Monday, May 14, 2012

The one time you WANT to be pea brained

I may or may not have mentioned before that I am also a flutist. I graduated in December 2009 with my Master of Music degree and during my last semester, I found out that I was pregnant. Then began this wonderful journey into motherhood and attending other women as they make their own journeys into motherhood.

Every few months, it is my privilege to perform with an orchestra in Louisiana that I have performed with for several years. In order to make this work with a nursling, I would drive to my mother's house, pick her up and take her with me. That way I could nurse my little one during the breaks. Now that my daughter is older, I drive over to my mom's house and drop my little one off to spend the weekend with her grandparents. I get a music-filled weekend to myself, and when it is over, I pick my daughter up, and then we make the drive back home. There is a LOT of driving involved. If I totaled it up, it would probably be about 20 hours worth of driving. That's 20 hours that I have time to let my mind wander and think of all sorts of things.

This particular trip, I started to think about the B.R.A.I.N. acronym for informed decision making. I really love this! It makes educating oneself really easy.

Need time

There's also another neat acronym, B.R.A.N.D., that I learned later from some fellow doulas. I also learned this acronym when I audited a local Hypnobabies class recently.

Discuss and decide

While I was sitting in the Hypnobabies class, I tried to come up with a new word that combined both the BRAIN and BRAND acronyms. I like them both! I couldn't quite figure it out.

So while I was driving to rehearsals two weeks ago, I started thinking about this. BRAIN? BRAND? Hmmmmm....... here's what I came up with.

First, I thought, maybe I could say B.R.A.I.N.E.D.

Extra time
Discuss and decide

Then I thought, how could I make this cute? Because with the brain acronym, you can say, "Use your BRAIN for informed decision making." I don't really know a cutesy saying for the BRAND one, but still, BRAINED? BRAINED isn't proper English! One doesn't brain. One can't brain in past tense. Have you ever brained? Have you ever been brained? No? But, have you ever been accused of being PEA BRAINED?

I have and it's never really been a compliment. However, maybe I could make it cutesy for my own personal purposes. Like, this will be one time in your life where you actually WANT to be PEA BRAINED. So then I tried to fill in the words.


Extra time
Discuss and decide

Then I started thinking that perhaps the "PEA" portion would need to be done mostly during the pregnancy and the "BRAINED" portion would mostly need to take place during the birth. Although sometimes, some of the suggested procedures during pregnancy would require the BRAINED portion as well. So now that you know where all of this thinking came from, here is the final result.


Interview and select a supportive health care provider.
Choose your birth location.
Hire a doula.
Exercise and maintain a healthy diet.


Take a childbirth education class. (preferably NOT hospital based)
Learn about your birth options in your chosen birth location and about alternatives.
Do your research!


Ask questions. Lots of questions until you have no more questions to ask.


How will this help my labor?
How will the help my baby?
How will this help me?


How will this affect my labor?
How will this affect my baby?
How will this affect me?


What are my other options?


What does my gut say?


What if I do nothing?

Extra time:

I need time to think this decision through.
I need a private moment to talk with my family.
I would like to wait for now.

Discuss and decide:

Make an informed decision.

So there you have it. The one time in your life you want to be PEA BRAINED.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Nearly there!

I am happy to report that I finally mailed off over 100 pages of DONA Birth Doula Certification paperwork. Now we wait. Hopefully after no more than two months, I will be a certified doula with DONA International. Phew!

I couldn't have done this without some very special families in my life, both those families that allowed me to attend the births of their babies and those families that supported me in this journey. Thank you!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

My accountability report

I don't remember when it was, but I set a goal to have my doula certification paperwork ready to be mailed by May 1st. At the time I set this goal, I was waiting to perform in the concert coming up this weekend in order to pay for my certification fee and to become a member of DONA International.

I've hit a few snags in the road, and there are a few more things on my To Do list than I would like, but I am satisfied with my progress. I have finished just about everything that I can possibly finish right now. I just have to get through this concert. My new goal is to have this packet in the mail before Mother's Day. That means on Saturday, May 12th, I need to either be dropping this thing in the mail or have already done it. Keep me accountable my friends!

Because my printer won't work unless both the color cartridge and black ink cartridge are full, my printer is out of order. So once I play this concert I will buy a new cartridge and print things off.

So my new To Do List is as follows:

  • Track down a form from a mama
  • Print off the doula packet email I received last year as proof of my start date
  • Become a member of DONA International and print receipt
  • Pay Application fee and print receipt
  • Finish reading Breastfeeding Made Simple
  • Locate my Breastfeeding Course Outline
  • Optional: Print off "Why I Became a Doula Essay"
  • Tweak Resources list and print
  • Sign and Date application for DONA International Birth Doula Certification
  • Check and recheck all forms, stuff envelope and mail

I am so close!!! I will get there before my birthday, and I am so excited about this!