Sunday, September 5, 2010

Birth updates

Kathy Voigtsberger Certified Birth Doula(DONA), Certified Childbirth Educator, Breastfeeding Educator

It has been MONTHS, in fact 6 months, since I wrote anything on my blog.  After I finished my own birth stories, I did not quite know what else to write about.  I guess a little more history is in order here since I began the blog with the intention of telling about my journey to becoming a doula.

After my own births and especially the last two were so empowering and triumphant, I asked all my friends to allow me the privelge to attend their births and help them have a natural labor too.  There were some that took me up on this offer, and I guess that is when I first began my doula journey.

One birth sticks out in my mind more than the others.  My church had sponsored a family who had fled Vietnam in the mid 80s.  They were a Christian family and were being persecuted for their faith and also because they were part of the group of men who helped the Americans fight during the war in Vietnam.
They were a dear family consisting of a Grandfather, Mother, Father and one son.  They were not true Vietnamese, they were from a group originally from the Central Highlands of Vietnam.  Their group was called, DEGA or the Mountain people.

Soon after arriving in North Carolina, a good friend of mine, Joyce, and I helped them get settled.  They did not know much English; and we did not know ANY Vietnamese, but our bond in the LORD helped us to communicate and build a trusting relationship.  We took them to the grocery store, helped them learn about our American way of life and the like.  They had never lived in a place with a floor other than a dirt floor.

Phi and Mik were the parents.  Eventually, Phi got pregnant.  When it was time for the baby to come, Joyce and I went to the hospital with Phi and Mik.  Her first child was born in the jungle; so being in a hospital, was VERY confusing to her.  I did my best to help Phi to relax and advised her about different procedures so that she would not be afraid.  Phi had no idea what the nurses were telling her to do and looked to me for advice.  Although we did not speak their Dega dialect, because they trusted us, they listened to us.  The nurses were thankful that we were there to "translate."

After their precious little girl was born, they wanted to pick just the right name for her.  They wanted it to be something that meant "happy" and picked the name Funny!  Joyce and I were sensitive to their sentiment and helped them choose a more appropriate name~ We all came up with the name Merrilee!  So Merilee it was!