Hello, Hello Sunshine!
Getting to know Bethanie, doula and blogger.
Hello. My name is Bethanie Verduzco and I am thrilled to be the new featured blogger for Tulsa Kids! I am a professional birth doula and owner of Hello Sunshine Birth Services herein Tulsa, which means that my job is to provide informational, emotional, and physical support to mothers and their partners throughout the course of their pregnancies, labor and birth. I get this question a lot: “So that means you get to see babies be born for a living?” The answer: yes and no. I am there when the babies come out, but usually I’m up by the mother’s head, looking into her eyes, holding her hand, telling her how strong she is. More accurately, my job is to help facilitate the birth of a mother. I’ll get more into that and what being a doula really looks like in subsequent posts, but today I want to tell you a bit about myself and why I’m here writing to you!
When I was about 6 months pregnant with my first baby back in 2009 my husband Bhadri and I moved back to Tulsa. It wasn’t our first choice to be honest. We had been living abroad in Poland and Costa Rica for the two years previous, teaching English, volunteering on permaculture farms, and just generally having an rollicking good time. We were young, free, and mobile, with only a 10 pound dog named Booster in our charge. After Europe and Central America, we didn’t exactly think of Tulsa as our ideal next destination.
But where do you go when you’re 6 months pregnant and are quickly running out of cash? Home. You go home. So we did.
Just a few months later, I gave birth to my daughter Noa in our one-bedroom apartment off of Cherry Street, surrounded by a loving birth team. It was a deeply powerful and sacred experience—the absolute hardest thing I’ve ever done, for sure, but also the most empowering. If you’d like to read more about Noa’s birth from both my perspective and her dad’s, click here. Her birth changed my life, like birth does for all mothers, and it set me on an incredible course of self-discovery and fulfillment.
And although that sounds oh-so-dreamy, the reality was that I was a fierce, growling beast of a birther. I felt comfortable and supported which enabled me to totally lose it! And that was exactly what needed to happen. You know, there aren’t that many opportunities in life where we allow ourselves to be so wild and uninhibited! We’ve gotta take them as they come.
After having Noa, I wanted to share the story of her birth with everyone I met. Who knew giving birth could be so effing amazing?! But I was stunned when so many of my fellow moms responded to my story not with similar ones of their own, but instead with tales of sadness and regret. So many of these stories were of women who had had terrible, even traumatic, birth experiences. Some had cesareans they felt were probably not necessary; others had rough and patronizing care providers. It always fired me up. I wanted so badly to tell them it wasn’t their fault. That they’re right: birth does matter. It’s not only about having a healthy baby. That every single one of us have a right to a positive birth experience, however we want define that.
So when I got pregnant with my second child in 2011, the idea of birth work as a career really started to gestate right alongside that tiny baby boy. My son Asher’s birth was also incredible, but in a totally different way. It was just one of those 4-hour-you’d-better-hang-on-because-a-freight-train-is-a-comin’ kinds of a labor. This time my birth team just sat back and let me do my thing. For more on Asher’s birth, read here. But after his birth, things started to converge and I began to think seriously about becoming a doula.
And now, although my family has to put up with me being on-call, dashing out of the door at any given moment to go to a birth, and scheduling prenatal visits during dinnertime or on weekends, they also know I’m happy. I am able to be there for women and their families while they’re preparing for and going through one of the most transformational periods of their lives. To see the look on a mama’s face when her baby is placed on her belly for the first time—the look of triumph, power and love—is one of the most profound things I have ever witnessed.
And when I’m not at a birth, and my kids aren’t throwing Legos at each other or pooping in their pants (I’m looking at you, Asher!), I spend my hours gleefully finding evidence-based research to share with clients, interviewing and drinking coffee with local parents and midwives, and writing about pregnancy, birth and postpartum every Wednesday on my own blog HelloSunshineOK.com/blog, occasionally on Kveller.com, and now weekly on (yay!) Tulsa Kids.
It’s my hope that you’ll find this blog to be a go-to resource throughout the course of your birth journey. So now I want to know: what do you want to hear about?