I love birth! When conversation turns to this topic and I get the opportunity to share all that I have studied and experienced, I get really excited. For me, it all started with my own births. During my pregnancy I spent time reading and going to classes but it all still seemed pretty abstract. I felt baffled by the enormous range of experiences everyone had gone through. How could everyone go through the same stages of labour but have such a different experience? What could I do to make sure I had a better birth?
I found wonderful teachers, and read a wider range of informative books. What was water birth, and was that something I wanted to do? Yes, I did! Should I go with a doctor, or a midwife? For me, the midwife held the promise of a slower, calmer birth. Who should attend the birth? I had the good fortune to have several of my close family members supporting me on the big day. Like any birth there were ups and downs, comforts and hard times, but in the end everything went swimmingly and I pulled my baby boy out of the water and into my arms, with the lighting dimmed and music playing softly in the background.
The gift of gab
Ever since that day, I've often been talking with an expectant friend, or cousin, or even acquaintance, and found that they were super curious about my experience – flabbergasted, even, that it was so different from the stereotypical hospital birth so commonly shown on television and in the movies. I was more than happy to share. I was eager! I think my talks encouraged them to explore options they didn't even know they had, and showed them they had more control over their birth experience than they realized.
A Doula...what is that?
One day, I stumbled across the term 'Doula' and realized there was a job out there where I could be this support person for a labouring woman. I was so excited, and it felt like a little piece of me just slid into place. I was looking for a career change that I could do while still raising my children. This was it, and I knew I would love doing it! It was such a natural extension after talking with my friends about birth had practically become a pastime of mine. A short time later I became a certified doula from the "Wise Woman Way of Birth" in Vancouver, BC.
And my passion grows...
Once I took the doula training I was even more passionate about birth. There was so much I didn't know and hadn't understood even though I myself had given birth twice. I had two amazingly wonderful birth experiences, and yet with the new knowledge I had gained I knew they could have been even better. I was blown away by how little I had understood, going in, about my body and about the various choices available to me. I wanted to shout from the rooftops about all the misconceptions in birth and how some "simple" techniques could make such a difference. I wanted all women to have the right to this information, which started me on the path towards becoming a childbirth educator.
The art of birth
I am a certified childbirth educator from Birth Arts International. During my training I shadowed a prenatal session by my mentor and it was such an amazing experience. The entire time I was excited about the topics and had to bite my tongue to keep myself from interrupting and sharing all the thoughts and remarks I had while listening to the teacher. I left the classes feeling exhilarated! Now it is the same with my own classes. I often feel like it isn't work, but rather an expression of my passion to teach others how amazing birth is and how I can help them cope with something that often feels so unknown. The great thing about being an educator is that I get to reach out to more people and teach them how to have better births. I strive to bring a hands-on element to my classes, which include practical decision-making strategies, mental and physical techniques for coping with pain, and relaxation exercises.
Two births in two different spaces
Not only do I bring knowledge from my certifications and training, but also experience from my own births and the many births I have attended as a doula. I think that the experiences from my two births are very pertinent to my ability to be an amazing birth worker. I can describe what it felt like from my own experiences and tell you what helped me. I gave birth in the hospital with my first child and at home with my second child. These two very different experiences allow me to better relate to the different options and choices my clients will make in where to give birth.
Birthing Embrace is created
I have created Birthing Embrace to be a source of knowledge about the birthing process and to provide support to women who want better births. At Birthing Embrace we provide expectant mothers with the education and support to make informed choices regarding the full spectrum of options available to them throughout the birth process, and unlock the innate skills that produce a positive birthing experience. I offer informative prenatal childbirth classes and passionate doula services. I want to provide our community with the power to make childbirth a positive event that the mother will remember for the rest of her life, giving her a safe, informed, and empowered birthing experience.
Thank you for reading my story and I hope I can support you in your prenatal and birthing needs. Remember, better births take more. Check out my 10 tips for better births and get started on your path to a better birth. Contact me for a free consultation – I have lots to share with you.
Here are some kind words from clients I have worked with. I love my clients!
Nikole and Bradley Proud parents of Phoenix
"Fauve is one amazing doula! I loved everything she did to support me and my husband during the birth of our daughter. She is very knowledgable about all the different options, opinions and ideas surrounding birth. I loved that she gave us loads of information on birth before and I felt very comfortable asking her questions. She was the first one I told when my labor started and she txted me through the very early beginning stage of labor. Fauve was great at suggesting different positions to try during labor, she massaged my back during contractions, she laughed at my labor-induced humour attempts, she refilled my water bottle, she offered me chicken broth, she had Gianna buy me crackers on her way to the birth (that was the only thing I wanted to eat :) ), she kept my birth pool at just the right temperature, she cooled me off with cold cloths while in the pool, and all with a loving smile.
After Phoenix was born, Fauve emptied the birth pool, washed the dishes and cleaned up the kitchen while we snuggled our beautiful daughter in our bedroom. It was so nice to not have housekeeping chores to worry about! Fauve visited us a few days later and offered continued support for breastfeeding and adjusting to parenting our new baby. Fauve's kind smile and loving demeanour were a beautiful addition to our home birth. I felt very supported and encouraged by her, especially during the final moments of labor and birth. Her knowledge, sweetness and wonderful personality are things I would never want to birth without. Thank you Fauve for everything you've done! You are amazing! Gianna was only at our home birth for a short time, but she captured beautiful images of our wonderful experience. We will treasure these photos for life! Thank you Gianna for giving us this wonderful snapshot of a truly amazing experience. These pictures help to bring the emotions of that day back like nothing else could. We love them! Thank you so much!"
Renata and Nick Proud parents of Fia
"Fauve was an instrumental part of our birthing team. She helped us to have the safe, natural, and intimate home birth that allowed my partner and I to bond with each other and our new baby girl! In the months leading up to the birth, we attended prenatal classes with Fauve where she instructed us in several meditation and pain management strategies. These sessions helped both of us to be mentally, emotionally and physically prepared for our daughter's birth. Fauve provided us with the home birthing tub and supplies, and suggested how to set up our birthing space. Us guys can sometimes feel left out from the birthing process (so I've read) but I found that setting up the pool and being in control of the birthing space made me feel like an engaged and involved member of the birthing team. I found that Fauve's experience helped to make the space safe and comfortable, with everything we needed right on hand. On the big day, Fauve showed us many massage techniques to help with early labor, and prepared the water in the tub for us during active labor. Her reassurance and instruction helped both of us to keep a calm and loving atmosphere. Both of us felt well prepared for what to expect and how to handle the different stages of labour. Fauve advocated for natural methods regarding cord clamping and breastfeeding
based on the latest trends and research in neonatal care. Our birthing experience was a miracle, and I credit Fauve for making it so. Thank you Fauve!" -Nick
"Fauve was a fantastic doula for us. I found her lessons before hand incredibly useful for both myself and my partner in preparing for the birth of our baby. She is very knowledgeable and intuitive, and kept the perfect atmosphere for our "dream labor". I know the birth of my daughter went as well as it did because I had Fauve to help us to mentally prepare before hand, as well as keep everything running smoothly during the big day. Many times during the birth I could recall the lessons we had learned from her before hand and it really helped me emotionally to stay focused. I also saw my partner using all of the techniques he had learned during our lessons to help me through my labor, creating an incredible emotional bond between us. On the day of the birth, she kept everything organized, including the birthing tub. Everyone in our birthing team, including our midwife and family, quickly learned that she was incredibly efficient and would know exactly where to find everything. She was such a big help keeping everything feeling calm and safe to keep that baby moving. She was very sensitive to my needs during my labor and all her tricks and massage/hip squeezes to help manage the contractions were very helpful. Without her I don't think I would have achieved my goal of a safe, natural, drug-free home birth." - Renata
Therese and Julius Proud parents of August
"Having Fauve Mackenzie at my birth was incredibly helpful in so many ways. Having had two natural births of her own, I felt safe and confident that she would be able to provide exceptional physical and emotional comfort and
be an advocate for me while I could focus on labouring. She keeps the atmosphere peaceful and calm, all the while being organized and ready to help whether it be counter pressure during contractions to keeping you hydrated. Fauve is a person who will immediately put you at ease with her knowledgeable, organized and calm personality. I absolutely loved having her at my birth and would recommend her services to anyone!"
Julia and Brian Proud parents of Miriam
"We were so fortunate to stumble upon Fauve in our search for a doula. Fauve was looking to gain experience as a newer doula and partnered with a more experienced doula who offered a student doula option. We were interested in this option and when we went to meet the doulas we met Fauve.
We felt comfortable with Fauve from our first meeting (a big must in finding a doula to share the intimacy of birth with, especially as labour and birth can take a looong time). During our time with Fauve we were supported both physiologically and emotionally. Fauve was both professional and
personal in her approach. I know it's not a necessity for a good doula to also be a mother herself but I appreciated Fauve's personal experience of childbirth. Our uncomplicated birth, the setting we chose, and the company we chose to be present helped to make the welcoming of our daughter perfect. Although I could've laboured and delivered our daughter into this world without a doula by my side, I sure wouldn't want to. My partner and I agreed following the "big day" that we would not have another birth without a doula present. We wanted the best and received more than one could imagine.
Thank you Fauve!"