnant or what your pregnancy was like, no matter how you birthed your baby, your body is GOOD! It did a truly amazing thing. Your body is strong and powerful and beautiful and you are a total bad ass because you made a baby. You carried a baby and birthed a baby and that should be celebrated, not scrutinized.We're size friendly doulas because we celebrate all bodies. We believe in your body's capabilities, regardless of your size or shape!

Heritage Birth Services has been nurturing and growing something new.

Inspired by the many requests we have had from Edmonton families, we knew it was time to conceive a new service. From many months of growing, cultivating our skills, and with lots of love, we are so pleased to announce the birth of placenta services for Edmonton families.

I hear it all the time—“breastfeeding vs. formula-feeding”—like they are constantly in competition. People would ask how I fed my older daughter and I would say, “Oh she's exclusively breast-fed,” like it was some kind of badge of honour. Sure, it's a great accomplishment and we totally understand how amazing that is, but the other side of it is that I felt like I could never give a bottle of formula without feeling like I completely failed. Like if she had formula, I should just throw in the towel and stop breastfeeding altogether. Yes, I actually thought that at one point.

But the thing is that it doesn't have to be all or nothing. Formula-feeding and breastfeeding can coexist quite happily. You can give a bottle without feeling guilty. Whether you are working or taking a night off, you can give formula and then continue to breastfeed. It doesn't have to be one or the other: it can be both!

In a local doula group, someone recently asked all the members what was their favourite thing about being a doula.

YOU! You are my favourite thing about being a doula. Seeing women like you faced with one of the most challenging moments of their lives; watching them grasp at every ounce of strength they have, seeing them transform from woman to mother as each surge brings their baby closer; YOU are the very best part of my job.

As a doula, I work hard, and tirelessly for my clients. But I don't work harder than you labour to bring forth new life.

At Heritage Birth Services, we are good at what we do, and we know that, but we are also incredibly humbled every time we are in the presence of a woman delivering her child. Why? Because we realize that you don't NEED us to give birth all the fierceness, the power, the strength that radiates through every part of you while you labour: that was God-given.

To celebrate Pi day, here's a review of my absolute favourite pizza place. The first time I walked in to Blaze Fast-Fire'd Pizza, I immediately thought, "Where have you been all my life?" The modern yet inviting restaurant in Edmonton's new Manning Town Centre is everything a pizza lover dreams of.

The always-friendly staff will explain the process and take your order. If you order a build-your-own for $11.75, you can get your choice of sauce with unlimited toppings and the ability to always ask for more cheese. You can tailor your pizza to be exactly how you like it. Down the Subway-style assembly line it goes, as you chose your perfect toppings, then into the pizza oven that cooks your pizza incredibly fast, but with a perfectly finished crispy yet chewy dough. You then have the option to add finishes, a selection of cold sauces or toppings that go on after the pizza is cooked. I always opt for pesto and arugula.

There you have it, the perfect pizza! Grab one of there mouth-watering s'mores for dessert and a blood orange lemonade to drink and you're all set.

Whether pizza is your ultimate pregnancy craving or you just need a reason to get out of the house, with the kids, Blaze Pizza never disappoints.

To celebrate pi day, their pizzas are only $3.14, so there is officially no excuse not to celebrate pi day with some of the best pizza in town! 

It snuck up on me today when I least expected it. I haven't really been counting. Has it really been two years—two whole years—since we lost you? When I was in it I thought I would never see the light. It felt like everything was crashing down around me and that no one understood.

But time is healing even for the deepest of wounds.

Two whole years. I'm still not over it. I don't ever expect myself to be over it, but I am okay. I still think about it about you often, and smile at what could have been but wasn't quite meant to be.

I know one day we will meet you and until then, I take comfort knowing you are wrapped in our father’s ever-loving arms.

Missing you always,
Mamma

"​Oh the screaming, the crying, the chaos! Is this normal? Is it supposed to be like this?"

I find my self wondering as I adapt to life as a mom. Why does it seem like the house is always messy and I can never quite catch up? What am I doing wrong? Shouldn't it be easier than this? But when I'm on the verge of loosing it, you walk in and stand in the midst of all the chaos, just happy to be home. You wrap me in your arms and ask me how my day was. I savour the moment then a toddler squeezes in and yells, "group hug!"

Baby cries to be fed, I continue with dinner preparations, and the moment passes like meany perfect but ordinary moments do. Later, I catch myself dreaming of romance, roses, and hotel stays, time that's only ours and I wish that could be our life. Then I come to the conclusion that it will be like that one day. But for now, I am so increadbly blessed that you're here with me right in the middle of all the chaos.

So even though our current reality is more movies and ice cream than hotels and roses, I wouldn't want it any other way. 

I’m so glad you found us. I’ll save you the trite platitudes—you’ve likely heard them all, and instead congratulate you on the upcoming arrival (or recent arrival) of your littlest love. Whether you scheduled an elective caesarean section early in your pregnancy, or it was recommended later in your pregnancy; if it was a hasty decision made in the midst of an emergency situation, or something you feel you had plenty of time to think about—weighing carefully the risks and the benefits—I hope (with all of my heart) that you feel supported here, that you feel listened to here, and that your feelings, whatever they may be, are validated here.

Here are a few things I wish I would’ve known before my c-section.

Heading into your third trimester, you might be wondering what to pack in your hospital bag. If you don't want to forget anything but you also don't want to over-pack and have to lug around a bunch of unused stuff, here's our list of favourite things to pack.

It's everything you will need, and all the things you will want with you to make your hospital stay as comfortable as possible.

​September 28th 2016
The day started out pretty normal. I was 38 weeks pregnant and anxious to meet our baby but didn't really think it would be anytime soon. Zelena and I headed off to Bible study that morning, and a group of ladies prayed over me that I would be content and that baby would arrive in God's perfect timing. I left feeling at peace that baby would come when the time was right.

My mom had come to Edmonton to help me get a few groceries, because when your hugely pregnant with a toddler in tow, you need all the help you can get. I also met with my midwife in the afternoon for a completly routine check-in. I had no idea I would be seeing them both again later that night!