Happy New Year to you and yours!
Each December, as we review our previous year's work, some common themes arise. We typically take stock of where our practices currently are and any significant shifts that occurred along the way. We always total up the number of births, postpartum visits, lactation counseling sessions, car seat safety visits, placenta support services, and more we've provided to families in and around Orange County. And inevitably, we begin discussing our goals for the following year(s). Some years, the review process helps us realize just how happy we are doing what we're doing. Some years, we reflect on bittersweet memories of various hardships experienced. Each and every year as a doula and childbirth educator can look so different depending on where the doula puts their attention and efforts, and we have found that checking in with ourselves and our colleagues helps keep us grounded and motivated as we look forward. The theme of 2018 revealed itself recently as our group of doulas began planning for the coming year: jam-packed busy calendars.
Megan and Marlee have a booming birth doula practice that keeps them on their toes, while Marlee expanded her skill set to include child passenger safety technician and sleep consultant. They also recently started an amazing nanny agency for families in Orange County! Meanwhile, Amanda has had her busiest year yet! She worked full time as an overnight postpartum doula while attending repeat client births as a solo doula. She also began expanding in a new direction; Amanda entered midwifery school as a full time student midwife with Midwives College of Utah in the fall term. Add in private childbirth education, placenta encapsulation, car seat education, and belly binding sessions and you've got one busy birth professional!
As we entered into conversation about what the next stage might look like for our team, Megan, Marlee, and I agreed that we adore being colleagues, friends, and confidants for each other. We also agreed that our respective lives and practices are becoming increasingly complex and layered; after much thought, we ultimately decided that the need to simplify wherever possible was greater than our need to practice together as a solidified team. So, it is with so much gratitude, excitement for the possibilities, and love for each other that we officially announce that Megan & Marlee will be moving forward primarily under their own expansive umbrella of services in our community, Hero Birth Services.
Megan and Marlee will continue to offer all the amazing support options available from their team in the past, with the exception of private childbirth education. They've started group classes in their Santa Ana home that will be held on a regular schedule and are limited to small group numbers! They are also still teaching Baby Care Basics at South Coast Midwifery in Irvine. Both will continue attending births as a team and Marlee will continue to offer daytime postpartum doula support, lactation counseling, and car seat installation sessions. They'll also continue to be backup doulas and a part of the amazing support network Amanda and Your Birth Team relies on.
As for Your Birth Team, it will be comprised of Amanda and her husband, Taylor, who officially joined Your Birth Team in 2018 as a Child Passenger Safety Technician and Administrative Manager. Taylor offers car seat sessions to expecting, new, and established parents anywhere in Orange County and is excited to work more closely with Amanda on a regular basis. Amanda will continue offering birth doula support to any repeat client in 2019 and will be available for new birth doula clients as of February. She will continue to offer private childbirth education classes, postpartum doula support, placenta encapsulation, belly bindings, car seat installation and education sessions, and private yoga sessions. As always, all service offerings can be found at YourBirthTeam.com. Car Seat Education and Installation Sessions can be booked directly at OCcarseat.com.
Lastly, but most importantly, everyone at Your Birth Team wishes to extend the warmest thanks for our amazing community. The dozens of families we guided, learned from, and enjoyed this year made this work feel like so much more than a job. We all put so much into our practices and in return we are energized and sustained by the love, friendship, and connections that come from working with human beings during the most special time of their lives. Additionally, our growing circle of trusted colleagues holds such an important place in our lives. We are held, bolstered, motivated, and heard by other doulas, student midwives, and collaborative professionals as we process through our own experiences in this life and work. What a beautiful year 2018 was. And what an amazing opportunity we all have to move into 2019 working in a field as special as birth.
A Year in Photos
Amanda Cagle is a professional doula, educator, and student midwife located in Orange County, CA who offers comprehensive services to growing families and birth professionals alike. Amanda can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or through www.yourbirthteam.com.