Welcome to Genesis 1:31 - Labor and Postpartum Doula Services, LLC. Let me tell you a little bit about myself and why I chose to become a Doula. My name is Connie Kern and I am married with 4 children, ages 17, 15, 6 and 4. They keep me young!!! I am a certified doula CD(DONA), childbirth educator with CAPPA, a licensed mental health counselor (LMHC) and a certified instructor for the Red Cross in CPR/First Aid.
The name Genesis 1:31 was chosen to represent my Faith in Christ and in His creation. Genesis 1:31 says, "Then God saw everything He had made, and indeed, it was very good." I believe God breathes life into each living being, that we are 'fearfully and wonderfully made', and that God knows us from conception - in our mother's wombs.
"Babies are bits of stardust, blown from the hand of God."
How it started...During labor and delivery with my last baby (Joshua, above), I felt very disappointed in the way I was treated with my hospital birth. The baby was healthy and beautiful and for that I am grateful - however, he was whisked away from me immediately, and I actually had a nurse tell me I needed to supplement with a bottle, she said, "all babies need that". Due to unforseen circumstances, my husband was not able to stay with me in the hospital and I was left alone in the hospital for the duration of my stay, except for visits. I was amazed at how little I saw the nurses; and even had one nurse at the end of her shift come in to tell me she was leaving and state, "Oh, you are such a good patient, I didn't even have to see you my whole shift". (I purposefully will not divulge which hospital, as maybe this was just a fluke, and hopefully all the other mothers got plenty of good care and attention!).
After returning home and struggling with a screaming newborn, no sleep, a husband who needed to return to work and 3 other children (I have no family here), someone mentioned to me that I should have had a doula. That was the first time I had even heard the word. I started reading about doulas and all that a doula offers a woman, before - during - and after birth, everything I did not have - and I was sold. If only I knew then what I know now... AND, when I attended my first birth - FORGET about it...I thought, "It doesn't get much better than this" - helping mommies bring LIFE - CREATION - a beautiful gift from God into the world, being part of that - mothering the mother, helping the partner, educating them, loving them... I knew that was the calling God had on my life.
My eventual goal is to network with other Christians who offer services that compliment mine. To make connections with people who will make the life of my mommies easier or better somehow. For example - a friend (and future doula) makes handmade and beautiful baby slings; another friend is in the process of creating a service that will provide homemade meals delivered to mommy and family after they return from the hospital, to relieve mom/dad or the family from having to provide all the meals. I also plan to use my knowledge and skill as a therapist to recognize symptoms of and assist with non-medicinal treatment (if possible) of post partum depression - which I suffered from with my second child.
My desires continue!!! I also eventually want to write a grant and be able to provide doula services to the teenage girls in foster care in our community (this is my current career field). The very first labor and delivery I assisted with, was a 17 year old girl - a baby herself - who didn't know anything about her body, birthing, breastfeeding, or really anything. Many to most of these young girls have no-one to teach them or support them. I want to have a team of doulas that can provide care for each of these girls. Maybe by giving them this early support - educating them on taking care of themselves, the benefits of breastfeeding, helping them "deal" with the arduous daily care that is needed while they have had very little sleep... maybe this will have the impact of keeping their babies from coming back into the foster care system, thus breaking the vicious cycle that we so often see in social services.
If you are having a baby, and you feel you can benefit from the incredible services a doula can offer, please contact me. I look forward to loving up on you and your family and helping you welcome your little one, whether it's your first or your fourth!
"A baby is God's Opinion that life should go on" ~ Carl Sandburg