Thanksgiving week is upon us, and here in Central Arkansas, the weather is finally staying cold!
Most people at this time of the year reflect on what it means to be thankful. I love it when kids are thankful- my nephews are thankful for skunks and cows, my daughter is thankful for her aunts, and my son is thankful that he has a week off of school.
Lots of families have bigger things to be thankful for this season! November is National Preemie Awareness month, and National Adoption Awareness month. Birth by Design works with parents of preemies, providing support for birth and postpartum. We also provide postpartum support for adoptive families. We are here for you, and hope that you can find the support you need and deserve.
If you are the parent of a preemie or an adopted child- we love you, we empathise with you, and many of us have even been in your shoes! We hope that your successes are many and beyond your wildest dreams, and we hope that your struggles are few and easily overcome.
If you are the friend or family member of the parents of a preemie or adopted child, what can you do? I’ve got a little list for you...
1- Listen. Wholeheartedly and without judgement. Ask them how it’s going, ask their story, and listen with love and empathy.
2- Help. Help within the boundaries and rules the parents have put down. (I.e.- don’t pop in expecting to hold a cute baby for a couple of hours. Most preemie parents are cutting out visits until their little one’s immune system is healthy, and lots of adoptive parents are doing all of the cuddling themselves in order to bond. Instead, expect to do some cleaning, laundry or errand running.)
3- Stick around. Lots of families get help at the beginning, when things are new and different and maybe scary. But for families dealing with preemies or adoptions, their story stretches out much longer. They need support that is going to keep coming back and checking in months and even years down the road.
4- Educate yourself! See March of Dimes or Graham’s Foundation for information on preemies. See National Adoption Day or Adopt.org for information on adoption and adoption options..
Please don’t forget Birth by Design this holiday season! We are still seeking donations and families to serve for our Spirit of Giving campaign.
Love and pumpkin pie,
Desiree and the whole BbD Team
Guest blogger, BbD doula Mekelle Daniel
Whew! The holidays are quickly approaching and they seem to come quicker every year! The days are filled with beautiful decorations, comfort foods and cooler weather...unless you live in Arkansas and then you should fully expect for the 80s to continue! I, personally, love that the warm weather has stuck around! (Although most would disagree longing for snow, fires and hot cocoa!)
Maybe for the preggo peeps, they want that cooler weather because they still feel like they are walking on the face of the sun! Have any of you experienced being pregnant in the winter? The maternity clothes are cuter, the food is better, and it's perfectly normal to overeat! Being pregnant in the winter also means more layers to block the stranger's hands that tend to attempt to rub the beautiful belly of a preggo.
For some, being pregnant during this time of year can mean extra gifts or extra bills. Some people work so hard to provide their families with the best Christmas ever. Others worry how they will make ends meet. Pregnancy is such an amazing time of life filled with expectations, showers, and blissful heartburn! It is also expensive- diapers, wipes, baby clothes, wipes, butt paste, wipes, pills for said heartburn, wipes, blankets....did I mention wipes?! We know how hard it can be, and the doulas at Birth by Design want to celebrate this time of year with you, hand in hand. This is the most wonderful time of year and we want to make it wonderful for someone else this year!
It is the belief of BbD that every woman should have best care possible, including a doula if desired. . Charles Dickens wrote, "No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of another." We want to be useful and lighten the load of another; that is the essence of a doula! A doula is there to provide comfort and support for the laboring and postpartum woman and her family. Our job is to give of ourselves in order to serve others.
Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons (not the least of which is financial), not every woman can have a doula. This year, in this "season of giving", we are hoping to gift doula services to one special family! The BbD doulas are donating their time and money, and we hope that you will join hands with us and give also. Birth by Design is opening this opportunity up to the public, so that we can give that support to someone else this year! We are asking you, our fans and friends, to give online or at our offices a small donation of any kind.
If you are a family in want of a doula, but without the finances to hire us, please fill out the application form! We will be taking applications for women with a due date within the first five months of 2017 (January through June), and choosing someone to surprise in December.
As you approach this season, the time of giving, would you consider Birth by Design? Help us serve an expectant mother with the gift of doula services!
"It's not how much we give but how much love we put into our giving"