Always and Forever Holding Babies

I have a big family. Like, huge.

I'm one of the youngest of the bunch in my generation, on both my mums side and my dads. But when I was very young my older cousins started having babies, and well, they never really stopped.

my little cousin (who is now 6'5") Hayden and I. circa 2000

my little cousin (who is now 6'5") Hayden and I. circa 2000

I have been around infants and babies my entire life. I am comfortable with them and at every family party, every opportunity, I am just like "give me that baby!"

I believe it's partly because of this that I am a doula (the other part being instinct). Being exposed to pregnancy and babies since I was small has guided me towards this path. I've seen the strong women in my family grow and nurture their babes and it has greatly inspired me. 

Eleanor circa 2009

Eleanor circa 2009

To be specific, there is one woman in particular that has sparked in me the ideas of natural, unmedicated childbirth, that led me towards doula-hood. My cousin Barbara.
Barb is my oldest female cousin, she is eighteen years older than I am and when I was just 3 she had her first child. 

Barb lives in British Columbia, so growing up it was always super exciting whenever she came to visit (still is!). I remember listening to the grown-ups speak of her so fondly and talk about all of the cool hippie things that she would be up to.
As a teenager I would go to BC to stay with her for the summers to watch her kids, work in her shop, and get to know my wonderful cousin even better. 

Daisy (one of Barb's daughters) 2005

Daisy (one of Barb's daughters) 2005

She has given birth three times. All of them unmedicated, two of them in the water. (She also runs a super successful organic clothing company called Lilikoi Clothing.)
Barb is the definition of a strong woman and I continue to look up to her to this day.
If it weren't for her I honestly don't know if I still would've pursued becoming a doula. I guess we will never know, but I couldn't imagine it any other way. 

I currently have three cousins who are pregnant, and another one who just gave birth to twins a few days ago! There are no signs of the births slowing down, and my family just keeps on growing.
And I will keep on holding those babies.

Jarren 2009

Jarren 2009

-Lila