Why the name Belly Beans? ...
During my first routine ultrasound I looked up and saw a little 'blob'. I remember thinking 'oh it
doesn't look like a baby it looks like a jelly bean in my 'belly' a belly bean'. So from that point on I
affectionately referred to my baby as my belly bean. I instinctively did the same for my second child
a year later.
I always smile when I read my business name, and people often comment or ask am I going to change
it to something more 'professional' something more 'birthy' Ha to me the authenticity of what belly
beans is to me makes it just perfect, I hope you agree
Becoming a Doula ...
I stumbled across the word doula, while I was in the midst of a life crossroads, I was 32, living on the East Coast of America with my husband of 5 months. I was working in a really stressful business development role for a health food company whose head office was based in London. It was 2008 and the GFC (global financial crisis) was in full swing, everything was going pear-shaped and I was miserable. I cried a lot in 2008!
I sat one afternoon and thought back to what really made me happy, what made my heart sing, not money, not travel opportunities, not carer titles, but questioned; 'What made me happy on the inside? It was seeing a pregnant woman. It always has been and I was surrounded by them during my life as a nanny. I loved being a nanny in London, I supported women back to work, I loved their babies, I travelled with different families and had a ball but after 5 years in this role in my early 20's I thought I'd better get a 'proper' job, so I did and my job got big!...
I knew pregnancy, babies and growing families were a huge source of joy for me but it got me thinking. I'm really intrigued by the pregnant woman".
Not only did I want this for myself one day but I knew that I was and always had been truly fascinated by pregnancy. I read all I could about what a doula did and I instantly knew that was it. The opportunity to emotionally support of a woman and her partner through pregnancy, birth and the early postnatal period it felt like I'd hit the career jackpot. I booked myself into a course in New Jersey called Seventh Moon, (in 2008 Doula courses were workshop based over a few weeks where you learnt practical skills with a like-minded group of women followed by reading and course material)
It was during one of our very first sessions that I began to feel 'really weird'; I jumped up to get to the bathroom and vomited. When I returned to the group they all smiled and said 'there's always one' I was 7 weeks pregnant!
I resigned from my job, made plans for a budget van holiday with my husband driving from New York to New Orleans and then packed up our lives and headed back to Melbourne. I always promised my mum that I would return home if I ever fell pregnant, and true to my word (some 12 years after first leaving Australia) my husband and I prepared for the birth of our first - a baby girl. It wasn't until our second daughter finished feeding that I began actively supporting women in a doula capacity.
What a ride it has been, a wonderful, exciting, challenging, fulfilling ride. Long may it continue...