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5555 N. Lamar Blvd, Suite L-121
Austin, TX

512-222-5655

AustinBorn is a modern parenting center in Austin, TX offering classes and services in an inclusive atmosphere. We offer birth + postpartum doula care, group prenatal classes, childbirth education, loss support, postpartum support groups, breastfeeding support group, lactation counseling, breastfeeding education and special workshops. Come say hello and check out our cozy space. We can't wait to meet you!

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Filtering by Category: Postpartum

February 16th: My 5-Week-Old Daughter's Due Date

Austin Born

As a doula, I am reminded time and time again that nothing about birth is predictable. No matter how much we plan or what we envision for the day we bring a child into the world, plans always change and sometimes tough decisions need to be made. It’s all about how prepared and empowered we are by the ups and downs, and by our team, that can really make for an awesome birth experience.

I had a healthy pregnancy and hospital birth with my son Lochlan four years ago so felt confident that I wanted, and would ultimately have, a home birth with my daughter. I picked amazing midwives and was preparing both mentally and physically to have her in the comfort of my bedroom by buying all the necessary items and reading everything I could about unmedicated births.

At 34 weeks, my daughter had other plans. I got out of bed on a Sunday morning and felt like I had wet myself but I knew that’s not what it was. I tried to take the day in stride. I wasn’t prepared to have her yet; there were so many loose ends I had to tie up and things I had to do to ensure her arrival was everything I had dreamed of. But after hanging out around our house, confirming with a simple test that I was in fact leaking amniotic fluid, and consulting with our midwives, my husband and I headed to the hospital that evening to have our daughter.

It was such a surreal experience to be back at the hospital where my son was born. It was a familiar place and somewhere I felt comfortable as I had volunteered for over a year in their postpartum and newborn care floor. But I had no experience in their NICU - a place where my daughter was sure to go once she was born. As I told a dear friend, being a parent of a premie in intensive care is a club you know exists but one you never imagine belonging to.

The staff were amazing and took good care of me. Knowing I was a doula who had planned on a home birth, they were respectful and thoughtful with the decisions I was making and left me and my husband to labor on our own (as much as a hospital can allow). While we waited for things to pick up, we watched movies, held hands, and with dry and sometimes tearful eyes talked through what life would be like once she arrived. Later the following afternoon, I had an acupuncturist come to my room to help alleviate stress, anxiety, and to hopefully kick start the labor process. My midwife became my doula and arrived that evening, about 24 hours after I was admitted.

The birthing process was somewhat of an outer body experience. I had been to 30 births and knew what labor looked like including the flood of people that emerged when a baby is about to be born and the sweet embrace that happens when mom and baby first meet earthside. My beautiful girl came fast, so when I was on the bed, I was simultaneously pushing but also taking inventory of the room to make sure all the necessary people were there. My husband and midwife were right next to me to keep me grounded, as it’s hard to be the mama and a doula all at the same time.

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Of course I was so excited to meet my sweet girl but felt almost selfish about these feelings because I thought she wasn’t ready. And I was terrified that she wasn’t going to be ok when she was born, so when the sweet moment arrived I couldn’t bring myself to look down for fear that I couldn’t handle my sweet baby as she was. Aila was born and after I heard her first cry, I knew that she would be alright. For a brief few moments she was in my arms and my husband was allowed to cut the cord. The NICU staff were on hand and did what they needed to do and gave me a few more precious moments before she was taken upstairs to be hooked up to oxygen and a feeding tube.

As a birth worker, I have told countless parents that they need to take it easy and hunker down at home for at least the first few weeks to rest, recuperate, and bond with their baby. As a parent of a NICU baby, that just isn’t reality. Within hours after her birth, I was pumping around the clock to ensure she would have my colostrum and to increase my milk supply. It was eerily quiet in my hospital room without the sweet cries of my daughter. I would make the long trek to intensive care to see her all hours of the day and night to share just a few precious moments with her and by her second day of life I was finally able to hold her in my arms. I was discharged from the hospital after three days and came home to an empty bassinet and with a heavy heart. Every moment I wasn’t up there, I felt guilty and like a big piece of me was missing.  

I am indebted to the Mothers’ Milk Bank of Austin and the selfless donor mamas. My sweet daughter was the beneficiary of their generosity when I wasn’t able to supply her with enough milk within those first few days of her life. Providing breast milk to my daughter was important to me but was even more so as a tiny NICU baby. It’s something I will never forget and I hope to pay it forward in the near future.

My daughter spent 10 days in intensive care and is now home and in our safe, loving arms. Our family feels complete and my heart is full. Her birth was the exact opposite of everything I had planned for both mentally and physically and I am still coming to terms with it. I’ll never know why my water broke early and I continue to struggle with feelings of guilt that somehow my body failed her. I wept tears of joy the moment I found out I was having a girl and I’d like to think that she decided to come early because she was just as eager to meet me.

Like all major life events, birth has a profound impact on us as persons and our core being. Aila’s birth has been one of life’s biggest teaching moments and I’ll carry it with me forever. Surrendering to what has happened and those things I cannot change has been the hardest but most poignant lessons of all. My husband and midwife were a rock star team and I could not have done it without their support. This experience has further solidified my commitment to my work and I am eager to get back to my sisters at AustinBorn. I am so grateful that I’m in this field - a place where I can continue to grow, process my story, and share all the newfound wisdom I have gained.

 

Tuesday Tucked In

Austin Born

It's cold in TX today! Austinites, are you surviving?! What are you doing today as the city is mostly shut down?

We're tucked in at home doing a combo of self-care (Hello, homemade soup and an afternoon snooze!) and prepping for our upcoming classes. The former includes making this amazing Lentil + Sausage soup, which we also whipped up for a postpartum family. It's easy to make and is the perfect blend of protein and vitamin packed goodies for a recovering mama and an exhausted partner. 

Photo by James Ransom

Photo by James Ransom

What are some of your favorite things to make for a postpartum family? Share your recipes in the comments -- we'd love to add to our list!

Sooooo pre-delicious soup and post-nap, we'll be working on finalizing things for our upcoming classes. We're gearing up for our new Childbirth Education Class. At AustinBorn we're about high quality education and care, and we believe in working efficiently to provide that for our clients. That's why we're offering a 1-day comprehensive CBE class. You'll get all the information and tools you need, without having to spend weeks in a class. Classes are ongoing throughout the year and we have a spot waiting for you! Because you're reading this, (and we like you for that) use code CBE30 to save $30 on your registration. xo

We're delighted that our first Easing Your Birthing Time class was a huge success this month! This 2-hour workshop includes tools for coping during the stages of labor: comfort measures, communication, mind/body connection, essential oils, and more. This is a GREAT class for partners to learn how best to support the birthing person. Next class is February 3rd from 4p-6p.

Lastly, a note for parents of little ones who are starting solids soon. We have just a few spots left in our upcoming Introducing Solids workshop on January 20th. This class is taught by a pro -- an occupational therapist who will answer all of your questions, ease your fears, and help get you and your baby set up for success. Grab one of the few remaining spots now!

Well, we're off to taste test the soup and daydream about that nap on the horizon. Hope you're all safe and warm, and we look forward to seeing you at an AustinBorn class soon!

*Also coming up: Prenatal Breastfeeding, Newborn Care, The Circle, The Nest


Are you following us on Facebook and Instagram? (It's kind of a big deal over there.)

We Made It

Austin Born

It's 2018. We made it! 

Just like so many of you, we are reflecting on what we did in 2017 and we are prepping for the big things to come in the new year. We're also proud to say there is a lot we do that doesn't need to be changed, which feels amazing as we step into the next phases of AustinBorn. 

So what happened in 2017? 

  • Our Instagram account blew up in a really important way. We've made it part of our mission to share images and videos that represent the realities of labor, birth, infant feeding, and parenting. There is a movement to normalize all of those beautiful journeys and we're committed to being a part it. Head over to our account @weareaustinborn to see what's happening! 
  • With the addition of two new birth doulas, Jacqueline and Scout, our team was exponentially elevated. They are the embodiment of the AustinBorn doula: they hold high standards of professionalism, they provide superior client care, they value collaboration (with their peers and with their greater community), and they're super fun women to be around. (Stay tuned for another birth team announcement later this month!)
  • Our group facilitators -- Yazmin, Juanita, and Kristen -- exceeded expectations in supporting and leading our meet-ups for parents and babies. We talk a lot about holding space in this work and these ladies have proven time and time again that they get it. They confidently navigate the balance of guiding parents, while also allowing them the space to find their footing. Come see for yourself if you haven't joined us yet! The Circle: For Mothers, a gathering for mothers and babies of all ages, meets every Wednesday and Friday from 10a-12p. The Nest: For Families, a gathering for parents and babies of all ages, meets the 2nd Saturday of each month from 10a-12p. 
  • We welcomed Amy Tucker, Certified Placenta Encapsulation Specialist (PBi), to our team. What a phenomenal addition she has been! Amy represents the gold standard of placenta services. She offers top-notch communication with our clients, provides thorough information on placenta encapsulation, guides clients in navigating the placenta process at their place of birth, and a conducts a safe and seamless process from start to finish. (Oh, and she gives THE BEST hugs.) We're offering $50 off Placenta Encapsulation through the month of January. Use code PLACENTA50 during registration

 

And what are we planning for 2018?

  • We just launched our new Childbirth Education class and it's kind of a big deal. Something we've noticed about education for expectant parents is that most classes are so time-consuming. Growing a baby is exhausting; learning the whats and hows of becoming a parent shouldn't be. That's why we're offering a one-day comprehensive Childbirth Education workshop. You'll leave feeling confident about: the physiological process of labor and birth, what tools you can use to increase comfort and manage pain, what interventions can pop up and how best to navigate them, how to handle a change in plans, and what to expect postpartum. We're currently offering a discount on this class for the new year! Use code HOLIDAY20 to save $20 on your registration. (Offer ends 1/3/2017.)
  • We're also introducing Easing Your Birthing Time, a new workshop to provide expectant parents the tools to help create a harmonious birth experience. This 2-hour workshop will cover coping techniques in labor, how partners can play a beneficial role in providing comfort, and effective communication techniques for couples during labor. We have 2 spots left in our upcoming class Saturday, January 6th. REGISTER HERE
  • Be on the look-out for more community events at AustinBorn (Hello, collaborations!), as well as casual hangs for our growing group of parents. (Family dinners, self-care gatherings, mama movies, and more!)

Thank you to all who are a part of AustinBorn. We are honored to be welcomed into your families and support you on your journeys. 

 For those we haven't met yet, please reach out to meet us! Check out our Calendar for upcoming events, and follow us on Facebook and Instagram

The Gathering: For Loss Support

Austin Born

Sometimes our work at AustinBorn includes layers of support for families who have experienced the loss of a child. It's vital for parents to know that their pain is understood; that they are not alone; and, that there are safe spaces to engage in open dialogue about their loss. We hold space for the journey, validate the intricate and unique ways that grief manifests, listen without judgement or agenda, and provide resources for support. With that in mind, we have created The Gathering: For Loss Supportour community group for parents.

The Gathering is an evening of support surrounding miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss, and is appropriate for any parent, no matter how recent or long ago the loss or whether it was spontaneous or elective. Our professional facilitator will guide parents through processing and normalizing grief, finding support, preparing for pregnancy after loss, and will open the space for families to share their journeys. This group is a space to share if you feel compelled, or to simply be in the space with others.

Come fold in to a community of people who care deeply for your experience and, in many instances, share in similar joys and struggles. 

The Circle: A Gathering for Mothers

Austin Born

The weather is a little cooler (Well, not THAT much in TX, but it's not 90 degrees so we'll take it.), we made it through our annual October birth storm, the holidays are upon us, and we're preparing to wrap up an incredible year at AustinBorn. As our community continues to grow, we are welcoming some big changes to make our mission even greater for you.

We've been working hard this year to ensure AustinBorn is an inclusive community and that the language we use represents that. One shift we're making in this realm is to change the name of the Breastfeeding Cafe so that all mothers feel welcome to come for feeding support. There are many variations of infant feeding and the name of our group must represent that. 

So we're making both of our weekly support groups The Circle: A Gathering for Mothers. This group remains a same safe space to give and receive support regarding all things motherhood and our members will see the same lovely and professional facilitators each week. Our hope is that this change further opens our door to the greater ATX community. 

We have a few more big announcements to make over the next few weeks so stay tuned!